THE BOOK OF ROMANCE - online children's book

King Arthur, His Court and Knights in the Age of Chivalry, by Andrew Lang

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But Roland leaped off, and smote the Saracens, who turned and fled before him. He was too weak to follow after them, and turned to see if the Archbishop still breathed. Kneeling by his side he unlaced Turpm's golden helmet, and bound up his gaping wounds. Then he pressed him closely to his heart and laid him gently on the ground. ' 0 friend, we must take farewell of each other, now all our comrades have gone before us. But let us do all we can for their bodies, which cannot be left lying here. I will myself go and seek their corpses, and bring them here and place them in rows before you.'
' Go,' answered the Archbishop, ' but do not stay long. Thanks be to God, the victory remains with you and me.'
Alone Boland searched the battle-field; he went up the sides of the mountains, he descended into the plains, and everywhere he saw the dead faces of his friends. One after another he brought them, and laid them at the feet of Turpin, and at the sight of their faces the Arch­bishop wept sore. Then he held up his hand to bless them for the last time. 'Noble Lords,' he said, 'you have fallen upon evil days. May God receive your souls into His Paradise. As for me, among all the pains I suffer, the worst is that never shall I see my Ernperor again.'
Under a pine, close to a sweet-briar, the corpse of Oliver was lying, and Roland raised him in his arms and bare him to the Archbishop, where he laid him on a shield, near to the other peers. Then his heart broke with a cry, and he fell fainting beside Oliver. At the sight of Roland's grief the Archbishop's own sorrow grew double, and he stretched out his hand for the horn which lay near him. A stream ran down the valley of Ronce-valles, and he dragged himself towards it, to fetch water to revive Roland. But he was too weak from the blood he had lost to reach the river, and he fell where he stood. 'Pardon for my sins,' lie said, and died, the servant of 14
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