Previous First Next
And thus sharp death their knot of life untied,
Together fainted they, together died.
But now swift fame her nimble wings dispread,
And told eachwhere their chance, their fate, their fall,
Rinaldo heard the case, by one that fled
From the fierce Turk and brought him news of all.
Disdain, good-will, woe, wrath the champion led
To take revenge; shame, grief, for vengeance call;
But as he went, Adrastus with his blade
Forestalled the way, and show of combat made.
The giant cried, "By sundry signs I note
That whom I wish, I search, thou, thou art he,
I marked each worthy's shield, his helm, his coat,
And all this day have called and cried for thee,
To my sweet saint I have thy head devote,
Thou must my sacrifice, my offering be,
Come let us here our strength and courage try,
Thou art Armida's foe, her champion I."
Thus he defied him, on his front before,
And on his throat he struck him, yet the blow
His helmet neither bruised, cleft nor tore,
But in his saddle made him bend and bow;
Rinaldo hit him on the flank so sore,
That neither art nor herb could help him now;
Down fell the giant strong, one blow such power,
Such puissance had; so falls a thundered tower.
With horror, fear, amazedness and dread,
Cold were the hearts of all that saw the fray,
And Solyman, that viewed that noble deed,
Trembled, his paleness did his fear bewray;
For in that stroke he did his end areed,
He wist not what to think, to do, to say,
A thing in him unused, rare and strange,
But so doth heaven men's hearts turn, alter, change.
As when the sick or frantic men oft dream
In their unquiet sleep and slumber short,
And think they run some speedy course, and seem
To move their legs and feet in hasty sort,
Yet feel their limbs far slower than the stream
Of their vain thoughts that bears them in this sport,
And oft would speak, would cry, would call or shout,
Yet neither sound, nor voice, nor word send out:
So run to fight the angry Soldan would,
And did enforce his strength, his might, his ire,
Yet felt not in himself his courage old,
His wonted force, his rage and hot desire,
His eyes, that sparkled wrath and fury bold,
Grew dim and feeble, fear had quenched that fire,
And in his heart an hundred passions fought,
Yet none on fear or base retire he thought.
While unresolved he stood, the victor knight
Arrived, and seemed in quickness, haste and speed,
In boldness, greatness, goodliness and might,
Above all princes born of human seed:
The Turk small while resists, not death nor fight
Made him forget his state or race, through dreed,
He fled no strokes, he fetched no groan nor sigh,
Bold were his motions last, proud, stately, high.
Now when the Soldan, in these battles past
That Antheus-like oft fell oft rose again,
Evermore fierce, more fell, fell down at last
To lie forever, when this prince was slain,
Fortune, that seld is stable, firm or fast,
No longer durst resist the Christian train,
But ranged herself in row with Godfrey's knights,
With them she serves, she runs, she rides, she fights.
The Pagan troops, the king's own squadron fled,
Previous First Next
* * *