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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What the hell (2)

[5: 4-5]

Corron gli Dei d'abisso in varie torme
A le caliginose oscure porte:
O come strane, o come horribil forme,
Quanto è negli occhi lor terrore e morte!
Stampano alcuni il suol di ferine orme
E 'n fronte humana han chiome d'angui attorte;
E volgon dietro la pungente coda
Che, quasi sferza, si ripiega e snoda.

. . .
E 'n vari mostri, e non più intesi o visti,
Diversi aspetti fûr confusi e misti.

The Gods of Abyss run, in varied swarms, to the dark, obscure doors. Oh, what strange, what horrible shapes! Terror and death in their eyes! Some leave animal footsteps on the ground, and have locks of entangled snakes on human foreheads, and wag stinging tails that, like whips, coil and unwind.  . . .  And in various monsters, never to be conceived or seen, different features were confused and mixed.

Welcome to Pandemonium. Instead of this world, meaning "All Demons" and coined by Milton, Tasso in GC 5: 2 uses the phrase "Concilio horrendo," a hideous Council, like a devilish mockery of the Council of Trent. In the last verse here quoted a reference to Dante, Inferno 25, especially verses 71-72 can be detected too.