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The warlike virgin, whose resistless might,
Hlad from his courser thrown Circassia's knight.
Not Charlemain, or joyful France, survey'd

210
With less delight the valour of the maid,
Than the known prowess of Rinaldo's arms,
Such martial fire her daring bosom warms !
To her a gentle youth affection bore,
Who came with Agramant from Afric's shore; 215
Whom Agolant's unhappy daughter bred,
The vigorous offspring of Rogero's bed;
And she, nor nurs’d in wilds, nor savage-born,
Receiv'd not love like his with maiden scorn;
Though fortune yet had giv’n the dame and knight 220
But once to speak and meet each other's sight.

Ver. 214. To her a gentle youth---] For the loves of Rogero and Bradamant, see General View of Boyardo's Story.

Ver. 216. Whom Agolant's unhappy daughter---] For the genealogy of Rogero, take the following fictitious account from Boyardo.

“ After the Grecians had taken Troy, and put most of their pri. soners to the sword, among whom was Polysena, daughter of Prian and Hecuba, who was sacrificed at the tomb of Achilles; in order entirely to extirpate the race of Ilector, they sought for As'yanax ; but Andromache, to preserve his life, concealed him in a sepulchre, and took another child in her arms, with whom being found, they were both put to death. In the mean tine, the real Astyanax was safely conveyed, by a friend of his father, to the island of Sicily, when, being grown to man's estate, he conquered Corinth and Argos: he established a government at Messina, and married the queen of Syracusa, but was afterwards killed by treachery, and his widow, being driven from the city by the Greeks, took shelter in Risa, where she was delivered of a son named Polydore, from whom descended Clovis and Constantius. Constantius was the head of the line of Pepin, father of Charlemain ; and from Clovis came Rogero, who married Galicella, daughter of Agolant : Rogero, being cruelly murdered, and his city destroyed, his wife fled to the coast of Africa, where she was delivered of two children, a boy and a girl, and died soon after: the boy, called Rogero, was brought up by Atlantes, a magician. See Orlando Innam, B.ij. C. i. &c.

Now Dradamant explores with fond desire
Her lover, call’d Rogero from his sire;
And unaccompany'd securely far'd,
As if a thousand squadrons were her guard.

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Soon as her arm had cast in single fight,
Low on his mother earth Circassia's knight;
A wood she travers’d, then a mountain passid,
And to a limpid river came at last,
That through the mead its gentle current drew, 230
Where ancient trees with spreading branches grew.
A pleasing noise the murm’ring waters made,
Inviting swains to drink beneath the shade :
A rising hillock on the left was seen,
That fenc'd from noon-tide heat the chearful green. 235

Here, as the virgin turn'd her eyes aside,
On the fair bank a comely youth she spy'd:
Fast by the margin of the flood he lay,
The margin with a thousand colours gay.
Alone and silent in a pensive mood,

240
With steadfast gaze the crystal stream he view'd :
Not distant far a tree his courser held,
Aloft were hung his helmet and his shield:
His eyes were moist with tears, his head declin’d,
Sad indications of a troubled mind.

245 Urg’d by desire which prompts each generous heart In others woes to bear a friendly part, The virgin begs th' afflicted knight to show His secret state, and whence his sorrows flow: To whom the stranger all his grief display'd, 250 Mov'd with the courteous speeches of the maid, And by her looks misled, that seem'd to tell Some gallant warrior prov'd in battle well.

255

260

203

Thus lic---Know, gentle knight, a valiant crew
Of horse and foot, in aird a Charles, I drew,
When near Pyrene's hills the Christian force
Encamp'dl 1' oppose lar-ilius in his course.
With me a damsel went, from whom iny breast
Had long the powerful fire of love confessil:
When, lo! we saw near Rhodani's rapiu vide
A knight all-armd a flying steril bestride.
Soon as the roliber (whether lilinli pright
That with a human form dereind the sight,
Or mortai born) beheld my bloomin, fair,
Swift as a tałcon through the vieiding air,
Ile few, and seizd her trembling with disinay,
Then bore her sudden in his arns awt:
Unconscious of my loss, till with surprise
I heard in air her lamentable cri's.
So from the clouds descends the ravening kite,
And gripes the chichen in his inother's si hi.

