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Down from their saddles both together slide,
Together mourned they, and together died.
That done, Sabino's lance with nimble force
He cut in twain, and 'gainst the stripling bold
He spurred his steed, that underneath his horse
The hardy infant tumbled on the mould,
Whose soul, out squeezed from his bruised corpse,
With ugly painfulness forsook her hold,
And deeply mourned that of so sweet a cage
She left the bliss, and joys of youthful age.
But Picus yet and Lawrence were on live,
Whom at one birth their mother fair brought out,
A pair whose likeness made the parents strive
Oft which was which, and joyed in their doubt:
But what their birth did undistinguished give,
The Soldan's rage made known, for Picus stout
Headless at one huge blow he laid in dust,
And through the breast his gentle brother tht.
Their father, but no father now, alas!
When all his noble sons at once were slain,
In their five deaths so often murdered was,
I know not how his life could him sustain,
Except his heart were forged of steel or brass,
Yet still he lived, pardie, he saw not plain
Their dying looks, although their deaths he knows,
It is some ease not to behold our woes.
He wept not, for the night her curtain spread
Between his cause of weeping and his eyes,
But still he mourned and on sharp vengeance fed,
And thinks he conquers, if revenged he dies;
He thirsts the Soldan's heathenish blood to shed,
And yet his own at less than naught doth prize,
Nor can he tell whether he liefer would,
Or die himself, or kill the Pagan bold.
At last, "Is this right hand," quoth he, "so weak,
That thou disdain'st gainst me to use thy might?
Can it naught do? can this tongue nothing speak
That may provoke thine ire, thy wrath and spite?"
With that he struck, his anger great to wreak,
A blow, that pierced the mail and metal bright,
And in his flank set ope a floodgate wide,
Whereat the blood out streamed from his side.
Provoked with his cry, and with that blow,
The Turk upon him gan his blade discharge,
He cleft his breastplate, having first pierced through,
Lined with seven bulls' hides, his mighty targe,
And sheathed his weapons in his guts below;
Wretched Latinus at that issue large,
And at his mouth, poured out his vital blood,
And sprinkled with the same his murdered brood.
On Apennine like as a sturdy tree,
Against the winds that makes resistance stout,
If with a storm it overturned be,
Falls down and breaks the trees and plants about;
So Latine fell, and with him felled he
And slew the nearest of the Pagans' rout,
A worthy end, fit for a man of fame,
That dying, slew; and conquered, overcame.
Meanwhile the Soldan strove his rage
To satisfy with blood of Christian spilled,
The Arabians heartened by their captain stern,
With murder every tent and cabin filled,
Henry the English knight, and Olipherne,
O fierce Draguto, by thy hands were killed!
Gilbert and Philip were by Ariadene
Both slain, both born upon the banks of Rhone.
Albazar with his mace Ernesto slew,
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