L. B. (Laughlan Bellingham) Mackinnon.

Some account of the Falkland Islands, from a six months' residence in 1838 and 1839 online

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945 Give me your aid, and thither lead my band."

They answer him : " Sire, ev'n as you com-

We will assault Olivier and RoUant,

The dozen peers from death have no warrant ;

For these our swords are trusty and trenchant,
950 In scalding blood we'll dye their blades scarlat.

Franks shall be slain, and Charl^ be right sad*

Terra Major well give into your hand ;

Come there, Sir king, truly you'll see all that ;

Yea, the Emperour we'll give into your hand."


955 Running there came ^argariz of Sibilei
Who holds the land by Cadiz, to the sea.
For his beauty the ladies hold him dear ;
Who looks on him, with him her heart is pleased^
When she beholds, she can but smile for glee.

960 Was no pagan of such high chivalry.

Comes through the press, above them all cries he,
** Be not at all dismayed, king Marsilie !
To Rencesvals I go, and RoUanz, he
Nor Oliver may scape alive from me ;

965 The dozen peers are doomed to martyry.

See here the sword, whose hilt is gold indeed,
I got in gift from the admiral of Primes ;
In scarlat blood I pledge it shall be steeped.
Franks shall be slam, and France abasM be.

970 To Charles the old, with his great blossoming
« beard.

Day shall not dawn but brings him rage and grief.
Ere a year pass, all France we shall have seized,


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Till we can lie in th' burgh of Saint Denise."
The pagan king has bowed his head down deep.


975 From the other part, Chemubl^ of Muneigre.
Right to the ground his hair swept either way ;
He for a jest would bear a heavier weight
Than four yoked mules, beneath their load that

That land he had, God's curse on it was plain.

980 No sun shone there, nor grew there any grain,
No dew fell there, nor any shower of ram.
The very stones were black upon that plain ;
And many say that devils there remain.
Says Chemubl^ : " My sword is in its place,

985 At Rencesvals scarlat I will it stain ;

Find I Rollanz the proud upon my way,
ril fall on him, or trust me not again.
And Durendal Til conquer with this blade,
Franks shall be slain, and France a desert made."

990 The dozen peers are, at this word, away, ^^
Five score thousand of Sarrazins they take ; v
Who keenly press, and on to battle tiaste ;
In a fir-wood their gear they ready make.


Ready they make hauberks Sarrazinese,
995 That folded are, the greater part, in three ;

And they lace on good helms Sarragucese ;

Gird on their swords of tried steel Viennese ;

Fine shields they have, and spears Valentinese,

And white, blue, red, their ensigns take the /
1000 They've left their mules behind, and their pal-

Their chargers moimt, and canter knee by knee.

Fair shines the sim, the day is bright and clear,

Light bums again from all their polished gear.

33 D

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A thousand horns they sound, more proud to
seem ;
1005 Great is the noise, the Franks its echo hear.
Says Oliver : " Companion, I believe,
Sarrazins now in battle must we meet."
...Answers Rollanz : " God grant us then the fee !
^^^or our King's sake well must we quit us here ;
10 10 Man for his lord should suffer great disease,
Most bitter cold endure, and burning heat,
His hair and skin should offer up at need.
Now must we each lay on most hardily,
So evil songs ne'er sung of us shall be.
10 1 5 Pa|;ans are wrong : Clmstians are right indeed,
i Evil example will never come of me. *


Oliver moimts upon a lofty peak.
Looks to his right along the valley green,
The pagan tribes approaching there appear ;
1020 He calls Rollanz, ms companion, to see :

" What sound is this, come out of Spain, we hear.
What hauberks bright, what helmets these that

gleam ?
They'll smite our Franks with fury past belief,
^e knew it, Guenes, the traitor and the thief,
1025 Who chose us ouFbefore the King our chief."
V {Answers .the count Rollanz : ** Olivier, cease.
'That man is my good-father ; hold thy peace.**


Upon a peak is Oliver mounted,

Kmgdom of Spain he sees before him spread,

1030 And Sarrazins, so many gathered.

Their helmets gleam, with gold are jewellW,
Also their shields, their hauberks orfreyM,
Also their swords, ensigns on spears fixfed.
Rank beyond rank could not be numberW,

1035 So many there, no measure could he set.
In his own heart he's sore astonish^,


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Fast as he could, down from the peak hath sped,
Comes to the Franks, to them his tale hath said.


