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Torquato Tasso
Jerusalem Delivered
page 36

And man condemned to restore again,
He brake our prisons and would algates save
The souls there here should dwell in woe and pain,
And now in heaven with him they live always
With endless glory crowned, and lasting praise.

"But why recount I thus our passed harms?
Remembrance fresh makes weakened sorrows strong,
Expulsed were we with injurious arms
From those due honors, us of right belong.
But let us leave to speak of these alarms,
And bend our forces gainst our present wrong:
Ah! see you not, how he attempted hath
To bring all lands, all nations to his faith?

"Then, let us careless spend the day and night,
Without regard what haps, what comes or goes,
Let Asia subject be to Christians' might,
A prey he Sion to her conquering foes,
Let her adore again her Christ aright,
Who her before all nations whilom chose;
In brazen tables he his lore ywrit,
And let all tongues and lands acknowledge it.

"So shall our sacred altars all be his,
Our holy idols tumbled in the mould,
To him the wretched man that sinful is
Shall pray, and offer incense, myrrh and gold;
Our temples shall their costly deckings miss,
With naked walls and pillars freezing cold,
Tribute of souls shall end, and our estate,
Or Pluto reign in kingdoms desolate.

"Oh, he not then the courage perished clean,
That whilom dwelt within your haughty thought,
When, armed with shining fire and weapons keen,
Against the angels of proud Heaven we fought,
I grant we fell on the Phlegrean green,
Yet good our cause was, though our fortune naught;
For chance assisteth oft the ignobler part,
We lost the field, yet lost we not our heart.

"Go then, my strength, my hope, my Spirits go,
These western rebels with your power withstand,
Pluck up these weeds, before they overgrow
The gentle garden of the Hebrews' land,
Quench out this spark, before it kindles so
That Asia burn, consumed with the brand.
Use open force, or secret guile unspied;
For craft is virtue gainst a foe defied.

"Among the knights and worthies of their train,
Let some like outlaws wander uncouth ways,
Let some be slain in field, let some again
Make oracles of women's yeas and nays,
And pine in foolish love, let some complain
On Godfrey's rule, and mutinies gainst him raise,
Turn each one's sword against his fellow's heart,
Thus kill them all or spoil the greatest part."

Before his words the tyrant ended had,
The lesser devils arose with ghastly roar,
And thronged forth about the world to gad,
Each land they filled, river, stream and shore,
The goblins, fairies, fiends and furies mad,
Ranged in flowery dales, and mountains hoar,
And under every trembling leaf they sit,
Between the solid earth and welkin flit.

About the world they spread forth far and wide,
Filling the thoughts of each ungodly heart
With secret mischief, anger, hate and pride,
Wounding lost souls with sin's empoisoned dart.
But say, my Muse, recount whence first they tried
To hurt the Christian lords, and from what part,

* * *

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