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Thursday, November 21, 2013

She, Armida (12)

[5: 42]

Armida is lead in the presence of Godfrey of Bouillon, and she 'explains' to him why she has come to the Christian camp, in spite of her (fictionally) being a Muslim:

Et io, che nacqui in sì diversa fede,
Lunge da l'acque del tuo Reno algenti,
Per te spero acquistar la nobil sede
E lo scettro, signor, de' miei parenti.
E s'altri aita a' tuoi congiunti hor chiede
Contra il furor de le straniere genti,
Io poi ch'in lor non ha pietà più loco,
Contra il mio sangue il ferro hostile invoco.

"So I, who was born in such a different faith
And far from the cold waters of your Rhine,
Hope you will help me regain the noble seat
Together with my parents' scepter, O Lord.
Others asked your comrades for help
Against the wrath of a foreign people;
I, since no room has been left there to pity,
Call enemy swords against my own blood."

In current Italian "parenti" means "relatives," but here - as well as in Dante - the term still keeps its original Latin meaning of parentes, i.e. "parents" like in English.