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Torquato Tasso
Jerusalem Delivered
page 101


Under Algazel Engerlan down fell,
But the huge murder of the meaner crew,
Or manner of their deaths, what tongue can tell?
Godfrey, when first the heathen trumpets blew,
Awaked, which heard, no fear could make him dwell,
But he and his were up and armed ere long,
And marched forward with a squadron strong.

XLII
He that well heard the rumor and the cry,
And marked the tumult still grow more and more,
The Arabian thieves he judged by and by
Against his soldiers made this battle sore;
For that they forayed all the countries nigh,
And spoiled the fields, the duke knew well before,
Yet thought he not they had the hardiment
So to assail him in his armed tent.

XLIII
All suddenly he heard, while on he went,
How to the city-ward, "Arm, arm!" they cried,
The noise upreared to the firmament,
With dreadful howling filled the valleys wlde:
This was Clorinda, whom the king forth sent
To battle, and Argantes by her side.
The duke, this heard, to Guelpho turned, and prayed
Him his lieutenant be, and to him said:

XLIV
"You hear this new alarm from yonder part,
That from the town breaks out with so much rage,
Us needeth much your valor and your art
To calm their fury, and their heat to 'suage;
Go thither then, and with you take some part
Of these brave soldiers of mine equipage,
While with the residue of my champions bold
I drive these wolves again out of our fold."

XLV
They parted, this agreed on them between,
By divers paths, Lord Guelpho to the hill,
And Godfrey hasted where the Arabians keen
His men like silly sheep destroy and kill;
But as he went his troops increased been,
From every part the people flocked still,
That now grown strong enough, he 'proached nigh
Where the fierce Turk caused many a Christian die.

XLVI
So from the top of Vesulus the cold,
Down to the sandy valleys, tumbleth Po,
Whose streams the further from the fountain rolled
Still stronger wax, and with more puissance go;
And horned like a bull his forehead bold
He lifts, and o'er his broken banks doth flow,
And with his horns to pierce the sea assays,
To which he proffereth war, not tribute pays.

XLVII
The duke his men fast flying did espy,
And thither ran, and thus, displeased, spake,
"What fear is this? Oh, whither do you fly?
See who they be that this pursuit do make,
A heartless band, that dare no battle try,
Who wounds before dare neither give nor take,
Against them turn your stern eye's threatening sight,
An angry look will put them all to flight."

XLVIII
This said, he spurred forth where Solyman
Destroyed Christ's vineyard like a savage boar,
Through streams of blood, through dust and dirt he ran,
O'er heaps of bodies wallowing in their gore,
The squadrons close his sword to ope began,
He broke their ranks, behind, beside, before,
And, where he goes, under his feet he treads
The armed Saracens, and barbed steeds.

XLIX
This slaughter-house of angry Mars he passed,
Where thousands dead, half-dead, and dying were.
The hardy Soldan saw him come in haste,
Yet neither stepped aside nor shrunk for fear,
But busked him bold to fight, aloft he cast

* * *

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