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From savage brutes alone, too fierce to tame,
'Twas fit our quiet dwelling to secure; But now, if here we'd stay, we needs must guard Against domestic beasts with watch and ward.
“These make us stand, in fact, upon the watch;
For late there have appeared three giants rough; What nation or what kingdom bore the batch
I know not, but they are all of savage stuff;
You know, they can do all - we are not enough:
“Our ancient fathers living the desert in,
For just and holy works were duly fed; Think not they lived on locusts sole, 'tis certain
That manna was rained down from heaven instead : But here 'tis fit we keep on the alert in
Our bounds, or taste the stones showered down for bread, From off yon mountain daily raining faster, And flung by Passamont and Alabaster.
“The third, Morgante, 's savagest by far; he
Plucks up pines, beeches, poplar trees, and oaks, And flings them, our community to bury;
And all that I can do but more provokes.'
A stone from one of their gigantic strokes,
“For God's sake, cavalier, come in with speed;
The manna's falling now," the abbot cried. “This fellow does not wish my horse should feed,
Dear abbot," Roland unto him replied.
That stone seems with good will and aim applied.”
Orlando bade them take care of Rondello,
And also made a breakfast of his own : “ Abbot,” he said, “I want to find that fellow
Who flung at my good horse yon corner stone."
Said the abbot: “Let not my advice seem shallow;
As to a brother dear I speak alone;
“ That Passamont has in his hand three darts
Such slings, clubs, ballast stones, that yield you must; You know that giants have much stouter hearts
Than us, with reason, in proportion just : If go you will, guard well against their arts,
For these are very barbarous and robust." Orlando answered, “ This I'll see, be sure, And walk the wild on foot to be secure."
The abbot signed the great cross on his front,
“Then go you with God's benison and mine: Orlando, after he had scaled the mount,
As the abbot had directed, kept the line Right to the usual haunt of Passamont;
Who, seeing him alone in this design, Surveyed him fore and aft with eyes observant, Then asked him, “If he wished to stay as servant ?”
And promised him an office of great ease.
But, said Orlando, “Saracen insane! I come to kill you, if it shall so please
God, not to serve as footboy in your train; You with his monks so oft have broke the peace
Vile dog! 'tis past his patience to sustain." The giant ran to fetch his arms, quite furious, When he received an answer so injurious.
And being returned to where Orlando stood,
Who had not moved him from the spot, and swinging The cord, he hurled a stone with strength so rude,
As showed a sample of his skill in slinging;
And head, and set both head and helmet ringing,
Then Passamont, who thought him slain outright,
Said, “I will go, and while he lies along, Disarm me: why such craven did I fight?”
But Christ his servants ne'er abandons long,
Especially Orlando, such a knight,
As to desert would almost be a wrong. While the giant goes to put off his defenses, Orlando has recalled his force and senses :
And loud he shouted, “Giant, where dost go ?
Thou thought'st me doubtless for the bier outlaid; To the right about - without wings thou’rt too slow
To fly my vengeance - currish renegade!
The giant his astonishment betrayed,
Orlando had Cortana bare in hand;
To split the head in twain was what he schemed: Cortana clave the skull like a true brand,
And pagan Passamont died unredeemed, Yet harsh and haughty, as he lay he banned,
And most devoutly Macon still blasphemed: But while his crude, rude blasphemies he heard, Orlando thanked the Father and the Word,
Saying, “What grace to me thou'st this day given!
And I to thee, oh Lord ! am ever bound.
Since by the giant I was fairly downed.
Our power without thine aid would naught be found :
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 my new acquaintance. 'Tis writ on high — your wrong must pay another's;
From heaven itself is issued out this sentence.
Morgante said, “Oh 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
Eternal honor, you will go above,
And I will love you with a perfect love.
“ The Lord descended to the virgin breast
Of Mary Mother, sinless and divine; If you acknowledge the Redeemer blest,
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,
“Since God has granted your illumination,
Accepting you in mercy for his own, Humility should be your first oblation.”
Morgante said, "For goodness' sake, make known Since that your God is to be mine your
“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: