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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Whoso had seen fall down those chevaliers.
And heard men groan, dying upon that field.
Some memory of bitter pains might keep.
Th^t battle is most hard to endure, indeed.

3490 And the admiral calls upon Apollin

And Tervagant and Maiium, prays and speaks :
" My lords and gods, IVe done you much ser-
vice ;
Your images, in gold TU fashion each :
Against Carlun give me your warranty ! "

3495 Comes before him his dear friend Gemalfin,
Evil the news he brings to him and speaks :


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" Sir Baliganz, this day in shame you're steeped;
For you have lost your son, even Malprime ;
And Canabeus, your brother, slain is he.
Fairly two Franks have got the victory ;
That Emperour was one, as I have seen ;
Great limbs he has, he's every way Marquis,
White is his beard as flowers in April."
That admiral has bent his head down deep,
And thereafter lowers his face and weeps,
Fain would he die at once, so great his grief ;
He calls to him Jangleu from over sea.


Says the admiral : ** Jangleu, beside me stand !
For you are proof, and greatly understand.
Counsel from you Fve ever sought to have.
How seems it you, of Arrabits and Franks,
Shall we from hence victorious go back ? "
He answers him : " Slain are you, Baligant ! -
For from your gods you'll never have warrant.
So proud is Charles, his men so valiant.
Never saw I a race so combatant.
But call upon barons of Occiant,
Turks and Enfruns, Arrabits and Giants.
No more delay : what must be, take in hand."


That admiral has shaken out his beard
That ev'n so white as thorn in blossom seems ;
He'll no way hide, whate'er his fate may be,
Then to his mouth he sets a trumpet clear.
And clearly sounds, so all the pagans hear.
Throughout the field rally his companies.
From Occiant, those men who bray and bleat.
And from Argoille, who, like dogs barking, speak ;
Seek out the Franks with such a high folly.
Break through their line, the thickest press they

meet 1;^.

Dead from that shock they've seven thousand


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The count Oger no cowardice e'er knew,
Better vassal hath not his sark indued.
He sees the Franks, their columns broken through.
So calls to him Duke Tierris, of Argune,

3535 Count Jozeran, and Gefreid, of Anjou ;

And to Carlun most proud his reason proves :
" Behold pagans, and how your men they slew !
Now from your head please CJod the crown re-
Unless you strike, and vengeance on them do ! ''

3540 And not one word to answer him he knew ;

They spurred in haste, their horses let run loose.
And, wheresoever they met the pagans, strook.


Now very well strikes the King Charlemain,
Naim^ the Duke, Oger also, the Dane,

3545 Greifreid d'Anjou, wno that ensign displays.
Exceeding proof is Don Oger, the Dane ;
He spurs his horse, and lets him run in haste.
So strikes that man who the dragon displays ;
Both in the field before his feet he breaks

3550 That king's ensign and dragon, both abased.
Baligant sees his gonfalon cusgraced.
And Mahumet's standard thrown from its place;
That admiral at once perceives it plain.
That he is wrong, and right is Charlemain.

3SSS Pagan Arabs coyly themselves contain ;

Tlutt Emperour calls on his Franks again :

" Say, barons, come, support me, in God's

Answer the Franks : " Question you make in vain ;
All felon he that dares not exploits brave ! "


3560 Passes that day, turns into vesper-tide.

Franks and pagans sti^ with their swords do


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Brave vassals they, who brought those hosts to

Never have they forgotten their ensigns ;
That admiral still " rreciuse '* doth cry,
Charles " Monjoie," renowned word of pride.
Each the other knows by his clear voice and

Amid the field they're both come into sight.
Then, as they go, great blows on either side
They with their spears on their round targes

strike ;
And shatter them, beneath their buckles wide ;
And all the folds of their hauberks divide ;
But bodies, no ; wound them they never might.
Broken their girths, downwards their saddles

slide ;
Both those KLings fall, themselves aground do

find ;
Nimbly enough upon their feet they rise ;
Most vassal-&e they draw their swords outright.
From this battle they'll ne'er be turned aside
Nor make an end, without that one man die.


A great vassal was Charles, of France the Douce ;

That admiral no fear nor caution knew.

Those swords they had, bare from their sheaths

they drew ;
Many great blows on 's shield each gave and took ;
The leather pierced, and doubled core of wood ;
Down fell the nails, the buckles brake in two ;
Still they struck on, bare in their sarks they

From their bright helms the light shone forth

Finish nor fail that battle never could
But one of them must in the wrong be proved.


