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Torquato Tasso
Jerusalem Delivered
page 121

From gate to gate, from wall to wall he flew,
He comforts all his bands with speeches sweet,
And every fort and bastion doth review,
For every need prepared in every street
New regiments he placed and weapons new.
The matrons grave within their temples high
To idols false for succors call and cry,

"O Macon, break in twain the steeled lance
On wicked Godfrey with thy righteous hands,
Against thy name he doth his arm advance,
His rebel blood pour out upon these sands;"
These cries within his ears no enterance
Could find, for naught he hears, naught understands.
While thus the town for her defence ordains,
His armies Godfrey ordereth on the plains;

His forces first on foot he forward brought,
With goodly order, providence and art,
And gainst these towers which to assail he thought,
In battles twain his strength he doth depart,
Between them crossbows stood, and engines wrought
To cast a stone, a quarry, or a dart,
From whence like thunder's dint or lightnings new
Against the bulwark stones and lances flew.

His men at arms did back his bands on foot,
The light horse ride far off and serve for wings,
He gave the sign, so mighty was the rout
Of those that shot with bows and cast with slings,
Such storms of shafts and stones flew all about,
That many a Pagan proud to death it brings,
Some died, some at their loops durst scant outpeep,
Some fled and left the place they took to keep.

The hardy Frenchmen, full of heat and haste,
Ran boldly forward to the ditches large,
And o'er their heads an iron pentice vast
They built, by joining many a shield and targe,
Some with their engines ceaseless shot and cast,
And volleys huge of arrows sharp discharge,
Upon the ditches some employed their pain
To fill the moat and even it with the plain.

With slime or mud the ditches were not soft,
But dry and sandy, void of waters clear,
Though large and deep the Christians fill them oft,
With rubbish, fagots, stones, and trees they bear:
Adrastus first advanced his crest aloft,
And boldly gan a strong scalado rear,
And through the falling storm did upward climb
Of stones, darts, arrows, fire, pitch and lime:

The hardy Switzer now so far was gone
That half way up with mickle pain he got,
A thousand weapons he sustained alone,
And his audacious climbing ceased not;
At last upon him fell a mighty stone,
As from some engine great it had been shot,
It broke his helm, he tumbled from the height,
The strong Circassian cast that wondrous weight;

Not mortal was the blow, yet with the fall
On earth sore bruised the man lay in a swoon.
Argantes gan with boasting words to call,
"Who cometh next? this first is tumbled down,
Come, hardy soldiers, come, assault this wall,
I will not shrink, nor fly, nor hide my crown,
If in your trench yourselves for dread you hold,
There shall you die like sheep killed in their fold."

Thus boasted he; but in their trenches deep,
The hidden squadrons kept themselves from scath,
The curtain made of shields did well off keep
Both darts and shot, and scorned all their wrath.
But now the ram upon the rampiers steep,

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