Imágenes de páginas

Rose from the hostile hosts. The exultant Franks
Clamour their loud rejoicing, whilst the foe
Lift up the warning voice, and call aloud
For speedy succour there, with deafening shout
Cheering their comrades. Not with louder din
The mountain torrent flings precipitate
Its bulk of waters, tho' amid the fall
Shattered, and dashing silvery from the rock.

Lo! on the bridge he stands, the undaunted man
Conrade! the gathered foes along the wall
Throng opposite, and on him point their pikes,
Cresting with armed men the battlements.
He, undismayed tho' on that perilous height,
Stood firm, and hurl'd his javelin; the keen point
Pierced thro' the destined vi&tim, where his arm
Join'd the broad breast : a wound that skilful care
Haply had heald ; but, him disabled now
For farther service, the unpitying throng
Of his tumultuous comrades from the wall

Thrust headlong. Nor did Conrade cease to buri
His deadly javelins fast, for well within
The tower was stor’d with weapons, to the Chief
Quickly supplied : nor did the mission'd Maid
Rest idle from the combat ; she, secure
Aim'd the keen quarrel, taught the cross-bow's use
By the willing mind that what it well desires
Gains aptly: nor amid the numerous throng,
Tho' haply erring from their destin'd mark,
Sped her sharp arrows frastrate. From the tower
Ceaseless the bow-strings twang: the Knights below,
Each by his pavais bulwark'd, thither aim'd
Their darts, and not a dart fell woundless there,
So thickly throng'd they stood, and fell as fast
As when the Monarch of the East


forth From Gemna's banks and the proud palaces Of Delhi, the wild monsters of the wood Die in the blameless warfare : closed within The still-contracting circle, their brute force Wasting in mutual rage, they perish there,

Or by each other's fury lacerate,
The archer's barbed arrow, or the lance
Of some bold youth of his first exploits vain,
Rajah or Omrah, for the war of beasts
Venturous, and learning thus the love of blood.
The shout of terror rings along the wall,
For now the French their scaling ladders place,
And bearing high their bucklers, to the assault
Mount fearless : from above the furious troops-
Hurl down such weapons as inventive care,
Or frantic rage supplies : huge stones and beams
Crush the bold foe; some, thrust adown the height,
Fall living to their death ; some in keen pangs
And wildly-writhing, as the liquid lead
Gnaws thro' their members, leap down desperate,
Eager to cease from suffering. Still they mount,
And by their fellows' fate unterrified,
Still dare the perilous way. Nor dangerless
To the English was the fight, tho' from above
Easy to crush the assailants: them amidst

Fast fled the arrows; the large * brass-wing'd darts,
There driven resistless from the espringal,
Keeping their impulse even in the wound,
Whirl as they pierce the victim. Some fall crush'd
Beneath the ponderous fragment that descends
The heavier from its height: some, the long lance,
Impetuous rushing on its viewless way,
Transfix'd. The death-fraught cannon's thundering roar
Convulsing air, the soldier's eager shout,
And Terror's wild shriek echo o'er the plain
Io dreadful harmony.

Meantime the Chief,
Who equall’d on the bridge the rampart's height,
With many a well-aim'd javelin dealing death,
Made thro' the throng his passage: he advanced
In wary valour o'er his slaughtered foes,
On the blood-reeking wall. Him drawing near,
Two youths, the boldest of the English host,

* These darts were called Viretons, from their whirling about in the air.

Prest on to thrust him from that perilous height;
At once they rush'd upon him : he, his axe
Dropping, the dagger drew ; one thro' the throat
He pierced, and swinging his broad buckler round,
Dash'd down his comrade. So, unmoved be stood,
The sire of Guendolen, that daring man,
Corineus ;* grappling with his monstrous foe,

* And here, with leave bespoken to recite a grand fable, though dignifyed by our best poets, while Brutus on a certain festival day, solemnly kept on that shore where he first landed, was with the people in great jollity and mirth, a crew of these savages breaking in among them, began on the sudden another sort of game than at such a meeting was expected. But at length by many hands overcome, Goemagog the hugest, in height twelve cubits, is reserved alive, that with him Corineus who desired nothing more, might try his strength; whom in a wrestle the giant catching aloft, with a terrible ugg broke three of his ribs: nevertheless Corineus enraged heaving him up by main force, and on his shoulders bearing him to the next high rock, threw him headlong all shattered into the sea, and left his name on the cliff, called ever since Langoemagog, which is to say, the Giant's leap."


The expression brute vastness is taken from the same work of Milton, where he relates the death of Morindus. « Well

« AnteriorContinuar »