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Friday, May 1, 2015

Tancred vs Argantes (4)

[7: 60]

Ma poi ch'in ambo il minacciar feroce
Quinci e quindi infiammò l'orgoglio e l'ira,
L'un come l'altro rapido e veloce
Del campo prende, e subito si gira.
Musa, hor mi da' canora ed alta voce,
E furor pari a quel furor m'ispira,
Sì che non sia de l'opra indegno il carme
Ma s'agguagli il mio canto al suon de l'arme.

After in both of them the fierce threatening
Inflamed their pride and their wrath alike,
Each crosses the field as swiftly and quickly
As the other, and immediately turns.
Now, O Muse, give me a strong, high voice,
And inspire in me a fury like that fury,
So that my verses may suit the deeds
And my song match the sound of weapons!

Already Dante had asked the Muse for disharmonic sounds (see Inferno 32: 1), but it is quite unusual in Christian poetry to invoke fury on oneself, although there is some parallel -- if ironic -- example in Ariosto (see Orlando Furioso 1: 2).