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Friday, February 13, 2015

Queue-jumper (2)

[7: 32]

Questi un fu di color cui dianzi accese
Di gir contra 'l pagano alto desìo;
Pur cedette a Tancredi, e 'n sella ascese
Fra gli altri che seguîrlo; e seco uscìo.
Hor veggendo sue voglie altrove intese,
E starne lui quasi al pugnar restìo,
Brama il primo tentar, fra mille lance,
Come sorte e valor s'appenda in lance.

This [Ives] was among those who most longed for the opportunity to fight against the pagan [knight Argantes]; but he finally gave way to Tancred, and rode behind him together with the others. Now, seeing that he has suddenly become interested in something else, (*) stopping as if unwilling to fight, Ives wants to experience first, among a thousand spears, how Fortune and Valor may be balanced. 

(*) Clorinda. The Italian wording here echoes Dante, Purgatorio 33: 99.
(**) Describing a duel as a -- more or less -- balanced result of luck, courage, and skill is a typical trait of the Renaissance poems of chivalry.