Says Oliver : " Pagans from there I saw ;
1040 Never on earth did any man see more.

Gainst us their shields an hundred thousand

That lacM helms and shining hauberks wore ;
And, bolt upright, their bright brown spearheads

Battle well have as never was before.
1045 Lords of the Franks, God keep you in valour !
So hold your ground, we be not overborne ! "
Then say the Franks : " Shame take him that

goes off :
If we piust die, then perish one and all."


Says Oliver : " Pagans in force abound,
1050 Wnile of us Franks but very few I count ;

V Comrade Rollanz, your horn I pray you sound -Jf*

If Charles hear, he*ll turn his armies round." - /

^ Answers Rollanz : " A fool I should be found ; 1

>> In France the Douce would perish my renowrfl; T

1055 With Durendal FU lay on thick and stout, [

In blood the blade, to its golden hilt. 111 drown. I

' Felon pagans to th' pass shall not come down ; |

, I pledge you now, to death they all are bound.'* I


" Comrade Rollanz, sound the olifant, I pray ;
1060 If Charles hear, the host hell turn again ;

Will succour us our King and baronage."

Answers Rollanz : " Never, by God, I say,
, For my misdeed shall kinsmen hear the blame.

Nor France the Douce fall into evil fame !
106^ Rather stout blows with Durendal FU lay,


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With my good sword that by my side doth sway ;
Till bloomed o'er you shall behold the blade.
Felon pagans are gathered to their shame ;
I pledge you now, to death they Ve doomed to-


1070 " Comrade RoUanz, once sound your olifant ! .,
If Charl^ hear, where in the pass he stands,
^ I pledge you now, they'll turn again, the Franks."
"Never, by God," then answers him RoUanz,
, j " Shall it be said by any living man,

/ \ 1075 That foi:4>agans I took my horn in hand ! ^

Never by me shall men reproach my clan;
When I am come into the battle grand,
And blows lay on, by himdred, by thousand,
Of Durendal bloodied you'll see me brand.
10 80 Franks are good men ; like vassak brave they'll
stand ;
Nay, Spanish men from death have no warrant." ^^


Says Oliver : " In this I see no blame ;
I have beheld the Sarrazins of Spain ;
Covered with them, the mountains and the vales,
1085 The wastes I saw, and all the farthest plains.

A muster great they've made, this people strange;
N^e have of men a very little tale."
"•'Answers Rollanz : " My anger is inflamed.
Never, please God His Angels and His Saints,
1090 jNever by me shall Frankish valour fail !
JRather I'll die than shame shall me attain.
.Therefore strike on, the Emperour's love to


...I> Pride Jiath Rollanz, wisdom Olivier hath ; ^

And both of them shew marvellous coiuage ;
1095 Once they are horsed, once they have donned
their arms,


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/ i


Rather they'ld die than from the battle pass.^y^

Good are the counts, and lofty their language.

Felon pagans come cantering in their wrath.

Says Oliver : " Behold and see, RoUanz,
1 100 These are right near, but Charles is very far. \

On the olifant deign now to sound a blast ;

Were the King here, we should not fear damage.

Only look up towards the Pass of Aspre,

In sorrow there you'll see the whole rereward.
1 105 Who does this deed, does no more afterward."
r Answers RoUanz : " Utter not such outrage !
^l Evil his heart that is in thought coward !

We shall remain firm in our place installed ;

From us the blows shall come, from us the assault.''


