Friday, January 17, 2014

No woman no cry (1)

[5: 75]

Ma 'l chiaro humor, che di lucenti stille
Sparge ligustri e rose in cui discende,
Opra effetto di foco, e 'n mille e mille
Petti serpe celato, e vi s'apprende.
O miracol d'Amor, che sue faville
Tragge dal pianto, e i cor ne l'acqua accende!
Sempre ha sovra natura alta possanza,
Ma 'n virtù di costei se stesso avanza.

But the clear humor that, with shining drops,
Spreads the roses and privets(*) where it falls,
Works as fire, and in a thousand and thousand
Chests it snakes hidden, and there clings.
Oh, the miracle of Love, who can draw
Sparks from tears, igniting hearts with water!
He is always over-powerful over nature,
But surpasses himself by virtue of this Lady.

(*) A paraphrasis to indicate women's, here Armida's, breast. Her crying (because of Godfrey's negative answer) gives Tasso the opportunity to display a typically Baroque erotic imagery. But, as we will see, these verses are full of hidden hints.