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Nor will I less Orlando's acts rehearse,
A tale nor told in prose, nor sung
Who once the flower of arms, and wisdom's boast,
By fatal love his manly senses lost.
If she, for whom like anguish wounds my heart,
To my weak skill her gracious aid impart,
The timorous bard shall needful succour find,
To end the task long ponder'd in his mind.
Vouchsafe, great offspring of th’ Ilcrculean line,
In whom our age's grace and glory shine,
Ilippolito, these humble lines to take,
The sole return your poet e'er can make;
Who boldly now his gratitude conveys
In sheets like these, and verse for duty pays :
Nor deem the labour poor, or tribute small;
'Tis all he has, and thus he offers all!
Ilere midst the bravest chicfs prepare to view,
(Those honour'd chiefs to whom the lays are due)
Renown'd Rogero, from whose loins I trace
The ancient fountain of your glorious race:
My muse the hero's actions shall proclaim,
IIis dauntless courage, and his deathless fame;
So you awhile each weightier care suspend,
And to my tale a pleas'd attention lend.
Orlando, long with amorous passion fir’d,
The love of fair Angelica desir’d:
For her his arms immortal trophies won,
In Media, Tartary, and India known.
Ver. 33. Orlando, long---] See General View of Boyarlo's Story.
Now with her to the west he held his course,
Where Charlemain encamp'd his martial force,
And near Pyrene's hills his standard reard,
Where France and Germany combin'd appearil,
That Spain and afric's monarchs to their cost,
Might rue their vain designs and empty boat:
This, suunmon'd all his subjects to the field,
Whose hand could lift the spear, or falchion wield;
That, once again impell’d the Spanish race,
To conquer Gallia, and her realm deface.
And hither to the camp Orlando drew,
But soon, alis! his fatal error knew :
How oft the wisest err! low short the span
Of judgment here bestow'd on mortal man!
She, whom from distant regions safe he brought,
She, for whose sake such bloody fields he fought,
No sword unsheath’d, no hostile force apply’rl,
Amidst his friends was ravish'd from his side.
This Charles had dooin'd the discord to compose,
That 'twixt Orlando and Rinaldo rose,
Each kindred chief the beauteous virgin claim'd;
Deep hatred hence each rival heart inflam'd:
The king, who griev'd to see the knights engage
With fatal enmity and jealous rage,
Remov'd til’unhappy cause, and to the care
Oi great Bavaria’s duke, consign’d the fair;
Ver. 15. Thut, once again impellu---] “ Marsilius, king of Spain, who being worstesi by Gridsso), king of Sericane, did hoinage to him for his crown, and joint him: three princes afterwards turned their forces against Charlemain.”
Orl. Innam. B. i, C. i, ii, &r. Ver. 57. Each kindrul chief-] Orlando and Rinaldo were cousins. Ver. 02. --- Bavaria's duke;---] Nainus, duke of Bavaria.
Yet promis'd he should bear the maid away,
IIis valour's prize, on that important day,
Whose arm could best the Pagan might oppose,
And strow the sanguine plain with lifeless foes.
But Heaven dispers’d these hopes in empty wind:
The Christian bands th' inglorious field resign'd;
The duke, with numbers more, was prisoner made;
The tents, abandon’d, to the foes betray'd.
The damsel, doom'd to yield her blooming charms,
A recompense to grace the victor's arms,
With terror seiz'd, her ready palfrey took,
And, by a speedy Aight, the camp forsook :
Her heart presag'd that fortune's fickle turn
That dày would give the Christian bands to mourn.
As through a narrow woodland path she stray'd,
On foot a warrior chanc'd to meet the maid;
The shining cuirass, and the helm he wore,
His side the sword, his arm the buckler bore; 80
While through the woods he ran with swifter pace
Than village swains half naked in the race.
Not with such haste the timorous maiden flies,
Who, unawares, a latent snake espies;
As, when Angelica beheld the knight,
She turn’d the reins, and headlong urg'd her fight.
This was the Paladin for valour known,
Lord of mount Alban, and duke Amon's son,
Ver. 68. ---th’ inglorious field resign'd;} At this part Ariosto takes up the story from Boyardo, but passes over the particulars of the battle, which had been fully described by his predecessor. Sea General View of Boyardo's Story.
Rinaldo nam’d, who late when fortune crost
The Christian arms, his steed Bayardo lost.
Soon as his eyes beheld th' approaching fair,
Full well he knew that soft enchanting air;
Full well he knew that face which caus'd his smart,
And held in love's strong net his manly heart.
Meantime th' affrighied damsel threw the reins 9.3
Loose on her courser's neck, and scour’d the plains;
Through open paths she fed, or tangled shade,
Nor rough, nor bushy paths her course delay’d;
But pale and trembling, struck with deep dismay,
She lets her flying palfrey choose the way.
Now here, now there, amidst the savage wood
She wander'd till she saw a running flood;
Where on the lonely banks Ferrau she view'd,
With dust and sweat his weary limbs bedew’d:
Late from the fight he came with toil opprest, 105
To quench his thirst, and taste the sweets of rest;
When soon returning to the bloody fray,
An unexpected chance compell’d his stay;
For where the food its circling eddies tost,
Ilis helmet, sunk amidst the sands, was lost. 110
Now to the stream the panting virgin fies,
And rends the air with supplicating cries;
The Pagan warrior, startled at the sound,
Leap'd from the shore, and cast his eyes around;
Ver. 90. --- his steed Bayardo lost.] When Rinaldo, in the last general battle, dismounted to engage Rogero, who was on foot, his horse escaped from him.
Ver. 110. His helmet, sunk---] This circumstance of Ferrau leay. ing the battle, and losing his helmet in the river, is related by Boyardo.
Till, carnest gazing, as she nearer drew,
115 Tho' pale with dread, the trembling fair he knew; Then as a knight who courteous deeds profess’d, And love, long since, enkindled in his breast; Dauntless her person to defend he swore, Though on lii, beni no 'cucing hdın he wore. 120 lio grip'd liis viri, 11! 13 irish bo'y; strike To meet Rinaldo, who his force dety'd, And oft had each the other's valour try'dl.
And now, on fuví, oppos’d, and man to man, With swords use til, a dreadful ti ht berun; 125 In vain did plane üürial their limbs cuclose, Not massy anvils coulil resist thcir blows. While thus his most force each warrior try'd, Ilis feet again the virgin's palfrey ply'd; At his full stretch she drives him o'er the plain, 150 And secks the shel:er of the woods again.
Long had the knights contended in the field, Nor this nor that could make his rival yield; With equal skill could each his weapon bear, Practis'd alike in all the turns of war,
135 When Alban's lord with amorous fears possess'd, First to the Spanish foe these words address’d.
While thus un me your thoughtless rage you turn, Yourself (ho cry'd, have equal cause to mourn ; If yonder diame, the sum of female charms, Has fili'd your glowing breast with sufi alarm“, What sain is yours?---Suppose me pri-ouer marle, Or breathiess, lig the chance of barile lail;
Ver. 120. Though on his head-] See note to book "T!!