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Friday, March 27, 2015

It's clobberin' time! (1)

After a digression in which the Muslim princess, Nicaea -- secretly in love with the Christian knight, Tancred -- introduced the main Christian knights to us, the 'camera' shifts back to the battlefield, where Ives (Christian) is about to fight a duel against Argantes (Muslim) since Tancred quit, distracted by his secret love for Clorinda. Incidentally, in this set of characters, Argantes is the only one who simply loves his own wife.

[7: 52]

Tancredi intanto d'ira infiamma il petto
E per vergogna pur, qual fiamma, è rosso,
Perch'ad onta si reca et a dispetto
Ch'altri sia primiero in giostra mosso.
Ma 'l fero Argante nel fin elmo, a prova eletto,
A mezzo 'l corso è già da Ivon percosso.
Egli, a l'incontro, a lui rompe lo scudo,
Poscia l'usbergo, in guisa il colpo è crudo.

Tancred's heart meanwhile burns with wrath,
And his cheek looks red like fire out of shame
As he considers it dishonor and annoyance
That somebody else may enter the joust first.
The fierce Argantes in his fine, chosen helmet
Is already hit by Ives in the midst of the run-up;
Argantes, in his turn, breaks Ives' shield and
Then the hauberk, so strong is the blow.