SiStan ChapLee

Friday, June 24, 2016

In the dark, dark forest (9)

[16: 10, Wizard Ismen conjuring devils]

A quel parlar, le faci onde s'adorna
Il seren de la notte egli scolora,
E la luna si turba, e le sue corna
Di nube avolge, e non appar più fora.
Irato i gridi a raddoppiare ei torna:
- Spiriti invocati, hor non venite anchora?
Forse aspettate, o neghittosi e lenti,
Suon di voci più occulte o più possenti?

By saying so, he discolors the lamps
That adorn the serene sky by night;
The moon darkens by enveloping 
Its horns in the clouds, and disappears.
In anger he now redoubles his shouts:
"Conjured spirits, aren't you coming yet?
Are you waiting, O you lazy and slow,
For more secret or more powerful words?"

Something is apparently going wrong with the ritual. Ismen reacts in a typical fit of rage (a mood Tasso knew all too well), i.e. insulting those he should 'charm.' Noticeably, Ismen's phrasing was less offensive in the corresponding octave in Gerusalemme Liberata (13: 9): "Why do you tarry so long?"