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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Iliad? Il y a (2)

[7: 35]

Assagurro, Aladin, Orcan famoso
Sedean, canuti il crin, severi il ciglio,
Con altri che da l'arme havean riposo
Ma pronti erano di lingua e di consiglio;
E cicale pareano in faggio ombroso
D'antichissima selva al gran bisbiglio,
Quando intorno del canto, a' raggi estivi,
Suonano i boschi più frondosi e i rivi.

Assagour, Aladdin and the famous Orcan
Sat, all white-haired and stern-browed,
With others who had ceased to fight,
But were ready to speak and counsel.
They resembled cicadas on a shady beech
In the wide whisper of an ancient forest,
When, all around, the brooks and the leafiest
Woods re-echo that song in the sunshine.


Notes
In comparison with the parallel episode in the Iliad, Tasso further stresses the funny features of the old 'retired' warriors, as well as the charm of Nature.
In the final printed text of Gerusalemme Conquistata, for some reason, the poetical faggio, beech, was changed into a mere tronco, tree trunk.