X X zo When RoUant sees that now must be combat,
More fierce he's foiuxd than lion or leopard ;
The Franks he calls, and Oliver commands :
" Now say no more, my friends, nor thou, com-
That Emperour, who left us Franks on guard,

ZX15 A thousand score stout men he set apart.

And well he knows, not one will prove coward.
> Man for his lord should suffer with good heart.
Of bitter cold and great heat bear the smart,
His blood let drain, and all his flesh be scarred.

1x20 Strike with thy lance, and I with Durendal,

With my good sword that was the King's reward.
So, if I die, who has it afterward
^ Noble vassal's he well may say it was."


From the other part is the Archbishop Turpin, 1

1x25 He pricks his horse and mounts upon a hilT; /

Calune the Franks, sermon to them begins : / |

" My lords barons, Charles left us here for this ;
He is our King, well may we die for him :
To Christendom good service offering.


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1 130 Battle you'll have, you all are bound to it,
For with your eyes you see the Sarrazins.
Pray for God's grace, confessing Him your sins !
^1 For your souls' healdi. 111 absolution give ;
^So, uiough you die, blest martyrs shall you live,
1135' I Thrones you stedl win in the great Paradis."
. The Frad^ dismount, upon the ground are lit.

/ That Archbishop God's Benediction gives,

For their penance, good blows to strike he bids.


The Franks arise, and stand upon their feet,
1 1 40 They're well absolved, and from their sins made
And the Archbishop has signed them with God's

seal ;
And next they mount upon their chargers keen ;
By rule of knights they have put on their gear.
For battle all apparelled as is meet.
1 145 The count Rollanz calls Oliver, and speaks :

" Comrade and friend, now clearly have you

That Guenelun hath got us by deceit ;
, Gold Katlrlie'Ta'eirT much wealttTTsTiiS to keep ;
/ That Emperour vengeance for us must wreak.
XI 50 .King Marsilies hath bargained for us cheap ;

lAt the sword's point he yet shall pay our meed."


To Spanish pass is Rollanz now going
On Veillantif, his good steed, |;alloping ;
He is well^anned, pride is in his bearing,

XZ55 He goes, so brave, his spear in hand holding,
He goes, its point against the sky turning ;
A gonfalon all white thereon he's pinned,
Down to his hand flutters the golden fringe :
Noble his limbs, his face clear and smiling.

XI 60 His companion goes after, following,

The men of France their warrant find in him.


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Proudly he looks towards the Sarrazins,
And to the Franks sweetly, himself humbling ;
And courteously has said to them this thing :
1x65 " My lords barons, go now your pace holding!
Pagans are come great martyrdom seeking ;
Ndble and fair reward this day shall bring,
Was never won by any Prankish King."
Upon these words the hosts are come touching.


1170 Speaks Oliver : "No more now will I say.

Your olifant, to sound it do not deign,

Since from Carlun youll never more have aid. 1

He has not heard ; no fault of his, so brave. j
^ Those with him there are never to be blamed. !
1 1 75 So canter on, with what prowess you may !

Lords and barons, firmly your ground maintain !

Be minded well, I pray you in God's Name,

Stout blows to strike, to give as you shall take.

Forget the cry of Charles we never may."
XI 80 Upon this word the Franks cry out amain.

Who then had heard them all " Monjoie ! '*
acclaim *

Of vassalage might well recall the tale.

They cante^forth, God ! with what proud parade,

Pricting their spurs, the better speed to gain ;
1 1 8 5 They go to strike, — ^what other thmg could they ? —

But Sarrazins are not at all afraid.

Pagans and Franks, you'ld see them now engaged.


Marsile's nephew, his name is^^^ekothj

First of them all canters before the Kost,
1 1 90 Says of our Franks these ill words as he goes :

" Felons of France, so here on us you close !
^ Betrayed you has he that to guard you ought ;

Mad is the King who left you in this post.

