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And to be quite destroyed was most afraid,
Aurelius, to his everlasting fame,
Preserved in peace the folk that him obeyed:
Next whom was Forest, who the rage withstood
Of the bold Huns, and of their tyrant proud.
Known by his look was Attila the fell,
Whose dragon eyes shone bright with anger's spark,
Worse faced than a dog, who viewed him well
Supposed they saw him grin and heard him bark;
But when in single fight he lost the bell,
How through his troops he fled there might you mark,
And how Lord Forest after fortified
Aquilea's town, and how for it he died.
For there was wrought the fatal end and fine,
Both of himself and of the town he kept:
But his great son renowned Acarine,
Into his father's place and honor stepped:
To cruel fate, not to the Huns, Altine
Gave place, and when time served again forth leapt,
And in the vale of Po built for his seat
Of many a village a small city great;
Against the swelling flood he banked it strong,
And thence uprose the fair and noble town
Where they of Est should by succession long
Command, and rule in bliss and high renown:
Gainst Odoacer then he fought, but wrong
Oft spoileth right, fortune treads courage down,
For there he died for his dear country's sake,
And of his father's praise did so partake.
With him died Alforisio, Azzo was
With his dear brother into exile sent,
But homeward they in arms again repass --
The Herule king oppressed -- from banishment.
His front through pierced with a dart, alas,
Next them, of Est the Epaminondas went,
That smiling seemed to cruel death to yield,
When Totila was fled, and safe his shield.
Of Boniface I speak; Valerian,
His son, in praise and power succeeded him,
Who durst sustain, in years though scant a man,
Of the proud Goths an hundred squadrons trim:
Then he that gainst the Sclaves much honor wan,
Ernesto, threatening stood with visage grim;
Before him Aldoard, the Lombard stout
Who from Monselce boldly erst shut out.
There Henry was and Berengare the bold
That served great Charles in his conquest high,
Who in each battle give the onset would,
A hardy soldier and a captain sly;
After, Prince Lewis did he well uphold
Against his nephew, King of Italy,
He won the field and took that king on live:
Next him stood Otho with his children five.
Of Almeric the image next they view,
Lord Marquis of Ferrara first create,
Founder of many churches, that upthrew
His eyes, like one that used to contemplate;
Gainst him the second Azzo stood in rew,
With Berengarius that did long debate,
Till after often change of fortune stroke,
He won, and on all Italy laid the yoke.
Albert his son the Germans warred among,
And there his praise and fame was spread so wide,
That having foiled the Danes in battle strong,
His daughter young became great Otho's bride.
Behind him Hugo stood with warfare long,
That broke the horn of all the Romans' pride,
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