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Torquato Tasso
Jerusalem Delivered
page 52

Bereft me falsely when I least him feared;
He seemed my friend, and I discovered not
His secret covetise which since appeared;
Yet strive I not to get mine own by fight,
Or civil war, although perchance I might.

"If then you scorn to be in prison pent,
If bonds, as high disgrace, your hands refuse;
Or if your thoughts still to maintain are bent
Your liberty, as men of honor use:
To Antioch what if forthwith you went?
And leave me here your absence to excuse,
There with Prince Boemond live in ease and peace,
Until this storm of Godfrey's anger cease.

"For soon, if forces come from Egypt land,
Or other nations that us here confine,
Godfrey will beaten be with his own wand,
And feel he wants that valor great of thine,
Our camp may seem an arm without a hand,
Amid our troops unless thy eagle shine:"
With that came Guelpho and those words approved,
And prayed him go, if him he feared or loved.

Their speeches soften much the warrior's heart,
And make his wilful thoughts at last relent,
So that he yields, and saith he will depart,
And leave the Christian camp incontinent.
His friends, whose love did never shrink or start,
Preferred their aid, what way soe'er he went:
He thanked them all, but left them all, besides
Two bold and tty squires, and so he rides.

He rides, revolving in his noble spright
Such haughty thoughts as fill the glorious mind;
On hard adventures was his whole delight,
And now to wondrous acts his will inclined;
Alone against the Pagans would he fight,
And kill their kings from Egypt unto Inde,
From Cynthia's hills and Nilus' unknown spring
He would fetch praise and glorious conquest bring.

But Guelpho, when the prince his leave had take
And now had spurred his courser on his way,
No longer tarriance with the rest would make,
But tastes to find Godfredo, if he may:
Who seeing him approaching, forthwith spake,
"Guelpho," quoth he, "for thee I only stay,
For thee I sent my heralds all about,
In every tent to seek and find thee out."

This said, he softly drew the knight aside
Where none might hear, and then bespake him thus:
"How chanceth it thy nephew's rage and pride,
Makes him so far forget himself and us?
Hardly could I believe what is betide,
A murder done for cause so frivolous,
How I have loved him, thou and all can tell;
But Godfrey loved him but whilst he did well.

"I must provide that every one have right,
That all be heard, each cause be well discussed,
As far from partial love as free from spite,
I hear complaints, yet naught but proves I tt:
Now if Rinaldo weigh our rule too light,
And have the sacred lore of war so bt,
Take you the charge that he before us come
To clear himself and hear our upright dome.

"But let him come withouten bond or chain,
For still my thoughts to do him grace are framed;
But if our power he haply shall disdain,
As well I know his courage yet untamed,
To bring him by persuasion take some pain:
Else, if I prove severe, both you be blamed,

* * *

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