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Friday, December 4, 2015

On unintended pilgrimage (2)

[8: 2]

Qual dopo lunga e faticosa caccia
Tornan stanchi et anhelanti i cani
Che la fera perduta habbian di traccia,
Nascosta in selva dagli aperti piani,
Tal pieni d'ira e di vergogna in faccia
Riedon già lassi i cavalier christiani.
Ella pur fugge e, timida e smarrita,
Non si volge a mirar s'anco è seguita.

As after a long and laborious hunt
The hounds come back, tired and panting,
Because they lost the track of their prey (*)
Which hid in a wood from the plain,
So, with angry and ashamed faces,
The tired Christian knights now return.
She keeps fleeing, fearful and bewildered,
Without checking whether they still chase her.

(*) Dante used a simile like that in Inferno 17: 127-132, but referring to falconry. Here Tasso needed a kind of hunt that involved many people together, possibly after a boar (see Renaissance tapestries). Hunt images are quite frequent in his works; they conveyed several concepts he was fond of: Nature, nobility, action, danger, fear, death.