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Says the admiral : " Nay, Charles, think, I b^,
3590 And counsel take that t wards me thou repent !

Thou'st slain my son, I know that very well ;

Most wrongfully my land thou challengest ;

Become my man, a fief from me thou'lt get ;

Come, serving me, from here to the Orient ! "
3595 Charle answers him : " That were most vile

offence ;
^ No peace nor love may I to pagan lend.

Receive the Law that God to us presents,

Christianity, and then Til love thee well ;

Serve and believe the King Omnipotent 1 *'
3600 Says Baligant : " Evil sermon thou saist/'

They eo to strike with thWords, are on their


In the admiral is much great virtue found ;
He strikes Carlun on his steel helm so brown,
Has broken it and rent, above his brow,
3605 Through his thick hair the sword goes glancing

A great palm's breadth and more of flesh cuts

So that all bare the bone is, in that wound.
Charles tottereth, falls nearly to the ground ;
God wills not he be slain or overpowered. ^
3610 Saint Gabriel once more to him comes down,

And questions him : '^ Great King, what doest

thou ? ''


Charles, hearing how that holy Angel spake.
Had fear of death no longer, nor d^may ;
Remembrance and a fresh vigour he's gained.
3615 So the admiral he strikes with France^s blade.
His helmet breaks, whereon the jewels blaze,
Slices his head, to scatter all his brains,


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And, down unto the white beard, all his face ;
So he falls dead, recovers not again.
3620 " Monjoie," cries Charles, that all may know the
Upon that word is come to him Duke Naimes,
Holds Tencendur, bids mount that King so

Pagans turn back, God wills not they remain.
And Franks have all their wish, be that what

3625 Pagans are fled, ev*n as the Lord God wills ;

Chase them the Franks, and the Emperour there-
Says the King then : " My Lords, avenge your

Unto your hearts' content, do what you will !
For tears, this mom, I saw your eyes did spill."
3630 Answer the Franks : " Sir, even so we will."

Then such great blows, as each may strike, he

That few escape, of those remain there still.

Great was the heat, the dust arose and blew ;
Still pagans fled, and hotly Franks pursued.

3635 The chase endured from there to Sarraguce.
On her tower, high up clomb Bramimunde,
Around her there the clerks and canons stood
Of the false law, whom God ne'er loved nor knew;
Orders they'd none, nor were their heads ton-

3640 And when she saw those Arrabits confused

Aloud she cried : " Give us your aid, Mahume!**
Ah 1 Noble king, conquered are all our troops,
And the admiral to shameful slaughter put ! "
When Marsile heard, towards the wall he looked,

364s Wept from his eyes, and all his body stooped,
So died of grief. With sins he's so corrupt, V
The soul of him to Hell live devils took. — ^1


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Pagans are slain ; the rest are put to rout

Whom Charl^ hath in battle overpowered,
3650 Of Sarraguce the gates he's battered down,

For well he knows there's no defence there now ;

In come his men, he occupies that town ;

And all that night they lie there in their pow'r.

Fierce is that KLing, with 's hoary beard, and
3655 And jBramimunde hath yielded up her tow'rs ; —

But ten were great, and lesser fifty around.

Great exploits his whom the Lord God endows !


Passes the day, the darkness is grown deep,
But all the^s tarfr-^ftt riL. and the moon shines clear.

3660 And Sarraguce is in the Emperour's keep.

A thousand Franks he bids seek through the

The synagogues and the mahumeries ;
With iron malls and axes which they wield
They break the idols and all the imageries ;

3665 So there remain no fraud nor falsity.

That King fears God, and would do His service;
On water then Bishops their blessing speak,
And pagans bring into the baptistry.
If any Charles with contradiction taeet

3670 Then hanged or burned or slaughtered shall he
Five score thousand and more are thus redeemed,
Very Christians ; save that alone the queen
To France the Douce goes in captivity :
By love the King will her conversion seek.


367s Passes the night, the clear day opens now. ^
Of Sarraguce Charles garrisons the tow'rs*;
A thousand knights he's left there, filters stout;
Who guard that town as bids their Emperour.


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After, the King and all his army mount,
3680 And Bramimunde a prisoner is bound,

No harm to her, but only good he's vowed.

So are they come, with joy and gladness out,

They pass Nerbone by force and by vigour.

Come to Burdele, that city of high valour.
3685 Above the altar, to Saint Sevrin endowed,

Standi the olifant, with golden pieces bound ;

All the pilgrims may see it, who thither crowd.

Passing Girunde, in ships that there abound,

Ev'n imto Blaive he's brought his nephew down
3690 And Oliver, his noble companioun.

