SeeStan ChapLee

Friday, January 3, 2014

And the answer is . . . (2)

[5: 68]

- S'al servigio di Dio, ch'a ciò n'elesse,
Volta la mia non fosse, e l'altre spade,
Potei qui fra le genti a te concesse
Aïta ritrovar nonché pietade.
Ma se queste sue mura, e queste oppresse
Greggi non torniam prima in libertade,
Giusto non è, con iscemar le genti,
Ch'io di nostra vittoria il corso allenti.

[Godfrey's reply to Armida:] "If my sword, as well as the others, were not at the service of God, Who chose us for this, you could find here, among these people given to you,(*) not only piety but actual aid. But if we don't first secure the liberty of these walls and these oppressed 'flocks,' I would do wrong to slow down the run of our Victory by diminishing the troops."

(*) He obviously means "me," as it can be read in the final printed version, in fact. In spite, or rather, just because of the seriousness of his words, Godfrey/Tasso incurs a Freudian slip. And it isn't the only occurrence of this psychological phenomenon in the poem.