Doña Alda was in Paris
the wife of Don Roland
three hundred ladies with her
to keep her company;
all are dressed the same,
their shoes are all the same,
they all eat at one table,
they all ate from one loaf,
except for Doña Alda
because she was their mistress.
A hundred were spinning gold,
a hundred weave fine silk,
a hundred played on instruments
for Doña Alda's pleasure.

To the sound of the instruments
Doña Alda has fallen asleep;
and she has dreamed a dream,
a dream of great importance.
She remembered it with terror
and with enormous fear,
the cries she uttered were so loud
that they were heard in the city.
There her maidens spoke,
and you'll hear what they said:
"What is it now, my lady?
Who was it hurt you so?"
"I dreamed a dream, my maidens,
that made me much distressed:
I saw myself on a mountain
in some deserted place;
and over the highest mountains
I saw a goshawk fly,
behind it came an eaglet
that harried it most sore.
The goshawk in great panic
hid underneath my skirts;
the eaglet in great fury
went to drag it out:
with his talons he defeathered it,
with his beak he ripped it open."

Then her lady's maid spoke up,
and you'll hear what she said:
"This frightful dream, my lady,
I can explain to you:
the goshawk is your husband
who comes from across the sea;
and the eaglet is yourself
whom he is to marry,
and that mountain is the church
where you shall both be wed."
"If that is true, my girl,
I shall repay you well."

Next day, in the morning,
they brought letters from abroad;
inside there came the ink,
outside was written in blood.
They said Roland had died
in the hunt at Roncesvalles.

Translator: Brian Cole

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