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Torquato Tasso
Jealem Delivered
page 227



LXXXIV
Courage in noble hearts that ne'er is spent,
Yet fainted not, though faint were every limb,
But reinforced each member cleft and rent,
And want of blood and strength supplied in him;
In his left hand his heavy shield he hent,
Nor seemed the weight too great, his curtlax trim
His right hand drew, nor for more arms he stood
Or stayed, he needs no more whose heart is good:

LXXXV
But coming forth, cried, "Whither will you run,
And leave your leader to his foes in prey?
What! shall these heathen of his armor won,
In their vile temples hang up trophies gay?
Go home to Gascoign then, and tell his son
That where his father died, you ran away:"
This said, against a thousand armed foes,
He did his breast weak, naked, sick, oppose.

LXXXVI
And with his heavy, strong and mighty targe,
That with seven hard bulls' hides was surely lined,
And strengthened with a cover thick and large
Of stiff and well-attempered steel behind,
He shielded Raymond from the furious charge,
From swords, from darts, from weapons of each kind,
And all his foes drove back with his sharp blade,
That sure and safe he lay, as in a shade.

LXXXVII
Thus saved, thus shielded, Raymond 'gan respire,
He rose and reared himself in little space,
And in his bosom burned the double fire
Of vengeance; wrath his heart; shame filled his face;
He looked around to spy, such was his ire,
The man whose stroke had laid him in that place,
Whom when he sees not, for disdain he quakes,
And on his people sharp revengement takes.

LXXXVIII
The Gascoigns turn again, their lord in haste
To venge their loss his hand recorded brings,
The troop that durst so much now stood aghast,
For where sad fear grew late, now boldness springs,
Now followed they that fled, fled they that chased;
So in one hour altereth the state of things,
Raymond requites his loss, shame, hurt and all,
And with an hundred deaths revenged one fall.

LXXXIX
Whilst Raymond wreaked thus his just disdain
On the proud-heads of captains, lords and peers,
He spies great Sion's king amid the train,
And to him leaps, and high his sword he rears,
And on his forehead strikes, and strikes again,
Till helm and head he breaks, he cleaves, he tears;
Down fell the king, the guiltless land he bit,
That now keeps him, because he kept not it.

XC
Their guides, one murdered thus, the other gone,
The troops divided were, in diverse thought,
Despair made some run headlong gainst their fone,
To seek sharp death that comes uncalled, unsought;
And some, that laid their hope on flight alone,
Fled to their fort again; yet chance so wrought,
That with the flyers in the victors pass,
And so the fortress won and conquered was.

XCI
The hold was won, slain were the men that fled,
In courts, halls, chambers high; above, below,
Old Raymond fast up to the leads him sped,
And there, of victory true sign and show,
His glorious standard to the wind he spread,
That so both armies his success might know.
But Solyman saw not the town was lost,
For far from thence he was. and near the host;

XCII
Into the field he came, the lukewarm blood
Did smoke and flow through all the purple field,
There of sad death the court and palace stood,

* * *

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