What could I do, alas! encompass’ul round
With steep 3 mountains and a roky ground?
His courser fier, ivhun inine, oppressed with toil,
Could scarrels move amidst the siony soil.
Wild with my fate, I rov'l with frantic mind,
Careless of life, and left my men behind:
Thence iurning o'er the craggy deserts stray’d,
While love's bliud inpulse blindly I obey'd.
Six tedious days, from morn to cre, I pass'd
O'er many a pendent cliff and horrid waste;
A pathless way, imenitud and forlorn,

here not a track of human feet was worn.

270

275

280

Ver. 201.---(Illying steel.--) The fiction of this griffin-horse is Ariosto's own, nothing like it occurring in Boyardo.

At length a wild and lonely vale I found,
With hills and drcadful caves cncompass'd round.

285
Here, in the midst, a wond'rous rock I view'd,
On which a strong and stately castle stood:
It seem'd afar to shine like glowing fame;
Nor harden'd earth, nor stone compos'd the frame.
As nearer to the mountain's base we drew,

290 The beauteous pile more struck my raptur’d view. This fort, the demons, from th’infernal plains By fuming incense drawn and magic strains, Enclos'd with steel, to which the Stygian wave, And Stygian fire eternal temper gave:

293 A dazzling polish brighten'd ev'ry tower, Which spots could ne'er defile nor rust devour.

The robber scours ihe country day and night, Then, with his prey, he thither bends his flight: Thither my fair, my better part he bore,

300 And never, never must I view her more! What hope remain'd! In vain with longing eyes, I see the place where all my treasure lies ! The rock so high and steep, who enters there, Must learn to wing his passage through the air. 305 So when the mother-fox, with anguish stung, Hears in the eagle's nest her crying young; She circles round the tree, with wild affright, No wings vouchsaf'd her for so vast a flight.

While in suspense I stood, from far I spy'd 310 Two champions and a dwarf that seein'd their guide;

Ver. 311. Two champions and a dwarf.---) Boyardo tells us, that after the deliverance of Orlando, Gradasso and Rogero were led by a dwarf to an adventure of a castle, which seems to be the story here continued by our poet. See Orlando Innum. B. iii. C. vi, vii.

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These with the hopes of praise had fir'd their mind,
But soon these hopes dissolv'd in empty wind.
They both were warriors of establish'd tame:
A monarch one, Gradasso was his name;

315
The other was a youth of courage prov'd,
Rogero, in Bisorta's court belov'd.
They come (declar'd the dwarf) to try their power
Against the lord of this enchanted tower,
Who through the air, enclos'd in armour bright, 320
Directs his wondrous courser's rapid tight.
Then I-l'ouchsafe, () generous knights! to hear
A wretch's fond complaints with pitying ear;
Or if in fight your arms victorious prove;
(As sure I trust they shall) restore my love.

325 Then all my griefs I spoke; while tears that roll'd Down my wan cheek, confirm’d the tale I told.

With courteous words they answer'd my request,
And down the mountain to the castle press’d :
Aloof I stood the battle to survey,

330 Beseeching IIeaven to aid the doubtful day.

Meanwhile the warriors to the rock drew nigli,
Disputing who should first th' adventure try.
At length Gradasso (whether lots design'd,
Or else Rogero to his will inclin'd)

335
Lifts to his mouth the horn : the cliffs around,
The rock and fortress to the noise resound!
When, lo! the magic knight, with instant speed,
Rush'd from the portal on the flying steed.
At first he seems by slow degrees to rise :

3.10
Like cranes, prepar’ıl to sail to foreign skies,
Till, with collected wind, at once they spring
A loft in air, and shoot upon the wing.

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