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She leaped down, and fled from friends' and fone,
On a swift horse she mounts, and forth she rides
Alone, save for disdain and love, her guides.
In days of old, Queen Cleopatra so
Alone fled from the fight and cruel fray,
Against Augustus great his happy foe,
Leaving her lord to loss and sure decay.
And as that lord for love let honor go,
Followed her flying sails and lost the day:
So Tisipherne the fair and fearful dame
Would follow, but his foe forbids the same.
But when the Pagan's joy and comfort fled,
It seemed the sun was set, the day was night,
Gainst the brave prince with whom he combated
He turned, and on the forehead struck the knight:
When thunders forged are in Typhoius' bed,
Not Brontes' hammer falls so swift, so right;
The furious stroke fell on Rinaldo's crest,
And made him bend his head down to his breast.
The champion in his stirrups high upstart,
And cleft his hauberk hard and tender side,
And sheathed his weapon in the Pagan's heart,
The castle where man's life and soul do bide;
The cruel sword his breast and hinder part
With double wound unclosed, and opened wide;
And two large doors made for his life and breath,
Which passed, and cured hot love with frozen death.
This done, Rinaldo stayed and looked around,
Where he should harm his foes, or help his friends;
Nor of the Pagans saw he squadron sound:
Each standard falls, ensign to earth descends;
His fury quiet then and calm he found,
There all his wrath, his rage, and rancor ends,
He called to mind how, far from help or aid,
Armida fled, alone, amazed, afraid:
Well saw he when she fled, and with that sight
The prince had pity, courtesy and care;
He promised her to be her friend and knight
When erst he left her in the island bare:
The way she fled he ran and rode aright,
Her palfrey's feet signs in the grass outware:
But she this while found out an ugly shade,
Fit place for death, where naught could life persuade.
Well pleased was she with those shadows brown,
And yet displeased with luck, with life, with love;
There from her steed she lighted, there laid down
Her bow and shafts, her arms that helpless prove.
"There lie with shame," she says, "disgraced, o'erthrown,
Blunt are the weapons, blunt the arms I move,
Weak to revenge my harms, or harm my foe,
My shafts are blunt, ah, love, would thine were so!
Alas, among so many, could not one,
Not one draw blood, one wound or rend his skin?
All other breasts to you are marble stone,
Dare you then pierce a woman's bosom thin?
See, see, my naked heart, on this alone
Employ your force this fort is eath to win,
And love will shoot you from his mighty bow,
Weak is the shot that dripile falls in snow.
"I pardon will your fear and weakness past,
Be strong, mine arrows, cruel, sharp, gainst me,
Ah, wretch, how is thy chance and fortune cast,
If placed in these thy good and comfort be?
But since all hope is vain all help is waste,
Since hurts ease hurts, wounds must cure wounds in thee;
Then with thine arrow's stroke cure stroke of love,
Death for thy heart must salve and surgeon prove.
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