So shall the fame of France the Douce be lost,
1 195 And the right arm from Charl^'s body torn.'*

39 ^"^

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I When Rollant hears, what ra^e he has, by God
His steed he spurs, gallops with great effort ;
— ~ ,He goes, that count, to strike with all his force,
The shield he breaks, the hauberk's seam unsews,
Slices the heart, and shatters up the bones.
All of the spine he severs with that blow.
And with his spear the soul from body throws
So well he's pinned, he shakes in the air that

On his spear's hilt he's flimg it from the horse :
So in two halves Aelroth's neck he broke.
Nor left him yet, they say, but rather spoke :
" Avaunt, culvert ! A madman Charles is not,
No treachery was ever in his thought.
Proudly he did, who left us in this post ;
The fame of France the Douce shall not be lost.
Strike on, the Franks ! Ours are the foremost

For we are right, but these gluttons are wrong.'* '


^ A duke there was, his name was Jfal£arun,
Brother was he to King Marsiliim,
iaz5 He held their land, Dathan's and Abirun's ;
Beneath the sky no more encrimed felim ;
\ Between his eyes so broad was he in front
}:A great half-foot you'ld measiu-e there in full.
His nephew dead he's seen with grief enough,
1220 Comes through the press and wildly forth he
^P runs.

Aloud he shouts their cry the pagans use ;
And to the Franks is right contrarious :
j" Honour of France the Douce shall fall to us ! "
Hears Oliver, he's very furious,
Z225 ^His horse he pricks with both his golden spurs,
And goes to strike, ev'n as a baron doth ;
The shield he breaks and through the hauberk

His ensign's fringe into the carcass thrusts,


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On his spear's hilt he's flung it dead in dust.
1230 Looks on the ground, sees glutton lying thus,
And says to him, with reason proud enough :
" From threatening, culvert, your mouth I've

Strike on, the Franks ! Right well we'll over-


" Monjoie," he shouts, 'twas the ensign of Carlun.


1235 A king there was, his name was Co^abli^s^
Barbarian, and of a strange country.
He's called aloud to the other Sarrazins :
" Well may we join battle upon this field, C^
For of the Fraii^ but very few are here ;

1240 And those are here, we should accoimt them
From Charles not one has any warranty.
This is the day when they their death shall meet."
Has heard him well that AxchbiahQp.Turpinj( ^
No man he'ld hate so much the sky beneath ;

1245 ^u^^ o^ ^^ gol^l he pricks into his steed.
To strike that king by virtue great goes he,
The hauberk all imfastens, breaks the shield,
Thrusts his great spear in through the carcass

Pins it so well he shakes it in its seat,

z 250 Dead in the road he's flimg it from his spear.
Looks on the groimd, that glutton lying sees,
Nor leaves* him yet, they say, but rather speaks :
" Culvert paean, you lied now in your teeth,
Charles my lord our warrant is indeed ;

1255 None of our Franks hath any mind to flee.

Your companions all on this spot we'll keep,
I tell you news ; death shall ye suffer here.
Strike on, the Franks ! Fail none of you at need I,
Oiu3 the first blow, to God the glory tje !."

1260 " Monjoie ! " he cries, for all the camp to hear.


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And Gerui3 strikes Malpnmis of Bricpl
So his good shield is nothing worth at all,
Shatters the boss, was fashioned of crystal,
One half of it downward to earth flies off ;
xa65 Right to the flesh has through his hauberk torn.
On his good spear he has the carcass caught.
And with one blow that pagan downward falls ;
The soul of him Satan away hath borne.


And his comrade i3;crfiaa. strikes th^.Adxm^^
1270 The shield he bre^, the hauberk unmetals,
And his good spear drives into his vitals,
So well he*s pinned him, clean through the
. Dead on the field he's flung him from his hand.
^^ Says Oliver : " Now is our battle grand."



1275 Sansun the Duke goes strike that alm^cpm:, ,
TKe shield he breaks, with golden flowers tooled
That good hauberk for him is nothing proof.
He's sliced the heart, the lungs and liver through,
, ' And flung him dead, as well or ill may prove.
laSo Says the Archbishop : " A baron's stroke, in
' truth."


