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Friday, November 20, 2015

This is a thriller night (16)

[7: 129]

In the manuscript:
Così costei che de l'amor la sete
Onde l'infermo core arde e sfavilla
Temprar ne l'accoglienze honeste e liete
Credeva, e far la mente ivi tranquilla,
Hor che contra a lei vien chi glie 'l diviete
(Quasi membrando chi primier rapilla)
Se stessa e 'l suo desire ella abbandona,
E 'l veloce destier timida sprona.

In the final printed version:
Così costei che l'amorosa sete
Onde l'infermo core arde e sfavilla
Temprar ne l'accoglienze honeste e liete
Credeva, e far la mente in lor tranquilla,
Hor che contra lei vien chi glie 'l diviete
(Quasi obliando chi primier rapilla)
Se stessa e 'l suo desir quasi abbandona,
E 'l veloce destier timida sprona.

[As a doe, etc.]
So Nicaea, who thought her thirst of love
Because of which her sick heart burns
Would be quenched by an honest, happy
welcome (*) brightening up her mind,
Sees those (**) who prevent her from doing so
And, almost forgetting her first "kidnapper," (***)
Almost leaves herself and her desire
Behind and, trembling, spurs her swift steed.

(*) From Tancred. The words "accoglienze [h]oneste e liete" are a literal quotation from Dante, Purgatorio 7: 1.
(**) The Christian sentries.
(***) Tancred, to whom she had been given as a war slave; he honored her and then freed her. Meanwhile, she fell in love with him.

The translation refers to the final printed text. Tasso's editing basically aims at improving syntax and style, with a couple of exceptions. In line 6, the frightened woman "almost forgets" the man he loves, does not "almost remember" him as in the manuscript, probably an oversight due to two alternative feelings the poet wanted to express at the same time. In line 7, Tasso adds that she "almost" leaves her desire behind, not completely. The concept, though not the wording, may recall Dante, Purgatorio 2: 75.