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Bardic Arts

Song of Roland
by
Leah Raedaelf of Pagham
February 5, AS XXXVIII (2004)

Refrain:
          Will you sound your horn, Roland, for the sake of our lives?
          Will you call the king back to our aid?
          There’s twenty against us for each man of ours.
          Must we die for your pride on their blades?

Our king rides ahead of us, o’er the wild mountains,
His back turned to Saracen Spain.
No hints of deception will make him look backwards,
He leaves us behind on the plains.

(Refrain)

Old Ganelon sold himself to buy our deaths here-
His honor worth less than his pride.
But, Roland, you have the means to bring our king back-
Just raise the great horn from your side.

(Refrain)

Look ‘round you, we’re forced to fight vastly outnumbered.
Surrounded, it’s clear we shall fall.
So what’s to be gained by the spending of our lives?
What stays you from raising that call?

(Refrain)

“I’ve promised to serve my king with my whole being,”
Was all of the answer he gave.
“And though this may mean that I face my fate alone,
I’ll keep my king’s faith to my grave.”

(Refrain)

We’re gathered here, shriven and ready for battle,
Each knowing we die for our friend.
With swords drawn we face the hordes closing around us,
Together we stand at the end.

(Refrain)

And with your last breath, now that death can’t be cheated,
You raise your great horn to the sky.
Thrice sound out the call that will bring our avengers,
Then down with the fallen you lie.

Did you sound your horn, Roland, for the sake of our lives?
Did you call the king back to our aid?
There’s twenty foes fallen for each man of ours.
But we’ve died for your pride on their blades.


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