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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

War strategies (1)

[16: 13]

Il mago, poi che homai nulla più manca,
Da quel notturno incanto al re se 'n riede.
-  Signor, lascia ogni dubbio e 'l cor rinfranca,
C'homai secura è questa eccelsa sede;
Né rinovar può gente ardita e Franca
L'alte machine sue, com'ella crede -.
Così gli dice, e poi di parte in parte
Narra i successi de la magica arte.

Now that all is fixed, the wizard goes back
To the king(*) after the nocturnal spell.
"My Lord, do away with doubts, cheer up!
This high seat(**) is now perfectly safe,
Nor can our enemy, however Frank, (***)
Build new siege devices as they think,"
He says, then explains to him in detail
The successful works of his wizardry.

(*) Emir Ducat, a historical personage.
(**) The king's stronghold in Jerusalem, more or less corresponding to the Antonia Fortress.
(***) The pun works, or fails to work, in both languages. As a matter of fact, not even in Italian does franco precisely mean "valiant." As a people's name, "Franks" was employed by Muslims as a synonym of Westerners, Crusaders in general; the term is used still nowadays by Palestinian Arabs.