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Friday, September 9, 2016

Trees are tough (9)

Godfrey of Bouillon is informed that "there's something strange in the neighborhood. . . Who ya gonna call?"

[16: 32.7 - 33.8]

Poi disse: - Ciò che fia? forse prestigi
Son questi, o di male arte opre, o prodigi?

Ma s'alcun v'ha cui nobil voglia accenda
Di tentar que' selvaggi aspri soggiorni,
Vadane pure, e tutto veggia e 'ntenda,
E messaggier più certo a noi ritorni -.
Così disse egli; e la gran selva horrenda
Tentata fu ne' duo seguenti giorni,
Ma ciascuno affermò che fiero incanto
L'haveva in guardia, e non si diè più vanto.

And he said, "What's this? Hocus-pocus, (*)
Or the works of black magic, or miracles?
But if someone, burning with noble desire,
Wished to examine those wild places,
Let him go, and watch everything there,
And come back with more certain news."
He spoke, and the great and hideous forest
Was combed for the two following days;
But they all said a fierce incantation
Shielded it, and they all stopped to brag.

(*) Jugglers etc. were common in the Middle Ages too, but Tasso had the Renaissance feasts in his mind, which were cheered up by masquerades, pageants, fireworks, mobile structures and all kinds of special effects. Even Leonardo Da Vinci designed some.