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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Trees are tough (4)

[16: 22]

Questi, appressando ove il lor seggio han posto
Gli empi demoni in quel selvaggio horrore,
Non rimirâr le nere ombre sì tosto
Che lor si scosse e tornò ghiaccio il core.
Pur oltre ancor se 'n gìan, tenendo ascosto
Sotto audaci sembianti il vil timore,
E tanto s'avanzâr che lunge poco
Erano homai da l'incantato loco.

These, (*) approaching the place where the ungodly
Devils set their own seats in that wild horror, (**)
No sooner had a look at the black shadows
That their hearts shook and turned(***) into ice.
Yet, they marched on keeping their cowardly
Fear hidden under bold countenances,
And advanced so much as to being not far
From the very enchanted forest now.

(*) The knights escorting the carpenters.
(**) Tasso often employs the word "horror" hinting at its original meaning, from the Latin verb horresco, "to be bristling" with branches, thorns, etc.
(***) Here the Italian verb tornare, usually meaning "to come back," is used in the same sense as "to turn into."