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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Entrapped (1)

[8: 38]

Fra l'ombre de la notte e de gli incanti
Il vincitor no 'l segue più né 'l vede,
Né può cosa vedersi a lato o avanti,
E muove dubbio e malsicuro il piede;
E su l'entrar d'un uscio i passi erranti
A caso mette, né d'entrar s'avede:
Ma sente poi che suona a lui di retro
La porta, e 'n luogo il serra oscuro e tetro.

Among those shadows of night and magic
The winner(*) does not follow nor see him(**)
Nor can he see a thing around himself,
So he takes uncertain, hesitant steps. (***)
Wandering at random, Tancred then
Crosses a doorstep without realizing it;
Just, he hears a door suddenly creak
And close him inside a wholly dark place.

(*) Tancred and (**) the anonymous warrior.
(***) Curiously enough, the words in the manuscript, here reported, had been spelled like in current Italian: muove (moves, takes a step) and malsicuro (hesitant), but in the printed edition they were edited according to a now outdated spelling, i.e. move and mal securo.
Mysterious castles with dark interiors, creaking doors, sudden traps. . . would become commonplace after Horace Walpole, but they were not in the 16th century.