Friday, July 15, 2016

War strategies (4)

[16: 17, Ismen speaks to the Emir]

Tu vincerai sedendo, e la fortuna
Non credo io che tentar molto convegna.
Ma se 'l tuo figlio altier, che posa alcuna
Non vole, e benché honesta ancor la sdegna,
S'accende, come suol, d'ira importuna,
Trova modo pur tu ch'a freno il tegna,
Ché molto non andrà che 'l cielo amico
A te pace darà, guerra al nemico -.

"You will win (*) remaining seated; I guess
That it would not be wise try our luck.
But if your proud son (**) -- who does not like
Any pause, however honorable --
Burns with inopportune wrath as usual, 
Please find a way to hold him at bay,
For a friendly Heaven (***) will soon give
Peace to you and war to our enemies."

(*) Thus in the manuscript, as already in Gerusalemme Liberata. In the final printed text of the Conquistata the verb will be changed into guerreggierai, "you will wage war," that however seems less effective.
(**) The powerful Muslim knight Argantes, who in the Conquistata -- unlike in the Liberata -- takes on the role of one of Emir Ducat's sons; the latter being a historical personage, while Argantes is merely fictional.
(***) Or, cielo may simply mean the sky, i.e. the weather; see stanza no. 14.