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Torquato Tasso
Jerusalem Delivered
page 174

Love's sister, but a chaste and sober dame,
And stirred him so, that hardly he suppressed
The springing tears that to his eyes up came;
But yet even there his plaints repressed were,
And, as he could, he looked, and feigned cheer.

"Madam," quoth he, "for your distress I grieve,
And would amend it, if I might or could.
From your wise heart that fond affection drive:
I cannot hate nor scorn you though I would,
I seek no vengeance, wrongs I all forgive,
Nor you my servant nor my foe I hold,
Truth is, you erred, and your estate forgot,
Too great your hate was, and your love too hot.

"But those are common faults, and faults of kind,
Excused by nature, by your sex and years;
I erred likewise, if I pardon find
None can condemn you, that our trespass hears;
Your dear remembrance will I keep in mind,
In joys, in woes, in comforts, hopes and fears,
Call me your soldier and your knight, as far
As Christian faith permits, and Asia's war.

"Ah, let our faults and follies here take end,
And let our errors past you satisfy,
And in this angle of the world ypend,
Let both the fame and shame thereof now die,
From all the earth where I am known and kenned,
I wish this fact should still concealed lie:
Nor yet in following me, poor knight, disgrace
Your worth, your beauty, and your princely race.

"Stay here in peace, I go, nor wend you may
With me, my guide your fellowship denies,
Stay here or hence depart some better way,
And calm your thoughts, you are both sage and wise."
While thus he spoke, her passions found no stay,
But here and there she turned and rolled her eyes,
And staring on his face awhile, at last
Thus in foul terms, her bitter wrath forth brast:

"Of Sophia fair thou never wert the child,
Nor of the Azzain race ysprung thou art,
The mad sea-waves thee hare, some tigress wild
On Caucasus' cold crags nursed thee apart;
Ah, cruel man l in whom no token mild
Appears, of pity, ruth, or tender heart,
Could not my griefs, my woes, my plaints, and all
One sigh strain from thy breast, one tear make fall?

"What shall I say, or how renew my speech?
He scorns me, leaves me, bids me call him mine:
The victor hath his foe within his reach;
Yet pardons her, that merits death and pine;
Hear how he counsels me; how he can preach,
Like chaste Xenocrates, gainst love divine;
O heavens, O gods! why do these men of shame,
Thus spoil your temples and blaspheme your name?

"Go cruel, go, go with such peace, such rest,
Such joy, such comfort, as thou leavest me here:
My angry soul discharged from this weak breast,
Shall haunt thee ever, and attend thee near,
And fury-like in snakes and firebrands dressed,
Shall aye torment thee, whom it late held dear:
And if thou 'scape the seas, the rocks, and sands
And come to fight among the Pagan bands,

"There lying wounded, mongst the hurt and slain,
Of these my wrongs thou shalt the vengeance bear,
And oft Armida shalt thou call in vain,
At thy last gasp; this hope I soon to hear:"
Here fainted she, with sorrow, grief and pain,
Her latest words scant well expressed were,

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