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And hoisting up the horse from where he fell,
He said, “Now look if I the gout have got,
Morgante was like any mountain framed;
So if he did this, 'tis no prodigy ;
Because he was one of his family ;
Once more he bade him lay his burden by :
He did; and stowed him in some nook away,
And to the abbey then returned with speed.
Morgante, here is naught to do indeed."
RINALDO AND ORLANDO.
(Translated by J. A. Symonds.)
[MATTEO MARIA BOIARDO, count of Scandiano in the Modenese territory, was born there, perhaps about 1434 ; studied at the University of Ferrara ; became versed in the classics and Oriental languages; a favorite at the court of Ferrara, was made governor of Reggio and captain of Modena. He died in 1494. He wrote sonnets and canzones, a comedy, and other small pieces ; but his great work is the unfinished epic “Orlando Innamorato,” well constructed and dramatic though heavy in style, which was Italy's first good romantic epic, and led to two far greater works - Ariosto's sequel the “Orlando Furioso," and Tasso's “Gerusalemme Liberata."']
RINALDO AND FIORDELISA.
Upon his steed forthwith hath sprung the knight,
And forced them to dismount and there to stay.
Close at his side the lovely lady lay :
He now can sleep anigh that beauteous dame,
Nor of her neighborhood have any care.
Would not have stayed his quick desire, I swear;
Walls, mountains he'd have laid in ruins there!
The air, meanwhile, was growing bright around,
Although not yet the sun his face had shown;
The birds upon the trees sang one by one;
Then toward Rinaldo turned the maid alone;
Beauteous he was, and but a stripling then:
Strong-thewed, and lithe, and with a lively face;
The lady gazed, smit with his manly grace;
Gazing, she all but fainted in that place,
ORLANDO's LAMENT OVER RINALDO. [They have recently fought over Angelica, and Orlando, finding his rival's
sword, supposes him dead.]
Little by little of his will to yield;
When, gazing on the bridge and guarded field,
Which erst Rinaldo bore — broadsword and shield:
“Here wast thou killed by foulest treachery
Of that false robber on this slippery bridge;
In fair fight, front to front, and edge to edge:
Where now thou reignest, list thy lord and liege!
Me who so loved thee, though my brief misprision, Through too much love, wrought 'twixt our lives division.
"I crave thy pardon, pardon me, I pray,
If e'er I did thee wrong, sweet cousin mine! I was thine ever, as I am alway,
Though false suspicion, or vaia love malign, And jealous blindness, on an evil day,
Brought me to cross my furious brand with thine ; Yet all the while I loved thee - love thee now: Mine was the fault, and only mine, I vow.
“ What traitorous wolf ravening for blood was he
Who thus debarred us twain from kind return To concord sweet and sweet tranquillity,
Sweet kisses, and sweet tears of souls that yearn?
That now I may not to thy bosom turn,
ORLANDO AND AGRICANE.
After the sun below the hills was laid,
And with bright stars the sky began to glow, Unto the king these words Orlando said,
“What shall we do, now that the day is low ? " Then Agricane made answer, "Make our bed
Together here, amid the herbs that grow; And then to-morrow with the dawn of light We can return and recommence the fight.”
No sooner said, than straight they were agreed :
Each ties his horse to trees that near them grew;
mead You might have thought they were old friends and true, So close and careless couched they in the reed.
Orlando nigh unto the fountain drew,
Herewith the twain began to hold debate
Of fitting things, and meet for noble knights.
And fair is yonder frame of glittering lights,
Which God, the mighty monarch, did create ;
The silvery moon, and stars that gem our nights,
It is your wish toward faith our talk to turn:
Nay, when I was a boy, I would not learn, But broke my master's head to make amend
For his much prating; no one since did yearn To teach me book or writing, such the dread Wherewith I filled them for my hardihead.
“ And so I let my boyish days flow by
In hunting, feats of arms, and horsemanship;
To pore the livelong day o'er scholarship.
And strength of limb in noble fellowship;
Arms are the chief prime honor of a knight.
But rather fame, as fields with flowers are bright.
Who never thinks of God's eternal light;
War with advantage so complete to wage!
I know full well that you are learned and sage ;
Sleep if you like; in sleep your soul assuage;
Of what I ask, upon a brave man's faith:
Whose name and fame the whole world echoeth ? Whence are you come, and why? And since your youth
Were you by love enthralled ? For story saith
That any knight who loves not, though he seem
Then spake the Count: “Orlando sure am I,
Who both Almonte and his brother slew. Imperious love hath lost me utterly,
And made me journey to strange lands and new; She who now lies within Albracca's wall, Gallafra's daughter, holds my heart in thrall.”
When to the leafy wood his feet were brought,
Toward Merlin's Fount at once he took his way; Unto the fount that changes amorous thought
Journeyed the Paladin without delay;
Caused him upon the path his feet to stay.
And in the midst thereof a naked boy,
Singing, took solace with surpassing cheer; Three ladies round him, as around their joy,
Danced naked in the light so soft and clear. No sword, no shield, hath been his wonted toy;
Brown are his eyes; yellow his curls appear; His downy beard hath scarce begun to grow One saith 'tis there, and one might say no!
With violets, roses, flowers of every dye,
Baskets they filled, and eke their beauteous hands : Then as they dance in joy and amity,
The Lord of Montalbano near them stands: Whereat “Behold the traitor!” loud they cry,
Soon as they mark the foe within their bands “Behold the thief, the scorner of delight, Caught in the trap at last in sorry plight !”
Then with their baskets all with one consent
Upon Rinaldo like a tempest bore:
Showers lilies, hyacinths, fast as she can pour:
His heart and pricked his marrow to the core,