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Wherein chaste pity and mild ruth appears:
Thus with sweet words the queen he pacifies,
"Madam, appease your grief, your wrath, your fears,
For to be crowned, not scorned, your life I save;
Your foe nay, but your friend, your knight, your slave.
"But if you tt no speech. no oath, no word;
Yet in mine eyes, my zeal, my truth behold:
For to that throne, whereof thy sire was lord,
I will restore thee, crown thee with that gold,
And if high Heaven would so much grace afford
As from thy heart this cloud this veil unfold
Of Paganism, in all the east no dame
Should equalize thy fortune, state and fame."
Thus plaineth he, thus prays, and his desire
Endears with sighs that fly and tears that fall;
That as against the warmth of Titan's fire,
Snowdrifts consume on tops of mountains tall,
So melts her wrath; but love remains entire.
"Behold," she says, "your handmaid and your thrall:
My life, my crown, my wealth use at your pleasure;"
Thus death her life became, loss proved her tensure.
This while the captain of the Egyptian host, --
That saw his royal standard laid on ground,
Saw Rimedon, that ensign's prop and post,
By Godfrey's noble hand killed with one wound,
And all his folk discomfit, slain and lost,
No coward was in this last battle found,
But rode about and sought, nor sought in vain,
Some famous hand of which he might be slain;
Against Lord Godfrey boldly out he flew,
For nobler foe he wished not, could not spy,
Of desperate courage showed he tokens true,
Where'er he joined, or stayed, or passed by,
And cried to the Duke as near he drew,
"Behold of thy strong hand I come to die,
Yet tt to overthrow thee with my fall,
My castle's ruins shall break down thy wall."
This said, forth spurred they both, both high advance
Their swords aloft, both struck at once, both hit,
His left arm wounded had the knight of France,
His shield was pierced, his vantbrace cleft and split,
The Pagan backward fell, half in a trance,
On his left ear his foe so hugely smit,
And as he sought to rise, Godfredo's sword
Pierced him through, so died that army's lord.
Of his great host, when Emiren was dead,
Fled the small remnant that alive remained;
Godfrey espied as he turned his steed,
Great Altamore on foot, with blood all stained,
With half a sword, half helm upon his head,
Gainst whom a hundred fought, yet not one gained.
"Cease, cease this strife," he cried: "and thou, brave knight,
Yield, I am Godfrey, yield thee to my might!"
He that till then his proud and haughty heart
To act of humbleness did never bend,
When that great name he heard, from the north part
Of our wide world renowned to Aethiop's end,
Answered, "I yield to thee, thou worthy art,
I am thy prisoner, fortune is thy friend:
On Altamoro great thy conquest bold
Of glory shall be rich, and rich of gold:
"My loving queen, my wife and lady kind
Shall ransom me with jewels, gold and treasure."
"God shield," quoth Godfrey, "that my noble mind
Should praise and virtue so by profit measure,
All that thou hast from Persia and from Inde
Enjoy it still, therein I take no pleasure;
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