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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Whatcha gonna do now, Tancred? (3)

[16: 35]

Vassene il valoroso in sé ristretto,
Tacito e solo al pauroso bosco,
E sostien de la selva il fero aspetto,
Qual novo inferno spaventoso e fosco:
Né per tuon sbigottisce il forte petto
O per belva che spiri o fiamma o tosco.
Trapassa; et ecco in quel selvaggio loco
Sorge improviso la città del foco.

The valiant knight now goes all alone
And silent to the frightening wood, (*)
Withstanding the forest's fierce appearance,
Like a novel hell, dark and appalling:
His strong heart does not fear the thunders
Nor the beasts that spit flames or venom. (**)
He passes; and lo! in that wild place
The city of fire suddenly pops up.

(*) A textual collage from Dante, see Inferno 23: 1 and 1: 6. The exact reference to Dante's wording, taciti e soli, is a stylistic improvement of Gerusalemme Conquistata.
(**) A dragon, at last, in this poem of chivalry! This detail also was absent in Gerusalemme Liberata: it has been added in the Conquistata, as a further confirmation that GC is a strengthened -- not a weaker -- version of GL.