And AllS ^tK baa let his charger run ;
He goes to strike X^r^s of Turtelus,
The shield he breaks, its golden boss above.
The hauberk too, its doubled mail undoes,
1285 His good spear's point into the carcass runs.

So well he's thrust, clean through the whole steel

And from the hilt he's thrown him dead in dust.
Then says RoUant : " Great prowess in that



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And Engelep ^the Gascoin of Burdele

Spuii on TiShorsenete^^Sn The reins as well,

He goes to strike Escre miz of Valtrene,

The shield he brea& an^ shatters on his neck,

The hauberk too, he has its chinguard rent,

Between the arm-pits has pierced him through

the breast,
On his spear's hilt from saddle throws him dead ;
After he says : ** So are you turned to hell."


And Otfes s trikes a pa ganJE storgant
Uporime" shield, before Its leauiem band.
Slices it through, the white with the scarlat ;
The hauberk too, has torn its folds apart.
And his good spear thrusts clean through the

And flings it dead, ev*n as the horse goes past ;
He says : " You have no warrant afterward/'



And Berejpiger, he strikes E^tramariz,

The shield he breaks, the hauberk tears and

Thrusts his stout spear through's middle, and

him flings
Down dead among a thousand Sarrazins.
>Of their dozen peers ten have now been killed.
No more than two remain alive and quick.
Being Chemub le, and the count Margari z.


Margariz is a very gallant knight.
Both fair and strong, and 3wift he is and light ;
He spurs his horse, ^oes Oliver to strike,
And breaks his shield, by th'golden buckle
bright ;


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13x5 I Along his ribs the pagan's spear doth glide ;
j God's his warrant, his body nas respite,
1 The shaft breaks off, Oliver stajrs upright ;
\That other goes, naught stays him m his flight.
His trumpet sounds, rallies his tribe to fight.


ijao Common the fight is now and marvellous.
The count Rolmnzjtio way himself secures,
Strikes witn his spear, long as the shaft endiu'es.
By fifteen blows it is clean broken through ;
Then Durepdal he bares, his sabre good

1335 Spurs on his liorse, is gone to strike Chemub le,
Tne helmet breaks, where bright carbuniEI^

Slices the cap and shears the locks in two.
Slices also the eyes and the features,

iThe hauberk white, whose mail was close of woof,
Down to the groin cuts all his body through
To the saddle ; with beaten gold 'twas tooled.
Upon the horse that sword a moment stood,
Then sliced its spine, no join there any knew.
Dead in the field among thick grass them threw.
1335 After he said : " Culvert, false step you moved,
From Mahumet your help will not come soon.
No victory for gluttons such as you."


The coimt RoUanz, he canters through the fields
Holds Durendal, he well can thrust and wield,

1340 Right great damage he's done the Sarrazines

You'd seen them, one on other, dead in heaps,
Through all that place their blood was flowing

' In blood his arms were and his hauberk steeped,

And bloodied o'er, shoulders and neck, his steed.

1345 And Oliver goes on to strike with speed ;

No blame that way deserve the dozen peers,
For all the Franks they strike and slay with heat,


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Pagans are slain, some swoon there in their seats,
Says the Archbishop : " Good baronage indeed I "
" Monjoie '* he cries, the call of Charles repeats.


And Oliver has cantered through the crush ;
■^rokgniiis spear, the truncheon still he thrusts ;

Going to strme ^ p a mnM alsarun ;

Flowers and gold, areonTKe^hield, he cuts, i ^
-7 Out of the head both the two eyes have burst, ^

And all the brains are fallen in the dust ; *

He flings him dead, sev'n hundred else amongst.

Then ms he slain Turg in and Esturgus, ;

Right to the hilt, his spear in flln3ers flew.

Then says RoUant : " Companion, what do you?

In such a fight, there's little strength in wood,

Iron and steel should here their valour prove.

Where is your sword, that Halteclere I knew ?

Golden its hilt, whereon a crystal grew."

