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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

She, Armida (5)

[5: 25]

D'altre sirene anchor le rive herbose
Altre figlie nudrîr tra suoni e canti,
Che tra i bei gigli e le purpuree rose
Prendean co 'l dolce sonno incauti amanti;
Ma questa le più belle e più famose
Vinse cantando, e più co' bei sembianti.
Con questa il vecchio mago i suoi consigli
Comparte, e vuol ch'ella il pensier ne pigli.

Those grassy banks hosted more daughters
Of other mermaids among sounds and songs,
Who among beautiful lilies and red roses
Caught unwary lovers with sweet sleep;
But this(*) beat the most beautiful and renowned
Thanks to her voice, and more, her fine features.
With her the old wizard now shares his
Mind, and asks her to see to it.


(*) Armida

Notes
"Lilies and roses" was a poetical phrase meaning the women's breast.
Armida is the daughter of a 'passing sailor' and a (mer)whore.