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On a high rock (the host pursuing said)
IIe holds a castle by enchantment made;

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A fortress built of stone, whose frame excels
Whate'er of wondrous, old tradition tells.
Full many knights have sought the place in vain,
For none could boast they e'er return'il again;
That much I dread, so dear th' adventure cost, 33
Ilis life, or liberty, each warrior lost!

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.

my guide,

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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
Callia and Spain, with either distant shore:
Thence from the summit shew'd a rough descent,
That winding to the lower valley went;

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Where, in the midst, a rocky mountain stood,
On which aloft the fort of steel they view’d,
That reard to heaven, with such stupendous height,
Klade all beneath seem little in its sight,
Behold th' enchanter's tower (Brunello said)

85 In which the knights and dames are prisoners made.

IIewn in four equal sides, the mountain rose
Above the plain; nor path nor step it shows
T assist the feet, but secm'd a place design'd
For some strange animal of winged kind.

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The virgin now perceiv'd the hour was come
To seize the ring, and seal Brunello's doom :
But her great soul th' inglorious thought disdain'd,
To see, with blood like his, her weapon

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
And having breath'' iz blasí, with shouting cries
she boldly to the field her foe dieties.

Nor long she stays, the fierce enchanter hears,
And, issuing from the castle-zute, appears :
But Bradama!it beheld with secret joy;

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Hier foe no weapons in the field employ.
Vor lance, nor heavy mace, nor sword he wore,
To bruise the armour, and the corslet bore.

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,
Ilusive phantom, rowd his foes he spreadi.
With spear, or sworal, he seem'd 10 urze the fight, &c.

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,
And made him soon obedient to his will;
Taught him the saddle and the reins to wear, 130
And o'er the earth and seas his master bear.
But all the rest that in the fight he show'd,
From airy visions of enchantment flow'd:
Yet nought against the maid avail'd his art,
Such wisdom could the sacred ring impart.

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,
To win the palm which most the maid desir’d)
In fury from her steed she seems to light,

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,
Nor yet will kill, nor set the captive free.
To that we might, in every former war,
The foul magician and the knights compare: 150
But not in this, the ring with powerful aid
Ilere gave th' advantage to the warrior-maid,
Who watchful as she fought t'escape surprise,
Attentive on the sorc'rer fix'd her eyes :
Soon as she saw the buckler's blaze reveald, 160
She clos’d her eyes, and tumbled on the fielet:
Nor think the splendor of the beaming light,
As with the rest, had power to hurt her sight;
But the wise virgin took this artful course,
To lure the vain enchanter from his horse.

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TIer wile succeeding, swiftly whecling round,
The flying horseman lighted on the ground:
On foot he leapt, and left behind his shield,
Ty'd to his saddle, in the veil conceald,
Then hasten’d where th' expecting damsel lay; 170
So waits a wolf to make the kid his prey;
While, on the ground neglected, he forsook
(With which he wag'd the war) his magic book.
Now with a chain to bind his foe he thought,
A chain prepar’d, for such a purpose brought; 175
But here an unexpected difference found;
The noble damsel hurl'd him to the ground;
Ile far unfit a strife like this to wage;
She strong in youth, and he deprest with age.

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.

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