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Torquato Tasso
Jerusalem Delivered
page 120

Scantly the warlord thus clothed had his gromes,
When aged Raymond to his presence comes.

And furnished to us when he the man beheld,
By his attire his secret thought he guessed,
"Where is," quoth he, "your sure and tty shield?
Your helm, your hauberk strong? where all the rest?
Why be you half disarmed? why to the field
Approach you in these weak defences dressed?
I see this day you mean a course to run,
Wherein may peril much, small praise be won.

"Alas, do you that idle prise expect,
To set first foot this conquered wall above?
Of less account some knight thereto object
Whose loss so great and harmful cannot prove;
My lord, your life with greater care protect,
And love yourself because all us you love,
Your happy life is spirit, soul, and breath
Of all this camp, preserve it then from death."

To this he answered thus, "You know," he said,
"In Clarimont by mighty Urban's hand
When I was girded with this noble blade,
For Christ's true faith to fight in every land,
To God even then a secret vow I made,
Not as a captain here this day to stand
And give directions, but with shield and sword
To fight, to win, or die for Christ my Lord.

"When all this camp in battle strong shall be
Ordained and ordered, well disposed all,
And all things done which to the high degree
And sacred place I hold belongen shall;
Then reason is it, nor dissuade thou me,
That I likewise assault this sacred wall,
Lest from my vow to God late made I swerve:
He shall this life defend, keep and preserve."

Thus he concludes, and every hardy knight
His sample followed, and his brethren twain,
The other princes put on harness light,
As footmen use: but all the Pagan train
Toward that side bent their defensive might
Which lies exposed to view of Charles's wain
And Zephy' sweet blasts, for on that part
The town was weakest, both by side and art.

On all parts else the fort was strong by site,
With mighty hills defenced from foreign rage,
And to this part the tyrant gan unite
His subjects born and bands that serve for wage,
From this exploit he spared nor great nor lite,
The aged men, and boys of tender age,
To fire of angry war still brought new fuel,
Stones, darts, lime, brimstone and bitumen cruel.

All full of arms and weapons was the wall,
Under whose basis that fair plain doth run,
There stood the Soldan like a giant tall,
So stood at Rhodes the Coloss of the sun,
Waist high, Argantes showed himself withal,
At whose stern looks the French to quake begun,
Clorinda on the corner tower alone,
In silver arms like rising Cynthia shone.

Her rattling quiver at her shoulders hung,
Therein a flash of arrows feathered weel.
In her left hand her bow was bended strong,
Therein a shaft headed with mortal steel,
So fit to shoot she singled forth among
Her foes who first her quarries' strength should feel,
So fit to shoot Latona's daughter stood
When Niobe she killed and all her brood.

The aged tyrant tottered on his feet

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