And the Archbishop, who was so wise and

te coffers he bids them lay those counts ^

At Saint Romain : So rest they in that ground.

Franks them to God and to His Angels vow.
369s Charles canters on, by valleys and by mounts.

Not before Aix will he not make sojourn ;

Canters so far, on th'terrace he dismounts.

When he is come into his lofty house,

By messengers he seeks his judges out ;
3700 Saxons, Baivers, Lotherencs and Frisouns,

Germans he calls, and also calls Borgounds ;

From Normandy, from Brittany and Poitou,

And those in France that are the sagest found.

Thereon begins the cause of Gueneloun.

3705 That Emperour, returning out of Spain,

Arrived in France, in his chief seat, at Aix,
Clomb to th' Palace, into the hall he came.
Was come to him there Aide, that fair dame ;
Said to the King : " Where's Rollanz the Cap-
3710 Who sware to me, held have me for his mate ? '*
Then^iiJ)on Charles a heavy sorrow weighed,
And his eyes wept, he tore nis beard again :
** Sister, dear friend, of a dead man you spake.
rU give you one far better in exchange,


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3715 That is Loewis, what further can I say ;

He is my son, and shall my marches take."
Aide answered him : ** Tnat word to me is

Never, please God, His Angels and His Saints,
When Rollant's dead shall 1 alive remain ! "

3720 Her colour fails, at th' feet of Charlemain

She falls ; she's dead. Her soul God's Mercy

awaits !
Barons of France weep therefore and complain.


Aide the fair is gone now to her rest.

Yet the King thought she was but swooning then,
3725 Pity he had, our Emperour, and wept,

Took her in's hands, raised her from th'earth

On her shoulders her head still drooped and leant.

When Charl^ saw that she was truly dead

Four countesses at once he summoned ;
3730 To a monastery of nims they bare her thence,

All night their watch until Oie dawn they held ;

Before the altar her tomb was fashioned well ;

Her memory the King with honour kept.

That Emperour is now returned to Aix.
3 735 The felon Guene, all in his iron chains

Is in that town, before the King's Palace ;
Those serfs have bound him, fast upon his stake,
In deer-hide thongs his hands they've helpless

With clubs and whips they trounce him well and
baste :
3740 He has deserved not any better fate ;

In bitter grief his trial there he awaits. «


Written it is, and in an andent geste^
How Charles called from manylancis his men,


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Assembled them at Aix, in his Chapelle.
3745 Holy that day, for some chief feast was held,
Saint Silvester's that baron's, many tell.
Thereon began the trial and defence
Of Guenelun, who had the treason spelt.
Before himself the Emperour has him led.


3750 " Lords and barons," Charles the King doth
" Of Guenelim judge what the right may be !
He was in th'host, even in Spain with me ;
There of my Franks a thousand score did steal,
And my nephew, whom never more you'll see,

3755 And Oliver, in 's pride and courtesy.

And, wealth to gam, betrayed the dozen peers."
" Felon be I," said Guen&, " aught to conceal !
He did from me much gold and wealth forfeit,
Whence to destroy and slay him did I seek ;

3760 But treason, no ; I vow there's not the least."
Answer the Franks : " Take counsel now must


So Guenelun, before the King there, stood ;

Lusty his limbs, his face of gentle hue ;

Were he loyal, right baron-fike he'd looked.
3765 He saw those Franks, and all who 'Id judge his

And by his side his thirty kinsmen knew.

After, he cried aloud ; his voice was full :
' " For Love of God, listen to me, baruns !

I was in th' host, beside our Emperour,
3770 Service^I did him there in faith and truth.

Hatred of me had Rollant, his nephew ;

So he decreed death for me and dolour.

Message I bare to king Marsiliun ;

By my cunning I held myself secure.
3775 To that fighter Rollant my challenge threw,

To Oliver, and ajl their comrades too ;


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Charl^ heard that, and his noble baruns.
Vengeance I gat, but there's no treason proved."
Answered the Franks : ** Now go we to the



3780 When Guen^s sees, his great cause is beginning,
Thirty he has around him of his kinsmen.
There's one of them to whom the others listen,
'Tis Pinabel, who in Sorence castle liveth ;
Well can he speak, soundly his reasons giving,

3785 A good vassal, whose arm to fight is stiftened.
Says to him Guenes : " In you my faith is fix6d.
Save me this day from death, also from prison."
Says Pinabel : " Straightway you'll be de-
Is there one Frank, that you to hang committeth?

3790 Let the Emperour but once together bring us,
With my steel brand he shall be smartly chidden.' '
Guenes the count kneels at his feet to kiss them.


