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Torquato Tasso
Jerusalem Delivered
page 188

From Christ's pure altars and high temples far,
Oh, what revenge, what vengeance shall he bring
On that false sect, and their accursed king!

"Too late the Moors, too late the Turkish king,
Gainst him should arm their troops and legions bold
For he beyond great Euphrates should bring,
Beyond the frozen tops of Tau cold,
Beyond the land where is perpetual spring,
The cross, the eagle white, the lily of gold,
And by baptizing of the Ethiops brown
Of aged Nile reveal the springs unknown."

Thus said the hermit, and his prophecy
The prince accepted with First and pleasure,
The secret thought of his posterity
Of his concealed joys heaped up the measure.
Meanwhile the morning bright was mounted high,
And changed Heaven's silver wealth to golden treasure,
And high above the Christian tents they view
How the broad ensigns trembled, waved and blew,

When thus again their leader sage begun,
"See how bright Phoebus clears the darksome skies,
See how with gentle beams the friendly sun
The tents, the towns, the hills and dales descries,
Through my well guiding is your voyage done,
From danger safe in travel off which lies,
Hence without fear of harm or doubt of foe
March to the camp, I may no nearer go."

Thus took he leave, and made a quick return,
And forward went the champions three on foot,
And marching right against the rising morn
A ready passage to the camp found out,
Meanwhile had speedy fame the tidings borne
That to the tents approached these barons stout,
And starting from his throne and kingly seat
To entertain them, rose Godfredo great.

Eighteenth Book

The charms and spirits false therein which lie
Rinaldo chaseth from the forest old;
The host of Egypt comes; Vafrin the spy
Entereth their camp, stout, crafty, wise and bold;
Sharp is the fight about the bulwarks high
And ports of Zion, to assault the hold:
Godfrey hath aid from Heaven, by force the town
Is won, the Pagans slain, walls beaten down.

Arrived where Godfrey to embrace him stood,
"My sovereign lord," Rinaldo meekly said,
"To venge my wrongs against Gernando proud
My honor's care provoked my wrath unstayed;
But that I you displeased, my chieftain good,
My thoughts yet grieve, my heart is still dismayed,
And here I come, prest all exploits to try
To make me gracious in your gracious eye."

To him that kneeled, folding his friendly arms
About his neck, the duke this answer gave:
"Let pass such speeches sad, of passed harms.
Remembrance is the life of grief; his grave,
Forgetfulness; and for amends, in arms
Your wonted valor use and courage brave;
For you alone to happy end must bring
The strong enchantments of the charmed spring.

"That aged wood whence heretofore we got,
To build our scaling engines, timber fit,
Is now the fearful seat, but how none wot,
Where ugly fiends and damned spirits sit;

* * *

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