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Friday, March 20, 2015

Knights Gallery (2)

[7: 47]

Poi, riguardando il suo gentil fratello,
Pur a dito il dimostra, e pur le chiede:
- Chi è colui che nel purpureo vello
D'or non riluce, e seco par si vede,
Che men robusto par ma, dritto e snello,
Gli altri co 'l capo e con le spalle eccede? -
- È Baldovin (risponde) e ben si scopre
Nel volto a lui fratel, non pur ne l'opre.

Then, noticing Godfrey's noble brother, the Emir points at him and asks Nicaea, "Who is that one, who, though not shining in a purple cloak, looks a peer of him? He looks less muscular but, slender and upright, exceeds all others by the head and shoulders." She answers, "That is Baldwin, and his features, not only his deeds, well witness that he is his own brother."


Notes
The description of Baldwin is based on King Saul's in I Samuel 9: 2. In a sense, if Godfrey equals King David, then his brother is likened to a lesser Biblical leader strictly linked with him. As a matter of fact, however, throughout Tasso's poem Baldwin will not prove as great as Godfrey.