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Torquato Tasso
Jerusalem Delivered
page 199


Upon the walls in open sight he came,
Black, grisly, loathsome, grim and ugly faced,
Like Pluto old, betwixt two furies placed;

LXXXVIII
And now the wretch those dreadful words begun,
Which trouble make deep hell and all her flock,
Now trembled is the air, the golden sun
His fearful beams in clouds did close and lock,
When from the tower, which Ismen could not shun,
Out fled a mighty stone, late half a rock,
Which light so just upon the wizards three,
That driven to dust their bones and bodies be.

LXXXIX
To less than naught their members old were torn,
And shivered were their heads to pieces small,
As small as are the bruised grains of corn
When from the mill dissolved to meal they fall;
Their damned souls, to deepest hell down borne
Far from the joy and light celestial,
The furies plunged in the infernal lake:
O mankind, at their ends ensample take!

XC
This while the engine which the tempest cold
Had saved from burning with his friendly blast,
Approached had so near the battered hold
That on the walls her bridge at ease she cast:
But Solyman ran thither fierce and bold,
To cut the plank whereon the Christians passed.
And had performed his will, save that upreared
High in the skies a turret new appeared;

XCI
Far in the air up clomb the fortress tall,
Higher than house, than steeple, church or tower;
The Pagans trembled to behold the wall
And city subject to her shot and power;
Yet kept the Turk his stand, though on him fall
Of stones and darts a sharp and deadly shower,
And still to cut the bridge he hopes and strives,
And those that fear with cheerful speech revives.

XCII
The angel Michael, to all the rest
Unseen, appeared before Godfredo's eyes,
In pure and heavenly armor richly dressed,
Brighter than Titan's rays in clearest skies;
"Godfrey," quoth he, "this is the moment blest
To free this town that long in bondage lies,
See, see what legions in thine aid I bring,
For Heaven assists thee, and Heaven's glorious King:

XCIII
"Lift up thine eyes, and in the air behold
The sacred armies, how they mustered be,
That cloud of flesh in which for times of old
All mankind wrapped is, I take from thee,
And from thy senses their thick mist unfold,
That face to face thou mayest these spirits see,
And for a little space right well sustain
Their glorious light and view those angels plain.

XCIV
"Behold the souls of every lord and knight
That late bore arms and died for Christ's dear sake,
How on thy side against this town they fight,
And of thy joy and conquest will partake:
There where the dust and smoke blind all men's sight,
Where stones and ruins such an heap do make,
There Hugo fights, in thickest cloud imbarred,
And undermines that bulwark's groundwork hard.

XCV
"See Dudon yonder, who with sword and fire
Assails and helps to scale the northern port,
That with bold courage doth thy folk inspire
And rears their ladders gainst the assaulted fort:
He that high on the mount in grave attire
Is clad, and crowned stands in kingly sort,
Is Bishop Ademare, a blessed spirit,
Blest for his faith, crowned for his death and merit.

* * *

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