Lion de Bourges: Folios 131 – 140 (lines 25329-27146)

Read in English

The next day, the Christians of Anseïs confront the heathens who are on the verge of victory, when God sends the White Knight to help Olivier and the Christians. Galienne takes advantage of the opportunity to make Olivier aware of her feelings for him and to give him a ring as a token of her love.

The following day, Olivier helps Anseïs win back Burgos, which the king then gives to him as a reward. Olivier therefore becomes known as Olivier de Burgos. Shortly afterwards, Anseïs dies and leaves Galienne as his only heir, who then marries Olivier. The son of Lion becomes the king of all of Spain. However, during the first night with Galienne, a heavenly voice encourages him to reveal his origin and to leave for Palermo, since it is there that he will find his father, his mother and a brother.

After three months at the walls of Reggio, Girart finally succeeds in capturing the prince of Taranto but refuses to hand him over to Lion. The latter goes to meet Girart in order to punish him for his disobedience. Girart reveals his origin and Lion embraces him, recognizing him as his son. Girart captures his uncle, the duke of Garnier, who is executed, as is the prince of Taranto, while Genoivre is burnt. The protectors of Reggio surrender.

After the takeover of Reggio, Lion announces that he will reward whoever can find his son Herpin, baptized as Olivier by the cow herder Elie. The latter presents himself in front of Lion and speaks of Olivier, whom Lion recognizes because he wears a red cross on the shoulder. Lion orders Elie and the squire Henry to find his son, while he heads for Palermo, leading his troupes with Girart and Thiéry.

Elie and Henry head for Burgos. They had barely arrived in the city, when they learn of the deeds of Olivier as well as his marriage to Galienne. She welcomes them and tells them of Olivier’s departure for Palermo. Olivier is at the walls of the city of Palermo, at the same time as Lion. Galienne describes Olivier’s shield. Back in Palermo, Elie and Henry let Lion know that his son is in his army and that he can be recognized by his shield which has a silver angel, crowned with gold, on an azure background.

Lion rejoices as he hopes to find his second son, as well as Florantine, Bauduyn and Marie. The latter are not far from Lion, since they have been living at Palermo for a long time, with Ysoré, the good heathen.

Early in the morning, Lion attacks Palermo. The inhabitants are in a difficult situation because they are lacking supplies. Florantine encourages Bauduyn to help win back the camp of the Christians. Thanks to the help of Ysoré who wants to be baptized, they all succeed at getting through the walls of the city but get captured in the moats. The Christians who capture them are none other than Girart and Olivier, both being on guard that night. That day, Florantine notices the remarkable resemblance between the twins and then she recognizes Lion. The reunion of the entire family causes great rejoicing. Shortly after, Lion gives Marie to Girart in marriage and gives him the duchy of Calabria.

Palermo falls, the heathen Sinagon escapes to Falise, which belongs to his niece Gracienne. Lion penetrates Palermo and gives it as a gift to Guillaume. Then he returns to Monlusant (which had been changed to Montoscour) to restore the city. It is there that Florantine falls ill and dies. Afflicted by the death of his wife, Lion secretly withdraws to a hermitage to spend the rest of his life in prayer. He leaves a letter for his sons, in which he divides his possessions: Guillaume receives Bourges and Olivier receives Sicily.

At this time, Herpin de Chypre wages war against the heathens of the Holy Land. He appeals to the army of Olivier, and it is at Ascalon that the latter joins the forces of Herpin.

Back to top