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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The choice of Nicaea (9)

[7: 97, Love speaks]

Parte anchor poi ne le sue lodi havresti,
E ne l'opre di lui, alte e famose;
E lieta ei ti farìa di baci honesti,
O di nozze (o ch'io spero) al volgo ascose.
Poi glorïosa et honorata andresti
Tra le più liete e più felici spose
Là nella bella Italia, ov'alta sede
Ha 'l valor vero e la più vera fede -.

"You would then partake in his(*) praise
And in his deeds, so noble and famous;
He would cheer you up with chaste kisses,
Or -- hopefully -- with a secret wedding. (**)
Then, glorious and honored, you would go
Among the most joyful and happy spouses
To beautiful Italy, (***) the noble seat
Of true valor and of the truest faith." (****)

(*) Tancred's
(**) Interfaith marriages were inconceivable. But Nicaea is not ready, either, to convert to Christianity so as to make things easier, in spite of her mad love: in fact, converts -- from Islam to Christianity, or vice versa -- were basically despised even by their new brothers in faith. Nicaea is a princess, after all. Noblesse oblige.
(***) The literary character Tancred is based on a historical personage, a Norman warlord from Southern Italy.
(****) Cf. Dante, Inferno 2: 19-24.