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Friday, July 31, 2015

The choice of Nicaea (10)

[7: 98]

Da tai speranze lusingata (ahi stolta!)
Somma felicità finge e figura;
Ma pur si trova in mille dubbi avolta,
Come partir si possa indi secura,
Perché vegghian le guardie, e sempre in volta
Vanno d'intorno a le guardate mura,
Né porta alcuna in perigliosa guerra
Senza grave ragion mai si diserra.

Cajoled by such hopes -- oh, you fool! -- (*)
She figures out the greatest happiness.
But she then feels inside a maze of doubts,
How she may leave safely from there, (**) since
The guards watch, and continuously in turn
They go all around the guarded walls;
And among the dangers of war no gates
Can be opened without a grave reason. (***)

(*) This may freely be a comment of Tasso on his own life.
(**) Jerusalem
(***) The last two lines have been modified in the final printed version: Sin che si mostra il dì ne l'orizonte / Né mai s'apre la porta o cala il ponte, ". . . [walls] so long as the sun is above the horizon; / No gates are opened, no drawbridges lowered."

The next GerusalemmeConquistata post will be online on September 1. Have a nice summer!