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Friday, June 28, 2013

The Tasso Revised Version (2)

Tasso divides his version of Psalm 15 into three octaves (groups of 8 verses), GC 2: 60-62. This is the first one. The translation will be as literal as possible so as to show the differences with the two 'more accurate' versions supplied yesterday.

Dicean: - Qual novo habitator famoso
Hor nel tuo albergo d'habitar fia degno?
Chi nel tuo santo monte havrà riposo,
O Re celeste e di celeste regno?
Mentre spiega la notte il velo ombroso,
Chi vi s'acqueta dal tuo pio disdegno?
Chi parla fra suo cor senza menzogna
Ned ingannar con falsa lingua agogna.

The said, "What new, famous dweller
Will now be worthy of dwelling by Your seat?
Who will enjoy rest in Your holy mountain,
O heavenly King of a heavenly Kingdom?
As Night unfolds her shadowy veil,
Who can recover there from Your saintly wrath?
Those who speak in their hearts without any lie,
Nor do they want to deceive by a false tongue.
. . ."

The changes introduced by the poet are of several kinds, all of them very typical of him. He stresses the element of landscape, especially "by night," as well as the negative attitude of those who lie and deceive their neighbors. God is a Baroque one, a glorious King who, at the same time, must be feared because of His wrath but also, with an oxymoron, a God whose wrath is saintly. Another basic feature of Tasso's poetry is a need for rest, quiet, silence, peace. But especially, the person who will be worthy of dwelling in the holy mount of Sion is a "famous" one, namely Godfrey of Bouillon, the head of the Crusaders.