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Torquato Tasso
Jerusalem Delivered
page 124


Where his strong sinews fastened were and knit.
Clorinda, thou this arrow didst discharge,
And let the Pagans bless thy hand for it,
For by that shot thou savedst them that day
From bondage vile, from death and sure decay.

LV
The wounded duke, as though he felt no pain,
Still forward went, and mounted up the breach
His high attempt at first he nould refrain,
And after called his lords with cheerful speech;
But when his leg could not his weight sustain,
He saw his will did far his power outreach,
And more he strove his grief increased the more,
The bold assault he left at length therefore:

LVI
And with his hand he beckoned Guelpho near,
And said, "I must withdraw me to my tent,
My place and person in mine absence bear,
Supply my want, let not the fight relent,
I go, and will ere long again be here;
I go and straight return: "this said, he went,
On a light steed he leaped, and o'er the green
He rode, but rode not, as he thought, unseen.

LVII
When Godfrey parted, parted eke the heart, .
The strength and fortune of the Christian bands,.
Courage increased in their adverse part,
Wrath in their hearts, and vigor in their hands:
Valor, success, strength, hardiness and art,
Failed in the princes of the western lands,
Their swords were blunt, faint was their trumpet's blast,
Their sun was set, or else with clouds o'ercast.

LVIII
Upon the bulwarks now appeared bold
That fearful band that late for dread was fled!
The women that Clorinda's strength behold,
Their country's love to war encouraged,
They weapons got, and fight like men they would,
Their gowns tucked up, their locks were loose and spread,
Sharp darts they cast, and without dread or fear,
Exposed their breasts to save their fortress dear.

LIX
But that which most dismayed the Christian knights,
And added courage to the Pagans most,
Was Guelpho's sudden fall in all men's sights,
Who tumbled headlong down, his footing lost,
A mighty stone upon the worthy lights,
But whence it came none wist, nor from what coast;
And with like blow, which more their hearts dismayed,
Beside him low in dust old Raymond laid:

LX
And Eustace eke within the ditches large,
To narrow shifts and last extremes they drive,
Upon their foes so fierce the Pagans charge,
And with good-fortune so their blows they give,
That whom they hit, in spite of helm or targe,
They deeply wound, or else of life deprive.
At this their good success Argantes proud,
Waxing more fell, thus roared and cried aloud:

LXI
"This is not Antioch, nor the evening dark
Can help your privy sleights with friendly shade,
The sun yet shines, your falsehood can we mark,
In other wise this bold assault is made;
Of praise and glory quenched is the spark
That made you first these eastern lands invade,
Why cease you now? why take you not this fort?
What! are you weary for a charge so short?"

LXII
Thus raged he, and in such hellish sort
Increased the fury in the brain-sick knight,
That he esteemed that large and ample fort
Too strait a field, wherein to prove his might,
There where the breach had framed a new-made port,
Himself he placed, with nimble skips and light,

* * *

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