« PreviousContinue »
And having said thus much, he went his way;
And Alabaster he found out below, Doing the very best that in him lay
To root from out a bank a rock or two. Orlando, when he reached him, loud 'gan say,
“How think'st thou, glutton, such a stone to throw ?" When Alabaster heard his deep voice ring, He suddenly betook him to his sling,
And hurled a fragment of a size so large,
That if it had in fact fulfilled its mission, And Roland not availed him of his targe,
There would have been no need of a physician. Orlando set himself in turn to charge,
And in his bulky bosom made incision With all his sword. The lout fell; but o'erthrown, he However by no means forgot Macone.
Morgante had a palace in his mode,
Composed of branches, logs of wood, and earth; And stretched himself at ease in this abode,
And shut himself at night within his berth.
The giant from his sleep; and he came forth,
He thought that a fierce serpent had attacked him,
And Mahomet he called; but Mahomet
But praying blessed Jesu, he was set
And to the gate he came with great regret : “Who knocks here?” grumbling all the while, said he. “That,” said Orlando, “you will quickly see.
"I come to preach to you, as to your brothers,
Sent by the miserable monks repentance; For Providence divine, in you and others,
Condemns the evil done by new acquaintance. 'T is writ on high, your wrong must pay another's;
From heaven itself is issued out this sentence : Know, then, that colder now than a pilaster
your Passamont and Alabaster."
Morgante said, “O gentle cavalier !
Now by thy God say me no villainy; The favor of your name I fain would hear,
And if a Christian, speak for courtesy." Replied Orlando, “So much to your ear
I by my faith disclose contentedly, Christ I adore, who is the genuine Lord, And if you please, by you may be adored.”
The Saracen rejoined in humble tone:
“I have had an extraordinary vision; A savage serpent fell on me alone,
And Macon would not pity my condition. Hence to thy God, who for ye did atone
Upon the cross, preferred I my petition; His timely succor set me safe and free,
And I a Christian am disposed to be."
Orlando answered, “ Baron just and pious,
If this good wish your heart can really move To the true God, who will not then deny us Eternal honor, you
above. And if you please, as friends we will ally us,
And I will love you with a perfect love. Your idols are vain liars full of fraud; The only true God is the Christian's God.
“ The Lord descended to the virgin breast
Of Mary Mother, sinless and divine;
Without whom neither sun nor star can shine, Abjure bad Macon's false and felon test,
Your renegado God, and worship mine, Baptize yourself with zeal, since you repent."
To which Morgante answered, "I'm content."
And then Orlando to embrace him flew,
And made much of his convert, as he cried, “To the abbey I will gladly marshal you."
To whom Morgante “Let us go" replied : “I to the friars have for peace to sue.”
Which thing Orlando heard with inward pride, Saying, “My brother, so devout and good, Ask the abbot pardon, as I wish you would;
“Since God has granted your illumination,
Accepting you in mercy for his own, Humility should be your first oblation.”
Morgante said, “ For goodness's sake make known Since that your God is to be mine - your station,
And let your name in verity be shown; Then will I everything at your command do." On which the other said, he was Orlando.
“Then," quoth the giant, “ blessed be Jesu,
A thousand times with gratitude and praise ! Oft, perfect baron ! have I heard of you
Through all the different periods of my days; And as I said, to be your vassal too
I wish, for your great gallantry always." Thus reasoning, they continued much to say, And onwards to the abbey went their way.
Then to the abbey they went on together,
Where waited them the abbot in great doubt. The monks, who knew not yet the fact, ran thither
To their superior, all in breathless rout, Saying, with tremor, “ Please to tell us whether
You wish to have this person in or out ?” The abbot, looking through upon the giant, Too greatly feared, at first, to be compliant.
Orlando, seeing him thus agitated,
Said quickly, “ Abbot, be thou of good cheer: He Christ believes, as Christian must be rated,
And hath renounced his Macon false;" which here Morgante with the hands corroborated,
A proof of both the giants' fate quite clear: Thence, with due thanks, the abbot God adored, Saying, “Thou hast contented me, O Lord!”
He gazed; Morgante's height he calculated,
And more than once contemplated his size; And then he said, "O giant celebrated,
Know that no more my wonder will arise, How you
could tear and Aling the trees you late did, When I behold your form with my own eyes.” .
And thus great honor to Morgante paid
The abbot: many days they did repose. One day, as with Orlando they both strayed,
And sauntered here and there where'er they chose,
The abbot showed a chamber where arrayed)
Much armor was, and hung up certain bows;
There being a want of water in the place,
Orlando, like a worthy brother, said,
To go for water.” “You shall be obeyed
Upon his shoulder a great tub he laid,
Arrived there, a prodigious noise he hears,
Which suddenly along the forest spread; Whereat from out his quiver he prepares
An arrow for his bow, and lifts his head : And lo! a monstrous herd of swine appears,
And onward rushes with tempestuous tread, And to the fountain's brink precisely pours, So that the giant's joined by all the boars.
Morgante at a venture shot an arrow,
Which pierced a pig precisely in the ear, And passed unto the other side quite through,
So that the boar, defunct, lay tripped up near. Another, to revenge his fellow farrow,
Against the giant rushed in fierce career, And reached the passage with so swift a foot,
Morgante was not now in time to shoot.
Perceiving that the pig was on him close.
He gave him such a punch upon the head As floored him so that he no more arose,
Smashing the very bone; and he fell dead Next to the other. Having seen such blows,
The other pigs along the valley fled; Morgante on his neck the bucket took, Full from the spring, which neither swerved nor shook.
The tun was on one shoulder and there were
The hogs on t'other, and he brushed apace On to the abbey, though by no means near,
Nor spilt one drop of water in his race.
Orlando, seeing him so soon appear
With the dead boars, and with that brimful vase, Marvelled to see his strength so very great; So did the abbot, and set wide the gate.
The monks, who saw the water fresh and good,
Rejoiced, but much more to perceive the pork. All animals are glad at sight of food.
They lay their breviaries to sleep, and work With greedy pleasure, and in such a mood
That the flesh needs no salt beneath their fork; Of rankness and of rot there is no fear, For all the fasts are now left in arrear.
As though they wished to burst at once, they ate;
And gorged so that, as if the bones had been In water, sorely grieved the dog and cat,
Perceiving that they all were picked too clean.
A few days after this convival scene
The horse Morgante to a meadow led,
To gallop, and to put him to the proof, Thinking that he a back of iron had,
Or to skim eggs unbroke was light enough; But the horse sinking with the pain fell dead,
And burst, while cold on earth lay head and hoof. Morgante said, “Get up, thou sulky cur!” And still continued pricking with the spur.
But finally he thought fit to dismount,
And said, “I am as light as any feather, And he has burst: to this what say you, count?”
Orlando answered, “Like a ship's mast rather You seem to me, and with the truck for front:
Let him go; fortune wills that we together Should march, but you on foot, Morgante, still.” To which the giant answered, “So I will.
“When there shall be occasion, you shall see
How I approve my courage in the fight.” Orlando said, "I really think you 'll be,
If it should prove God's will, a goodly knight;