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On a high rock (the host pursuing said)
This tale with joy th’aitentive virorin hcarı, In hopes (vor after, rain her hopes appeard) Soon by the magic riny's assisting power, To quell th' enchanter, and destroy his tower. 60 Then to the host she said: let one be found, Whose steps may guide me to this tatal ground: For know, I burn with raye to prove my miglit On this magician in immediate fight. Thou shalt not want an aid (Brunello cry’d)
65 Behold, myself I proffer for your guide. The windings of the road I can display, With many secrets to beguile the way. With grateful thanks I take
yon for (In hopes to gain the ring, the maid reply'd) The host a courser brought the virgin-knight, Apt for the road, and strongly limbid for fight; On this she mounted, and her way pursu’d, Soon as the rising morn the day renew'd. From steep to steep, from wood to wood they pass'd, 75 Till fam’d Pyrene's hills they reach'd at last.
Ver. 76.---Pyrene's hills---] Boyardo's enchanted garden was on Blount Carena in Africa; Ariosto's castle, on the hills that divide Spain from the furthest part of France, formerly called Acquizania. The plain at the foot of these hills, was called Ronscevaux,
There may the sight, in skies serene, explore
85 In which the knights and dames are prisoners made.
IIewn in four equal sides, the mountain rose
stain'd: Since she inight safely of his ring deprive,
95 And yet preserve the helpless wretch alive. Then, while Brunello unsuspecting pass'd, She seizki him umiwares, and bound him fast To a strong trunk beneath the beech's shade: But from his finger first the ring convey’d.
100 In viin his every art Brunello tries, And be s his freedom with unmanly cries : She leaves him; and, with steps secure and slow, Forsakes the hill, and seeks the plain below :
(Ronsce alles) whore romances tell us, the Christians met with that mellorable defeat wor the Saracens, in which fell almost all the principal knights and paladins of France,
Then winds her horn, that echoes to the skies, 105
Nor long she stays, the fierce enchanter hears,
On his left arm was brac'd a mystic shiehl, Whose woudrous orb a crimsun vel conceal'd. 115 His right hand held a hook, and while he read, Illusive phantoms roundinis lves he spreul. With spear, or sword), he scem'd to urge the light: And oft had dazzled many a warrior's sight. But no illusion was his flying steed;
120 A griffin and a mare the mingled brecd Compos'd; and like his sire his feet before, IIis head, his feathers, and his wings he wore; (In all the rest his mother-mare was showil) And by the name of griffin-horse was known. 105 Such, though but rarely, in those hills appear, Beyond where occan feels the freezing year.
Ver. 111.... no winpons in the field...] Pinabello, in the second book, had described the magician as making use of weapons in ihe haltle with Grau-so and foeru; but it must be remembered, that his sight was deluxed by magic, as Adio-to in this passage, Sety's :
His right hand held a bools, and while he rele,
Ver. 116. But the poet nou, speaking in lijs ott persoil, represents the imatter as it really appeare: 19 Bradamant.
Thence had the enchanter drawn him by his skill,
133 And now she seems enrag’d to strike the wind; Now darts before; then swiftly turns behind.
At last (for so Melissa had requir’d,
140 And eager on her feet pursue the fight. This seen,
the necromancer bends his care, With one enchantment to conclude the war; And, thinking now the damsel to confound, Removes the covering from his buckler's round. 145 Such was his wont---awhile the shining ray He kept conceal'd to hold the knights in play: For, with a sportive mind, he took delight To see them wield the sword and spear in fight. So when the wily cat a prisoner draws
150 Some hapless mouse within her cruel claws;
Ver. 150---the wily cat---] Many passages in Ariosto are of the ludicrous kind, of which this simile is an example, which is taken from the most common and familiar image in life: there is an instance of this kind still more ludicrous, where he describes the universal terror spread hy Astolpho's born in the enchanted palace of Atlantes. B. xxii. ver. 161.
In casa non resta gatta ne topo. Nor cat nor mouse within the dwelling stay'd. Such passages, blended with others truly epic, prove Ariosto's style and imagery to be of the mixed kind.
Wanton awhile she joys his fears to see,
Now Bradamant her conquering weapon spread, 180 And from his shoulders thought to part his head; But, marking well his face, her hand restrain’d, As if such mean revenge her soul disdain'd.