Thursday, March 4, 2021

The Song of Roland


A long distance shooter friend, JF, sent this in today, from the journalist and former Communist, Whittaker Chambers:

It seemed to me that I had a more important task to do, one that was peculiarly mine. It was not to attack Communism frontally. It was to clarify on the basis of the news, the religious and moral position that made Communism evil. I had been trying to make a negative point. Now I had to state the positive position, and it was a much more formidable task than attack. It meant explaining simply and readably for millions the reasons why the great secular faith of this age is wrong and the religious faith of the ages is right; why, in the words of the Song of Roland, the Christians are right and the heathen are wrong.


I'd say there's a lesson to be drawn from that and a good one, but I'll spare you the sermon. Instead, consider the Song of Roland, the great, epic, 11th century chivalric poem. Betrayal, heroism, faith, the battle of good versus evil, all that and far more. It's also bloody. 

Here's Archbishop Turpin in action against Corsablix at the battle of Roncevaux, in which Roland and the ferocious if saintly prelate ultimately die:

To strike that king by virtue great goes he,
The hauberk all unfastens, breaks the shield,
Thrusts his great spear in through the carcass clean,
Pins it so well he shakes it in its seat,
Dead in the road he's flung it from his spear.
Looks on the ground, that glutton lying sees,
Nor leaves him yet, they say, but rather speaks:
"Culvert pagan, you lied now in your teeth,
Charles my lord our warrant is indeed;
None of our Franks hath any mind to flee.
Your companions all on this spot we'll keep,
I tell you news; death shall ye suffer here.
Strike on, the Franks! Fail none of you at need!
Ours the first blow, to God the glory be!"
"Monjoie!" he cries, for all the camp to hear. 

Despite steely Almace and his lance, Turpin's mortally wounded, though he continues to fight the heathen: 

Come on afoot a thousand Sarrazens,
And on horseback some forty thousand men.
But well I know, to approach they never dare;
Lances and spears they poise to hurl at them,
Arrows, barbs, darts and javelins in the air.
With the first flight they've slain our Gualtier;
Turpin of Reims has all his shield broken,
And cracked his helm; he's wounded in the head,
From his hauberk the woven mail they tear,
In his body four spear-wounds doth he bear;
Beneath him too his charger's fallen dead.
Great grief it was, when that Archbishop fell.

Turpin of Reims hath felt himself undone,
Since that four spears have through his body come; 
Nimble and bold upon his feet he jumps;
Looks for Rollant, and then towards him runs,
Saying this word: "I am not overcome.
While life remains, no good vassal gives up."
He's drawn Almace, whose steel was brown and rough,
Through the great press a thousand blows he's struck:
As Charles said, quarter he gave to none;
He found him there, four hundred else among,
Wounded the most, speared through the middle some,
Also there were from whom the heads he'd cut:
So tells the tale, he that was there says thus,
The brave Saint Giles, whom God made marvellous,
Who charters wrote for th' Minster at Loum;
Nothing he's heard that does not know this much. 

Wow, and you can and should read the whole thing here before it's banned by the rainbow Maoists and better still, in the original, which rings.

Chanson in mind, it's said that William the Conqueror's minstrel  went into the Battle of Hastings singing the Song of Roland, and most certainly, Bishop Adhemar de Monteil carried arms in the First Crusade. A mace, perhaps.

What a far cry from the Church of the West as it is today, cowering from a sickness with a 99.8% survival rate, as it cravenly parrots the faddish shibboleths of our corporate sponsored, oligarch, leftist elite establishment and their billionaire CCP heathen patrons. 

Draw the moral as you like, but what would Olifant say? 




Beans said...

Bishop Odo, William's half-brother, carries a mace as represented on the Bayeaux Tapestry (that's really an embroidery, but tomato, tomahto...)

As to Communism/Socialism... Any -ism that focuses man's attention away from the Holy to the unholy is a big arsed negative thing.

"Song of Roland." Man, that's an oldy but goody. Used to be able to recite portions of it, in French. Sadly, I got old and forgot most of my French.

But, yes, pounding the living dog-snot out of Satan's forces, well, there better be a darned good song related to it.

Roland et al definitely served as a good delaying action allowing the remaining Franks to get their collective stuff together and then, well, lay the HAMMER down on the invaders.

