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would have climbed, but his throbbing heart could no more, and again he fell swooning on the ground. A Saracen who, out of fear, had feigned death, saw him lying there and crawled out of the covert where he lay concealed.
"It is Roland, the nephew of the Emperor!" he joyously thought, and in triumph he said to himself, "I shall bear his sword back with me!" But as his Pagan hand touched the hilt of the sword and would have torn it from Roland's dying grasp, the hero was aroused from his swoon. One great stroke cleft the Saracen's skull and laid him dead at Roland's feet. Then to Durendala Roland spoke:
"I surely die; but, ere I end.
"Let me be sure that thou art ended too my friend!
"For should a heathen grasp thee when I am clay.
"My ghost would grieve full sore until the judgment day! "
More ghost than man he looked as with a mighty effort of will and of body he struggled to his feet and smote with his blade the marble boulder. Before the stroke the marble split asunder as though the pick-axe of a miner had cloven it. On a rock of sardonyx he strove to break it then, but Durendala remained unharmed. A third time he strove, and struck a rock of blue marble with such force that the sparks rushed out as from a blacksmith's anvil. Then he knew that it was in vain, for Durendala would not be shattered. And so he raised Olifant to his lips and blew a dying blast that echoed down the cliffs and up to the mountain tops and rang through the trees of the forest. And still, to this day, do they say, when the spirit of the warrior rides by night down the heights and through the dark