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Friday, November 7, 2014

What about Armida? (3)

No way, Armida does not succeed in seducing Godfrey. So, she tries with somebody else, but it looks like it is her unlucky day . . .

[6: 97]

Ma contra sue lusinghe invitto almeno
Tancredi hor fu, ch'arse già a dramma a dramma;
Però ch'altro desìo gli accende il seno,
Tal che di novo incendio hor non l'infiamma;
Ma come guarda l'un d'altro veneno,
Tal d'amore fiamma d'amorosa fiamma.
Questi soli non vinse, o nulla o poco;
Avampò ciascun altro al dolce foco.

But unconquered by her enticements stood
Tancred now, who already burned ounce by ounce; (*)
In fact, another longing(**) lights up his bosom,
That's why she won't ignite him with new fire,
But, as a drug(***) defends against poison,
So does a flame of love against another. (****)
These only she could not, or not completely, defeat;
All others did burn up with that sweet fire.

(*) From Dante, Purgatorio 30: 46, 48.
(**) For the Muslim she-warrior Clorinda. An interesting example of interfaith 'dialogue.'
(***) Literally, poisons acting against one another; but here the Greek term pharmakon is implied, meaning both venom and medicine. On a similar occasion, Ariosto used a phrase that is still common in Italian: chiodo scaccia chiodo, "one nail drives out another."
(****) In the final printed version the wording will be a little different, but amounting to the same thing: Tal antica d'Amor da nova fiamma.