Monday, March 31, 2014

The Song of Roland

Another example is The Song of Roland [here], the epic poem about Charlemagne’s great knight in battle. The strange, esoteric phrase ‘AOI’ repeats often after stanzas–it has a strange magnetic quality to it for some reason.

I like this excerpt below especially. Alde is the woman who was to marry Roland but he’s just died, when she finds out, she collapses and dies from shock and grief. It's simple but sad, and it's a moving moment in the Roland epic:

Alde the fair is gone now to her rest.  
  Yet the King thought she was but swooning then,  
  Pity he had, our Emperour, and wept,  
  Took her in's hands, raised her from th'earth again;  
  On her shoulders her head still drooped and leant.  
  When Charles saw that she was truly dead  
  Four countesses at once he summoned;  
  To a monast'ry of nuns they bare her thence,  
  All night their watch until the dawn they held;  
  Before the altar her tomb was fashioned well;  
  Her memory the King with honour kept.

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