Friday, December 12, 2014

Meanwhile on the opposite front (1)

After so many pages devoted to the events in the Christian Camp (especially those concerning Richard and Armida), Tasso shows us the situation from the point of view of the Muslim army and people within the walls of Jerusalem.

[7: 1]

Ma d'altra parte le rinchiuse genti
Sperano in stato dubbio e malsicuro,
Ch'oltra il raccolto cibo, integri armenti
Son lor dentro condotti al cielo oscuro;
Et han munite d'arme e di instrumenti
Di Borea inverso Borea il forte muro:
E là 'nde più lunga fatica alzollo
Non mostra di temer percossa o crollo.

But, on the other side, the enclosed people 
Hope, though in a dubious and insecure state;
In fact, besides the gathered food, whole herds
Were brought inside under cover of darkness;
And with weapons and instruments, they
Fortified the strong North wall northward: (*)
Where they have built it with longer labour,
It will not fear damages from blows or tremors.

(*) In the final printed version, these two lines were then modified: E di machine e d'arme e fochi ardenti / Munito fia verso Aquilone il muro, "And with devices and weapons and burning fires / they fortified the Northern wall," also using a different wind name to indicate the North, Aquilone instead of Borea.