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Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Tasso Revised Version (3)

[2: 61]

Chi mal non fece al suo vicino oppresso
Perseguendo fortune afflitte e sparte,
E vergogna non hebbe e scorno appresso
Incontra, lui ch'odio da sé diparte;
Nulla è il maligno al tuo cospetto istesso,
Signor, nulla gli giova ingegno ed arte;
Ma glorïoso è chi t'honora e teme
Sino a le parti de la terra estreme.

[Lord, who may dwell in Your sacred tent? . . . ] 
Who did no evil to his oppressed neighbor
By running after vexed and scattered fortunes, 
Nor does he have shame and humiliation against
Himself, who removes hate from himself.
The evil one is nothing in Your sight,
O Lord: useless are his quick wits and art.
But he is glorious, who honors and fears You
Up to the farthest ends of the earth.

This part of the Psalm is almost completely different from the original text. Tasso stresses the negative sides he could see in his society, his own life and personal problems included. Another feature of his times is indicated in the last verse, one of the many - clear or hidden - references to the discovery of America. As to verses 5-6, they may also be translated as "The Evil One . . ." therefore providing a key for the whole poem, with an obvious parallelism with Milton's purpose in writing Paradise Lost.

Next issue on Monday. Tomorrow it will be up to our Sunday Guest.

60 YEARS
of priesthood:
all the best,
Fr. Elio!