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Friday, April 8, 2016

And in fact, Argantes. . . (3)

[8: 45]

Lieto più che mai fosse, allhor le prende
Né del gran peso è la persona onusta;
E l'acuta sua spada al fianco appende
Ch'è di tempra finissima e vetusta.
Qual con sanguigna chioma horrida splende
La cometa crudel per l'aria adusta,
Ch'i regni muta e i feri morbi adduce,
A' purpurei tiranni infausta luce,
. . .

Unusually happy, he then takes them on, (*)
Nor can such weight oppress his body;
He also girds on his very sharp sword,
A work of the finest and oldest kind.
As with its horrid coma, blood-like,
A cruel comet shines in the burning air
Overthrowing kings and causing plagues,
Unhappy light to purple-clad tyrants. . . (**)

(*) The set of pieces of his armor.
(**) The Renaissance experienced a true comet-mania. The Italian word chioma (from Latin coma) does not mean "tail" but "hair," that makes a comet appear as a terrifying head. John Milton would use this imagery to describe the villains par excellence, the devils, starting from Azazel in Paradise Lost, bk 1, who "shone like a meteor."