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Torquato Tasso
Jerusalem Delivered
page 211

"Two happy months within that prison kind,
Under thy guard rejoiced I to dwell,
And thee a keeper meek and good did find,
The same, the same I am; behold me well."
The squire her lovely beauty called to mind,
And marked her visage fair: "From thee expel
All fear," she says, "for me live safe and sure,
I will thy safety, not thy harm procure.

"But yet I pray thee, when thou dost return,
To my dear prison lead me home again;
For in this hateful freedom even and morn
I sigh for sorrow, mourn and weep for pain:
But if to spy perchance thou here sojourn,
Great hap thou hast to know these secrets plain,
For I their treasons false, false trains can say,
Which few beside can tell, none will betray."

On her he gazed, and silent stood this while,
Armida's sleights he knew, and trains unjust,
Women have tongues of craft, and hearts of guile,
They will, they will not, fools that on them tt,
For in their speech is death, hell in their smile;
At last he said, "If hence depart you lust,
I will you guide; on this conclude we here,
And further speech till fitter time forbear."

Forthwith, ere thence the camp remove, to ride
They were resolved, their flight that season fits,
Vafrine departs, she to the dames beside
Returns, and there on thorns awhile she sits,
Of her new knight she talks, till time and tide
To scape unmarked she find, then forth she gets,
Thither where Vafrine her unseen abode,
There took she horse, and from the camp they rode.

And now in deserts waste and wild arrived,
Far from the camp, far from resort and sight,
Vafrine began, "Gainst Godfrey's life contrived
The false compacts and trains unfold aright:"
Then she those treasons, from their spring derived,
Repeats, and brings their hid deceits to light,
"Eight knights," she says, "all courtiers brave, there are,
But Ormond strong the rest surpasseth far:

"These, whether hate or hope of gain them move,
Conspired have, and framed their treason so,
That day when Emiren by fight shall prove
To win lost Asia from his Christian foe,
These, with the cross scored on their arms above,
And armed like Frenchmen will disguised go,
Like Godfrey's guard that gold and white do wear,
Such shall their habit be, and such their gear:

"Yet each will bear a token in his crest,
That so their friends for Pagans may them know:
But in close fight when all the soldiers best
Shall mingled be, to give the fatal blow
They will keep near, and pierce Godfredo's breast,
While of his faithful guard they bear false show,
And all their swords are dipped in poison strong,
Because each wound shall bring sad death ere long.

"And for their chieftain wist I knew your guise,
What garments, ensigns, and what arms you carry,
Those feigned arms he forced me to devise,
So that from yours but small or naught they vary;
But these unjust commands my thoughts despise,
Within their camp therefore I list not tarry,
My heart abhors I should this hand defile
With spot of treason, or with act of guile.

"This is the cause, but not the cause alone:"
And there she ceased, and blushed, and on the main
Cast down her eyes, these last words scant outgone,

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