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And from each side swords, weapons, fire outbrast:
He sent his folk up to the fortress high,
To shun the furious storm, himself stayed last,
Yet to the danger he gave place at length,
For wit, his courage; wisdom ruled his strength.
But scant the knight was safe the gate within,
Scant closed were the doors, when having broke
The bars, Rinaldo doth assault begin
Against the port, and on the wicket stroke
His matchless might, his great desire to win,
His oath and promise, doth his wrath provoke,
For he had sworn, nor should his word be vain,
To kill the man that had Prince Sweno slain.
And now his armed hand that castle great
Would have assaulted, and had shortly won,
Nor safe pardie the Soldan there a seat
Had found his fatal foes' sharp wrath to shun,
Had not Godfredo sounded the retreat;
For now dark shades to shroud the earth begun,
Within the town the duke would lodge that night,
And with the morn renew the assault and fight.
With cheerful look thus to his folk he said,
"High God hath holpen well his children dear,
This work is done, the rest this night delayed
Doth little labor bring, less doubt, no fear,
This tower, our foe's weak hope and latest aid,
We conquer will, when sun shall next appear:
Meanwhile with love and tender ruth go see
And comfort those which hurt and wounded be;
"Go cure their wounds which boldly ventured
Their lives, and spilt their bloods to get this hold,
That fitteth more this host for Christ forth led,
Than thirst of vengeance, or desire of gold;
Too much, ah, too much blood this day is shed!
In some we too much haste to spoil behold,
But I command no more you spoil and kill,
And let a trumpet publish forth my will."
This said, he went where Raymond panting lay,
Waked from the swoon wherein he late had been.
Nor Solyman with countenance less gay
Bespake his troops, and kept his grief unseen;
"My friends, you are unconquered this day,
In spite of fortune still our hope is green,
For underneath great shows of harm and fear,
Our dangers small, our losses little were:
"Burnt are your houses, and your people slain,
Yet safe your town is, though your walls be gone,
For in yourselves and in your sovereign
Consists your city, not in lime and stone;
Your king is safe, and safe is all his train
In this strong fort defended from their fone,
And on this empty conquest let them boast,
Till with this town again, their lives be lost;
"And on their heads the loss at last will light,
For with good fortune proud and insolent,
In spoil and murder spend they day and night,
In riot, drinking, lust and ravishment,
And may amid their preys with little fight
At ease be overthrown, killed, slain and spent,
If in this carelessness the Egyptian host
Upon them fall, which now draws near this coast.
"Meanwhile the highest buildings of this town
We may shake down with stones about their ears,
And with our darts and spears from engines thrown,
Command that hill Christ's sepulchre that bears:"
Thus comforts he their hopes and hearts cast down,
Awakes their valors, and exiles their fears.
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