SiStan ChapLee

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

We do need another hero (2)

[16: 53, Peter the Hermit speaks to Godfrey of Bouillon]

- Lascia il pensiero ardito: altri convene
Che de le piante sue la selva spoglie.
Ma chi de l'indegnissime catene
Il bramato guerrero homai discioglie,
Mentre il mar carco e le minute arene
Son di schiere e di navi e d'auree spoglie?
Già il nemico possente a turba afflitta
Più s'avicina, e l'hora è 'n ciel prescritta -.

"Quit this bold project; (*) it will be up
To someone else to clear-cut the forest. (**)
But, who will from that most shameful chains
Free, at last, the warrior we all long for,
Now that the sea and the sands are full
Of armies, and ships, and gold equipments?
Our strong enemies already see our
Vexed crowds -- the predestined time has come!"

(*) To defy the enchanted forest himself.
(**) Richard. Recap: The final victory is destined, of course, to the 'anointed' hero. In Gerusalemme Conquistata, Riccardo (Richard) replaces the Rinaldo of the Liberata. The two share the same adventures, in part, and in part not. Rinaldo had been seduced by the witch Armida and brought from Jerusalem to an island in the Atlantic Ocean; Riccardo has been seduced by the witch/mermaid Armida and brought, more simply, to Lebanon. Peter the Hermit does not know that Richard has already been freed, secretly, by two volunteers, the knights Ruperto (Rupert) and Araldo ( = Harold?). Rupert, as we will discover, happens to be the male lover of Richard, as Patroclus was to Achilles in the Iliad; and this is surely the most significant novelty in the Conquistata, while recalling that Tasso himself was bisexual and mainly homosexual.