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Friday, May 2, 2014

Rebel With a Cause (2)

[6: 31] The tragedy looms

- Quel che concedi tu da te non voglio,
Ché non essendo tuo, non puoi tu darlo -
Rispose l'altro con maggiore orgoglio,
Pur com'ei fosse il successor di Carlo.
- Ma s'io son quel ch'io era, e qual io soglio,
Perché teco e di ciò contendo e parlo? -
- E chi sei tu? - soggiunge il gran Guiscardo,
Volgendo in lui turbato e fero sguardo.

"What you 'grant' I do not ask you for,
For, not being yours, you can hardly give it,"
Gernand replied with increasing pride,
As if he were the son of Charlemagne.
"But, if I am who I was and who I still am, (*)
Why do I talk and dispute about it with you?"
 "And who are you?" says the Great Guiscard,
Now looking at him with dark, fierce eyes.

(*) The wording in Italian recalls Dante, Paradiso 12: 123. Unlike most poets and writers, Tasso -- especially in his long poem Il Mondo Creato -- quotes Dante's Purgatorio and Paradiso much more often than the Inferno.