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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

This is a thriller night (11)

[7: 124]

Raccogliete me, dunque, e 'n voi si trove
Quella pietà che mi promise Amore
E ch'io già vidi prigioniera altrove
Nel mansüeto mio dolce signore.
Né già desìo di racquistar mi move,
Con l'armi vostre, il mio reale honore;
Quando ciò non avvenga, assai felice
Io mi terrò se 'n voi servir mi lice -.

"So, please welcome me. (*) Let me find
There that pity that Love promised
And I already saw, as a prisoner,
In my lord who proved so sweet and gentle. (**)
I am not driven by the desire to have (***)
Back my royal honor with your weapons: (****)
Even if this should not happen, I will
Be happy to remain here as a servant."

(*) She 'talks' to the Christian tents, and indirectly to their occupants.
(**) Nicaea had been a war prisoner of Tancred, who behaved as a true gentleman with her and finally freed her.
(***) Paraphrasing Dante, Inferno 2: 72.
(****) Nicaea is the daughter of the Turkish Sultan, Solyman. She thinks that she might be able to regain her royal status by -- secretly -- marrying Tancred. This is less odd than it may seem at first sight, as the Crusaders, in this fictional poem, even accepted to help the self-styled "Muslim Queen" Armida. And it is historically true that, after the Crusade, alliances were often secured between Christian and Muslim leaders to fight against their respective adversaries.