To th' counsel go those of Bavier and Saxe,

Normans also, with Poitevins and Franks ;
3795 Enough there are of Tudese and Germans.

Those of Alveme the greatest court'sy have,

From Pinabel most qmetly <iraw back.

Says each to each : " 'Twere well to let it stand.

Leave we this cause, and of the King demand
3800 That he cry quits with Guenfes for this act ;

With love and faith he'll serve him after that.

Since he is dead, no more ye'U see RoUanz,

Nor any wealth nor gold may win him back.

Most foolish then is he, would do combat."
3805 There is but one agrees not to their plan ;

Tierri, brother to Don Geifreit, 's that man.


Then his barons, returning to Carlun,

Say to their King : " Sire, we beseech of you


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That you cry quits with county Guenelun,
810 So he may serve you still in love and truth ;
Nay let him live, so noble a man *s he proved.
Rollant is dead, no longer in our view,
Nor for no wealth may we his life renew.*'
Then says the King : " You're felons all of


81 < When Charles saw that all of them did fail,

Deep down he bowed his head and all his face ;
For th* grief he had, caitiff himself proclaimed.
One of his knights, Tierris, before him came,
Gefrei's brother, that Duke of Anjou famed ;

Sz'i Lean were his limbs, and lengthy and delicate.
Black was his hair and somewhat brown his face ;
Was not too small, and yet was hardly great ;
And courteously to the Emperour he spake :
" Fair Lord and King, do not yourself dismay !

B^ ^ You know that I have served you many ways :
By my ancestors should I this cause maintain.
And if Rollant was forfeited to XJuenes
Still your service to liim full warrant gave.
Felon is Guene, since th' hour that he betrayed,

S30 And, towards you, is perjured and ashamed :
Wherefore I judge that he be hanged and slain.
His carcass flung to th' dogs beside the way.
As a felon who telohy did make.
But, has he a friend that would dispute my claim

^35 With this my sword which I have girt in place
My judgement will I warrant every way.**
Answer tjie Franks : " Now very well you spake.**


Before the King is come now Pinabel ;
Great is he, strong, vassalous and nimble ;
I40 Who bears his blow has no more time to dwell :
Says to him : " Sire, on you this cause depends ;
Conftnand therefore this noise be made an end.
See Tierri here, who hath his judgment dealt ;


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I cry him false, and will the cause contest."
3845 His deer-hide glove in the King's hand he's

Says the Emperour : " Good pledges must I

Thirty kinsmen offer their loyal pledge.
" ni do the same for you," the King has said ;
Until the right be shewn, bids guard them well.


3850 When Tierri sees that battle shall come after,
His right hand glove he offereth to Charl^.
That Emperour by way of hostage guards it ;
Four benches then upon the place ne marshals
Where sit them down champions of either party.

3855 They're chos'n aright, as the others' judgement
cast them ;
Oger the Dane between them made the parley.
Next they demand their horses and their armour.


For battle, now, ready you might than see.
They're well confessed, absolved, from sin set
free ;
3860 Masses they've heard. Communion received.
Rich offerings to those minsters they leave.
Before Carlun now both the two appear :
They have their spurs, are fastened on their feet,
And, light and strong, their hauberks brightly
gleam ;
3865 Upon their heads they've laced their helmets
And girt on swords, with pure gold hiked each ;
And from their necks hang down their quartered

shields ;
In their right hands they grasp their trenchant

At last they mount on their swift coursing steeds.
3870 Five score thousand chevaliers therefor weep,


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For RoUant's sake pity for Tierri feel.

God knows full well which way the end shall be.


Down under Aix there is a pasture large
Which for the fight of th' two barons is marked.
Proof men are these, and of great vassalage,
And their horses, unwearied, gallop fast ;
They spur them well, the reins aside they cast,
With vutue great, to strike each other, dart ;
All of their sriields shatter and rend apart.
Their hauberks tear ; the girths asunder start.
The saddles slip, and fall upon the grass.
Five score thousand weep, who that sight regard.


Upon the ground are fallen both the knights ;
Nimbly enough upon their feet they rise.
Nimble and strong is Pinal;>^ls^ and light.
Each the other seeks ; horses are out of mind.
But with those swords whose hilts with gold are

Upon those helms of steel they beat and strike :
Great are the blows, those helmets to divide.
The chevaliers of France do much repine.
" O God ! '* says Charles, " Make plain to us

the right ! *^


Says Pinabel : " Tierri^ I pray thee, yield :

I'll be thy man, inWe and fealty ;

For thy pleasure my wealth I'll give to thee ;

But make the Kine with Gueneum agree.'*

Answers Tierri : Such counsel's not for me.

