The first, a man of cruel face, had one
Eye only, swiveling from right to left.
The other eye, nostril and jaw were gone,
Perhaps by some shrewd adversary cleft;
And when his one-eyed glance had fallen on
Orlando, to the others with a swift,
Malicious smile he said: 'See in the net
A bird I hadn't counted on to get!'
Then, turning to the Count: 'My dear Sir, I'm
So glad to see you here; good afternoon!
Was it your own idea this rock to climb,
Or did someone suggest how great a boon
Your arms would be to me? For a long time
I've wanted some like yours. Most opportune
Is your arrival here today; indeed
You bring me just exactly what I need.'
Orlando, rising, answered with a wry,
Sardonic smile: 'I am prepared to sell,
But let us see if you're prepared to buy.
These are my terms: pray, scrutinize them well.'
And from the hearth, where flames were leaping high,
He seized a brand and flung it (truth to tell)
At random, but it hit the rogue between
The nose and where two eyebrows once had been.
Although it struck the villain centrally,
More harm it caused him on the left-hand side,
Blinding the eye through which he still could see;
And not content with this, the brand, beside,
Despatched him to Inferno rapidly,
In Chiron's subdivision, there to bide,
Shot at by arrows and immersed in blood,
With fellow murderers and all that brood.