Says Oliver : " I had not, if I drew.

Time left to strike enough good blows and true."


Then Oliver has drawn his mighty sword
As his comrade had bidden and implored,
In knightly wise the blade to him has shewed ;
JitStim he strikes, that Iron Valley's lord.
All of his head has down the middle shorn.
The carcass sliced, the broidered sark has torn.
The good saddle that was with gold adorned,
And through the spine has sliced that pagan's

horse ;
Dead in the field before his feet they fall.
" Now," says RoUanz : " my brother I you call ; ^^
He'll love us for such blows, our Emperor." j^
On every side "Monjoie" you'ld hear them *^



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That count Germs sate on his horse Sorel,
1380 On Passe-Cerf was Gerers there, his friend ;

TheyVe*nKosed their reins, together spurred
and sped,

And go to strike a jjsggani Timozel ;

One on the shield, on hauBerl the other fell ;

And their two spears went through the carcass
1385 A fallow field amidst theyVe thrown him dead.

I do not know, I never heard it said

Which of the two was nimbler as they went.

Es pef Yi^^S was there, son of Borel,

And himtiiere slew Engelers of Burdel.
1390 And the Archbishop, he slew them ^Siglorel,

The enchanter, who before had been uTTiSl,

Where Jupiter bore him by a magic spell.

Then Turpin says : " To us he*s forfeited."

Answers Rollanz : " The culvert is bested.
1395 #Such blows, brother Olivier, I Uke well.** ^^


The battle grows more hard and harder yet,
Franks and pagans, with marvellous onset.
Each other str3:e and each himself defends.
So many shafts bloodstained and shatter^,
1400 So many flags and ensigns tattered ;

So many Franks lose their young lustihead,
\ Who*ll see no more their mothers nor their ^
i friends, ^

Nor hosts of France, that in the pass attend.
Charles the Great weeps therefor with regret.
1405 What profits that ? No succour shall they get.

^ Evil service, that day, Guenes rendered them, -^
r To Sarraguce §oing, his own to sell. I

/ After he lost his members and his head,
i In court, at Aix, to gallows-tree condemned ; . - > *
i4iq ' And thirty more with him, of his kindred, \

Were hanged, a thing they never did expect. \


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Now marvellous and weighty the combat.
Right well they strike, Ofivier and RoUant,
:>A thousand blows come from the Archbishop's

14x5 The dozen peers are nothing short of that,
With one accord join battle all the Franks,^
, Pagans are slain by hundred, by thousand,^
Who flies not then, from death has no warrant,
Will he or nill, foregoes the allotted span.

1420 The Franks have lost the foremost of their band,
They*ll see no more their fathers nor their clans.
Nor Charlemagne, where in the pass he stands.
Torment arose, right marvellous, in France,
Tempest there was, of wind and thunder black,

1425 With rain and hail, so much could not be spanned;
Fell thunderbolts often on every hand.
And verily the earth quaked in answer back
From Saint Michael of Peril unto Sanz,
From Besenf un to the harbour of Guitsand ;

1430 No house stood there but straight its walls must
crack :
In full mid-day the darkness was so grand.
Save the sky split, no light was in the land.
Beheld these things with terror every man.
And many said : We in the Judgement stand ;

1435 The end of time is presently at hand.'*

They spake no truth ; they did not understand ;
'Twas the great day of mourning for RoUant.


The Franks strike on ; their hearts are good and

Pagans are slain, a thousandfold, in crowds, , |^
. Lrft of five score are not two thousands now* tr
^ Says the Archbishop : " Our men are very proud.

No man on earth has more nor better found.

In Chronicles of Franks is written down, .
'What vassalage he had, our Emperour."



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1445 Then through the field they go, their friends
seek out,
And their eyes weep with grief and pain profound
For kinsmen dear, by hearty friendship bound.

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Online LibraryL. B. (Laughlan Bellingham) MackinnonSome account of the Falkland Islands, from a six months' residence in 1838 and 1839 → online text (page 4 of 10)