Undergroundpewster said...

The old mainline denominations have spineless bishops. The are Chamberlains instead of contenders for the faith. Sycophants not Olifants.

LL said...

Psalms 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

4Branch said...

Thank you for that. Like Beans, I've lost my French, but once, we did all our classes in the French Canadian version. Song of Roland, indeed.

As to the Cong . . . kill 'ém all. They are a deadly virus infecting the human race.
Let Christ in His mercy save whom He will. I am not He, and my judgement is spoke.

SgtBob said...

The time of the warrior priest and the warrior bishop. Today's sing not "Soldiers of Christ arise and put your armor on." Wringing their hands, they say, "No, no. God is love. God is love." Yes, but if that is the only measure of their belief, they have applied only surface makeup and do not understand anything that pierces the mind and the heart.

Unknown said...

God is indeed Love, but love is kind and not nice. Does a good mother not act boldly to stop a child from harm? Love without justice is mere flattery and not Love. The love of the Bible is action, as is the faith therein. Warm and fuzzies are an afterglow, they are not the thing itself. The thing itself, love, like a fire, burns hot.

LSP said...

That they did, Beans, with a vengeance. Fierce stuff, eh?

Odo's mace may have been a sign of office, I think William the C carries one too in the same embroidery. But that's besides the point, they were warriors. No doubt about it.

You can imagine what they'd make of the current hierarchy.

LSP said...

Well said, Pewster. Sycophants not Olifants.

Might have to quote you.

LSP said...

LL, and we have to add, "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." Reality and error have a way of colliding. But yes, Monjoie!

LSP said...

4Branch, my french is rusty too, and Latin/Greek... but have a look at the original Chanson and you might be surprised at how much comes back. The verse has great, heroic, uplifting strength and purity. It's also warlike.

With you on the Cong.

LSP said...

Sgt. can you imagine any of those bureaucrats actually dying for a Faith they don't believe in? I think that cuts close to the heart of things, a crew of careerist secularists pretending to be something they don't believe in anyway.

So, memo to self -- up your game, LSP.

LSP said...

Well said, Unknown. The age equates love with sentiment and feeling, and it has those qualities, but more than that, it's an act of will and a consuming fire to boot. Personified, of course, in the Holy Spirit which burns away all that's wicked.

Speaking of which, the late Anglican Bishop, Terwilliger, used to say, "Those who go against the Holy Spirit (and the fire of Divine Love) will be relentlessly destroyed by that same Spirit." Terrifying.

He was clearly channeling Bishops Turpin, Adhemar and Odo, to say nothing of the Revelator.

SgtBob said...

LSP: I can't see the bureaucrats putting themselves in position to die for anything. When soldiering, dying for a friend or fellow soldier is a thing never spoken and never thought about. Writing the words lessens the thought. The idea of sacrifice brings an emotion greater and at the same time different than any other. Love, hate, patriotism are all emotions and beliefs, but less than the idea of a true sacrifice. Hope that makes sense.

LSP said...

Sgt., I'd say that makes very good sense indeed. With your words in mind, let's ask ourselves what the chivalric ideal was and then, moving on, how we can live it.

I think that's worth doing because I think it was a good ideal. OK, romantic, but nonetheless, worthy.

Hope that makes sense.

SgtBob said...

LSP: I never wanted to be a knight, but as an adolescent and teenager I read books with chivalrous ideas and ideals, and on the Crusades, where ideas were upheld by some and stomped in pig pens by others. It has always been that way. I am lucky to have been raised a Texan, where good and bad are pretty much ingrained with the pinto beans and turnip greens.

LSP said...

Sgt., I read those kinds of books too, from a pretty early age. The Crusades? They're trashed now, but what a movement of faith -- marching to free the Holy Land from the Moslem invader. And, of course, to get some loot.

Too bad they didn't take Damascus, which would've made it far harder for the northern (Persia) and southern (Egypt) aspects of Islam to join up and crush Outremer. Well, they're failure came back to destroy them in the form of Saladin.

All hail Texas.

Ed Bonderenka said...

It seems I missed this post til now.
Hmm. My middle name is Roland.

LSP said...

It's a powerful thing, Ed.