SiStan ChapLee

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Rebel With a Cause (5)

[6: 40] Berserkr!

Parve un tuono la voce, e 'l ferro un lampo
Che di folgor accesa annuntio apporte;
Tremò colui, né vide fuga o scampo
Da la vicina e minacciosa morte.
Pur fa sembiante d'huom ch'in duro campo
Habbia intrepido schermo, animo forte:
E 'l gran nemico attese, e 'l ferro tratto,
Si dimostrò gran difensore in atto.

His(*) voice was like thunder; his sword,
Lightning heralding the burning flash.
Gernand shivered, seeing no way of escape
From nearing and threatening Death,
But tried to look like one who in battlefield
Has firm defense and a brave heart:
He waited for the great enemy(**) and drew
His sword, ready to strongly defend himself.

(*) Richard's
(**) From Dante, Inferno 6: 115, referring to the demon Pluto who is likened to a wolf in his turn; that strengthens the effect of Richard going berserk.

More notes
Tasso keeps using the refined term ferro (lit.: iron) instead of the plain spada (sword).
In the parallel stanza in Gerusalemme Liberata 5: 27, Gernand "tries his best to look strong and brave, since the whole Camp is witnessing." Here in GC, only the two warriors are left, like zooming in to make the episode more dramatic.