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Bravc Amon's son*, collecting all his might,
Ilis weapon rais’d to strike the Pagan knight;
When Sacripant to meet the falchion, held,
Compos’d of bone and steel, his ample shield :
The sword Fusberta, rushing from on high,
Pierc'd the tough plates; the sounding woods reply;
The bone and steel, like ice, in shivers broke;
His arm benumb’d confess’d the dreadful stroke.
This, when the fair and fearful damsel view'd,
And well perceiv’d the mischief that ensu’d,
A death-like paleness chac'd her rosy bloom,
Like one who trembling waits his fatal doom.
She thinks the time admits of no delay,
And fears that hour to be Rinaldo's prey;
Rinaldo, hatcful to her virgin breast,
Though love of her his amorous soul distress’d.
She turn’d her palfrey to the woods in haste,
And through a narrow thorny passage pass’d,
While oft she cast behind her timorous view,
And deein'd she heard Rinaldo close pursue.
Not far she fled, but where a valley lay,
She met an aged hermit on the way:
Ver. 73. The sword Fusberta ,---] This strange affectation of giving names to swords was common with them; thus Joyosa is the name of Charleinaiu's sword, in Aspramonte ; Chrysaor, is the naine of Arthegal's sword, in Spenser; Caliburn, of King Arthur's, in the ro. mance of that name; Ascalon, of St. George's, in the Seven Champions; Tranchera, of Agrican’s, in Boyardo; and in Ariosto, besides Fusberta, vehicle Rogero's Balisarda, and Orlando's Durindana. In Spenser, Arthur's sword is called Mordure; and his shield or banner, Pridwen, and his spear, Roan, by the romance writers,
Ilis beard descending on his breast was secil,
Severe his aspect, and devout his mien.
Ile seem'd with years and frequent fasting worn,
And gently on a slow-pard ass was bornc.
While all his form bespoke a pious mind,
From the vain follies of the world rent:
Yet, when the fair and blooming maid appear’d,
So much her looks his dreaping spirits chear'l;
Though cold and feehle, as his age requir’d,
An unknown warmıhı his languid pulse inspir’d. 100
Of him the damsel sought the nearest way
To where in port some ready vessel lay,
That there embarking, she might quit the shore,
And never hear Rinaldo mention’d more.
The hermit, vers’d in magic, strove to cheer
The virgin's thoughts, and dissipate her fear;
Drew from his side a book his skill to prove,
With promise every danger to reinove.
A leaf he'd scarce perus’d, when to their sight,
In likeness of a page, appear'l a spright;
110 Who, by the force of strong enchantment hound, Went where the knights in cruel strise he found; And when his eyes the furious fight espy'd, etween them boldly rush'd and loudly cry'd.
Tell me, ye warriors! what avails the strife, 110 Though either should deprive his foe of lise; If without sword unshcath'd, without the fear Of shatter'd armorir, or the lifted spear, Orlando now to Paris safe conveys The maid, whose charms your fond contention raise?
Ver. 111. --- and loudly cry'd.] The poet returns to Angelicaa Book viii. ver. 199.
Not hence a mile, the couple I descry'd,
Whose bitter taunts your empty pains deride.
Attend my counsel---Cease your fruitless fight,
And, while occasion serves, pursue their flight:
For know, if Paris' walls they safely gain,
125 HỊenceforth your hopes to see your love are vain.
Ile said: the gallant knights on either hand,
Struck with the news, abash'd and silent stand;
Condemning cach his judgment and his eyes,
That thus their rival should obtain the prize. 130
At length, a sigh deep-issuing from his breast,
His steps Rinaldo to his steed address'il;
And vow'd, o'ercome with anger and disdain,
To glut his vengeance on Orlando slain;
Nor bade farewel, nor with a courtcous mind, 135
He proffer'd once to take the knight behind.
Urg’d by the well-known spur, the fiery steed
Bore all before aim that oppos'd his speed:
Nor trench, nor steepy mound, nor thorny shade,
Nor crossing food, Bayardu's passage stay’d.
Deem it not strange Rinaldo seiz'd again
The generous courser sought so long in viin;
Who, fraught with human sense, when first le view'd
The trembling dansel's flight her track pursu'd.
Not idly from the Christian camp he tice,
But to regain the maid his master leil,
Who then, on foot, a dreadful combat wag'd
With a fierce baron, hand to hand engag’d:
Ver. 136.---the knight behind.) We hear again of Sacripant in the ivth Book, ver. 313, where he is delivered by Bradamant, with the other knights, from the castle of Atlantes.
Ver. 148. Il'ith a furce baron,---] Rogero, with whom Rinallo fuught at thelasi generi baitie. See General View of Boyardo's Story.
The faithful steed, to guide him where she went,
His course sayacious to the forest bent:
Nor suffer’d yet his generous lord to ride,
Lest he should turn him from his path aside.
By him Rinaldo twice the fair o'ertook,
And twice the fair his eager sight forsook :
For first Ferra, as late
Then Sacripant his amorous hopes oppos’d.
Bayardo now, confiding in the spright,
Whose specious falsehood had amus'd the knight,
Pursu'd his way, and paticut of command,
Obey'd the spur, and answer'd to the hand.
Rinaldo, fir'd with love and stern disdain,
To Paris flies, and gives up all his rein:
So deep the tidings rankled in his thought,
Which the vain phantom of the hormit brought.
Nor ceas'd his eager journey morn or night,
Till the near city rose before his sight;
Where Charlemain, with his defeated crew,
Th’unhappy remanants of his strength withdrew:
A siege expecting now, he bends his care,
Supplies of stores and forces to prepare.
Ile sinks the trenches, foriities the wills,
And every aid, in time of danger, calls;
Provides an embassy to England's shore,
With speed auxiliar prowess to implore :
Resolv'd again to tenpt the doubtful fieltl,
And try what war another day might yield;
Then sends Rinaldo to the British clime,
Known by fair England's name in future time.
Sore griev'd the Palailin at this command,
Not that he shunn'd to treat the British land,
But that the hasty charge his prince enjoin'd,
Bade him, reluctant, leave the fair behind;
Yet, as his duty call’d, he takes his way,
And speeds to Calais, restless of delay.
The knight, impatient to return again,
Against the counsels of the sailor-train,
Tempts the black sea, that wears a threatening form,
And, murmuring hoarse, forebodes the future storm.
The wind, who sees the knight his power despise,
In dreadful tempests makes the billows rise, 190
And with such fury whirls them from below,
That o'er the mast th' insulting waters flow.
The skilful mariners, with busy care,
Strike their broad sails to shun the watery war;
And think th' abandon'd harbour to regain,
193 Whence, in ill hour, they dar'd to brave the main. Fools! never hope (the wind indignant cry’d) Unpunish'd thus my empire to deride! Raging he speaks, and makes the crew obey On pain of shipwreck, as he points the way.
200 Before, behind, unweary'd howls the blast: With humble sails the wandering vessel pass’d, Now here, now there, amidst the watery waste.
But since a web so various I prepare,
Where every thread by turns demand my care,
I leave Rinaldo in the stormy main,
And turn to noble Bradamant the strain.
Ver. 206. I lcave Rinaldo---] The poet returns to Rinaldo, Book jv, 368.