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Friday, March 13, 2015

Forbidden love (2)

[7: 42.3 - 43.4]

- Ohimè, ben il conosco, et ho ben donde,
Fra mille riconoscerlo degg'io;
Perché niun più spesso i campi e l'onde
Già del sangue spargea del popol mio.
Ahi quanto è fero nel ferire! A piaga
Ch'ei faccia, herba non giova od arte maga.

Egli è Tancredi, e prigioniero un giorno
Solo il vorrei, e no 'l vorrei già morto,
Perch'egli fosse al mio sì grave scorno
Dolce vendetta, o pur dolce conforto -.

"Alas, I know him all too well! Not by chance
Would I recognize him among one thousand:
Nobody else did more often sprinkle fields
And waters with the blood of my own people.
Ha, he wounds so fiercely! Against his blows
No herb and no magic skills will help.
He is Tancred -- and as my prisoner, alone,
I would like to have him one day, not dead,
So that for my deep sorrow he might be
A sweet vengeance, or sweet comfort."


Notes
Nicaea masks her feelings by using two-way expressions with reference to Tancred.
The hint at magic is not accidental either, since Nicaea is a herbalist/witch. In general, passing from Gerusalemme Liberata to the Conquistata Tasso develops a more negative view on magic, in line with his epoch, which shifted from Ariostesque irreverence to Counter-Reformation.