Pure felon I, if e'er I that concede !

God shall this day the right shew, us between I "


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Then said Tierii : " Bold art thou, Pinabel,
3900 Thou'rt great and strong, with body finely bred ;
For vassalage thy peers esteem thee well :
Of this batUe let us now make an end !
With Charlemagne I soon will have thee friends ;
To Guenelun such justice shall be dealt
3905 Day shall not dawn but men of it will tell/'

" Please the Lord God, not so ! " said PinabeL
** I would sustain the cause of my kindred
No mortal man is there from whom I've fled ;
Rather Fid die than hear reproaches said."
3910 Then with their swords began to strike again
Upon those helms that were with gold begemmed
Into the sky the bright sparks rained and fell.
It cannot be that they be sundered.
Nor make an end, without one man be dead.


3915 He's very proof, Pinabel of Sorence,

Tierri he strikes, on 's helmet of Provence,
Leaps such a spark, the grass is kindled thence ;
Of his steel brand the point he then presents,
On Tierri's brow the helmet has he wrenched

3920 So down his face its broken halves descend ;

And his right cheek in flowing blood is drenched;
And his hauberk, over his belly, rent.
God's his warrant. Who deaui from him pre-


Sees Tierris then that in the face he's struck,
3925 On grassy field runs clear his flowing blood ;
Strikes Pinabel on 's helmet brown and rough,
To the nose-piece he's broken it and cut.
And from his head scatters his brains in th' dust ;
Brandishes him on th' sword, till dead he's flung.
3930 Upon that blow is all the battle won.

Franks cry aloud : " God hath great virtue done.


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It is proved right that Guenelun be hung
And those his kin, that in his cause are come."


Now that Tierris the battle fairiy wins,
That Emperour Chari^ is come to him ;
Forty barons are in his following,
Naim^s the Duke, Oger that Danish Prince,
Geifrei d*Anjou, WilTalme of Blaive therewith.
Tierri, the King takes in his arms to kiss ;
And wipes his face with his great marten-skins ;
He lays them down, and others then they bring ;
The chevaliers most sweetly disarm him ;
An Arab mule they've brought, whereon he sits.
With baronage and joy they bring him in.
They come to Aix, halt and dismount therein.
The punishment of the others then begins.


His counts and Dukes then calls to him Carlun ;
"** With these I guard, advise what shall be done.
Hither they came because of Guenelun ;
For Pinabel, as pledges gave them up."
Answer the Franks : " Shall not of them live

The King commands his provost then,Basbrun :
" Go hang them all on th' tree of cursed wood !
Nay, by tms beard, whose hairs are white enough.
If one escape, to death and shame thou'rt struck !"
He answers him : " How could I act, save thus ?"
With an hundred Serjeants by force they come ;
Thirty of them there are, that straight are hung.
Who betrays man, himself and 's friends undoes.


Then turned away the Baivers and Germans

And Poitevins and Bretons and Normans.

Fore all the rest, 'twas voted by the Franks -— ^



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That Guen^ die with marvellous great pangs.

So to lead forth four stallions they bade ;
3965 After, they bound his feet and both his hands ;

Those steeds were swift, and of a temper mad ;

Which, by their heads, led forward four Serjeants

Towards a stream that flowed amid that land.

So Guen^ fell into perdition black ;
3970 All his sinews were strained until they snapped,

And all the limbs were from his body dragged ;

On the green grass his clear blood gushed and

Guen^ is dead, a felon recreant.

Who betrays man, need make no boast of that.


3975 When the Emperour had made his whole ven-
He c^ed to him the Bishops out of France,
Those of Baviere and also the Germans :
" A dame free-bom lies captive in my hands.
So oft she's heard sermons and rei)rimands,

3980 She would fear God, and christening demands.
Baptise her then, so God her soul may have."
They answer him : " Sponsors the rite demands,
Dames of estate and long inheritance."
The baths at Aix great companies attract ;

3985 There they baptised the Queen of Sarazands,
And found for her the name of Juliane.
Christian is she by very cognisance.


When the Emperour his justice hath achieved,
His mighty wrath's abated from its heat,

3990 And Bramimunde has christening received ;
Passes the day, th6 darkness is erown deep.
And now that King in 's vaulted chamber sleeps.
Saint Gabriel is come from God, and speaks :
" Simunon the hosts, Charl^, of thine jEmpire,

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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 9 of 10)