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Torquato Tasso
Jerusalem Delivered
page 146

Himself out of his wits nigh, after went:
Wounded he saw, he thought, for pain and smart,
His lady weep, complain, mourn, and lament,
Nor could he suffer her dear blood to see,
Or hear her sighs that deep far fetched be.

Thus his fierce heart which death had scorned oft,
Whom no strange shape or monster could dismay,
With feigned shows of tender love made soft,
A spirit false did with vain plaints betray;
A whirling wind his sword heaved up aloft,
And through the forest bare it quite away.
O'ercome retired the prince, and as he came,
His sword he found, and repossessed the same,

Yet nould return, he had no mind to try
His courage further in those forests green;
But when to Godfrey's tent he proached nigh,
His spirits waked, his thoughts composed been,
"My Lord." quoth he, "a witness true am I
Of wonders strange, believe it scant though seen,
What of the fire, the shades, the dreadful sound
You heard, all true by proof myself have found;

"A burning fire, so are those deserts charmed,
Built like a battled wall to heaven was reared;
Whereon with darts and dreadful weapons armed,
Of monsters foul mis-shaped whole bands appeared;
But through them all I passed, unhurt, unharmed,
No flame or threatened blow I felt or feared,
Then rain and night I found, but straight again
To day, the night, to sunshine turned the rain.

"What would you more? each tree through all that wood
Hath sense, hath life, hath speech, like human kind,
I heard their words as in that grove I stood,
That mournful voice still, still I bear in mind:
And, as they were of flesh, the purple blood
At every blow streams from the wounded rind;
No, no, not I, nor any else, I trow,
Hath power to cut one leaf, one branch, one bough."

While thus he said, the Christian's noble guide
Felt uncouth strife in his Firstious thought,
He thought, what if himself in perzon tried
Those witchcrafts strange, and bring those charms to naught,
For such he deemed them, or elsewhere provide
For timber easier got though further sought,
But from his study he at last abraid,
Called by the hermit old that to him said:

"Leave off thy hardy thought, another's hands
Of these her plants the wood dispoilen shall,
Now, now the fatal ship of conquest lands,
Her sails are struck, her silver anchors fall,
Our champion broken hath his worthless bands,
And looseth from the soil which held him thrall,
The time draws nigh when our proud foes in field
Shall slaughtered lie, and Sion's fort shall yield."

This said, his visage shone with beams divine,
And more than mortal was his voice's sound,
Godfredo's thought to other acts incline,
His working brain was never idle found.
But in the Crab now did bright Titan shine,
And scorched with scalding beams the parched ground,
And made unfit for toil or warlike feat
His soldiers, weak with labor, faint with sweat:

The planets mild their lamps benign quenched out,
And cruel stars in heaven did signorize,
Whose influence cast fiery flames about
And hot impressions through the earth and skies,
The growing heat still gathered deeper rout,
The noisome warmth through lands and kingdoms flies,

* * *

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