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Friday, May 15, 2015

The reasons of the heart (1)

The duel between Tancred and Argantes is suspended because night approaches. They will resume it tomorrow. Meanwhile, both peoples make predictions. Tasso now focuses on Nicaea [she was called Erminia in Gerusalemme Liberata], the Muslim princess who, quite surprisingly, roots for Tancred, not for Argantes. And the reason is that . . .

[7: 76]

E sta sospeso in aspettando il male,
De la crudel tenzone al fine intento,
E se 'l furore a la virtù prevale
O se cede la rabbia a l'ardimento.
Ma più di ciascun altro a cui ne cale
Nicea n'ebbe pensiero, anzi tormento,
Perché da lui, dopo l'alta ruina
Del regno, ella hebbe honor d'alta regina.

They remain on edge, expecting the worse,
Trying to guess the end of the cruel combat;
And whether fury may prevail on valor,
Or vice versa, rage must give in to courage.
More than any other caring about it,
Nicaea is worried, much troubled indeed,
Since, after the deep ruin of her kingdom,
By him (*) she was honored like a high queen.

(*) Tancred. He was not mentioned in the previous stanza, so his name must be mentally integrated by following logic -- or rather, the heart.