Canto 7 & Canto 8
Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #10a
CANTO 7 ARGUMENT Rogero, as directed by the pair, The giantess Eriphila o'erthrows. That done, he to Alcina's labyrinth, where More than one knight is tied and prisoned, goes. To him Melissa sage the secret snare, And remedy for that grave evil shows. Whence he, by her advised, with downcast eye, And full of shame forthwith resolves to fly. I The traveller, he, whom sea or mountain sunder From his own country, sees things strange and new; That the misjudging vulgar, which lies under The mist of ignorance, esteems untrue: Rejecting whatsoever is a wonder, Unless 'tis palpable and plain to view: Hence inexperience, as I know full well, Will yield small credence to the tale I tell. II But this be great or small, I know not why The rabble's silly judgement I should fear, Convinced you will not think the tale a lie, In whom the light of reason shines so clear. And hence to you it is I only try The fruit of my fatigues to render dear. I ended where Eriphila in guard Of bridge and stream was seen, the passage barred. III Of finest metal was her armour bright, With gems of many colours overspread, The tawny jacinth, yellow chyrsolite, The emerald green of hue, and ruby red. Mounted, but not on palfrey, for the fight: In place of that, she on a wolf had sped, Sped on a wolf towards the pass; and rode On sell, that rich beyond all custom showed. IV No larger wolf, I ween, Apulia roams; More huge than bull, unguided by her hand; Although upon no bit the monster foams, Docile, I know not why, to her command. The accursed Plague, arrayed in surcoat, comes Above her arms, in colour like the sand; That, saving in its dye, was of the sort Which bishops and which prelates wear at court. V The giantess's crest and shield appear, For ensign, decked with swoln and poisonous toad. Her the two damsels to the cavalier Before the bridge, prepared for battle, showed, Threatening, as wont to some, with levelled spear, To do the warrior scorn and bar the road. Bidding him turn, she to Rogero cries; A lance he takes, and threats her and defies. VI As quick and daring, the gigantic Pest Spurred her wolf, seated well for that dread game: In mid career she laid her lance in rest, And made earth quake beneath her as she came; Yet at the encounter fierce the champaign pressed; For underneath the casque, with stedfast aim, So hard Rogero smote her, that he bore The beldam backward six good yards and more: VII And came already with his lifted blade, Drawn for that end, to take her haughty head; To him an easy task; for she was laid Among the grass and flowers, like one that's dead. But, " 'Tis enough that she is vanquished," said The pair, "No further press thy vengeance dread. Sheathe, courteous cavalier, thy sword anew: Pass we the river, and our way pursue." VIII Along the path, which through a forest lay, Roughish and somedeal ill to beat, they went. Besides that strait and stony was the way, This, nigh directly, scaled a hill's ascent. But, when arrived upon the summit, they Issued upon a mead of vast extent; And a more pleasant palace on that green Beheld, and brighter than was ever seen. IX To meet the Child, Alcina, fair of hue, Advanced some way beyond the outer gate; And, girded by a gay and courtly crew, Rogero there received in lordly state: While all the rest to him such honour do, And on the knight with such deep reverence wait, They could not have displayed more zeal and love, Had Jove descended from the choirs above. X Not so much does the palace, fair to see, In riches other princely domes excel, As that the gentlest, fairest, company Which the whole world contains, within it dwell: Of either sex, with small variety Between, in youth and beauty matched as well: The fay alone exceeds the rest as far As the bright sun outshines each lesser star. XI Her shape is of such perfect symmetry, As best to feign the industrious painter knows, With long and knotted tresses; to the eye Not yellow gold with brighter lustre glows. Upon her tender cheek the mingled dye Is scattered, of the lily and the rose. Like ivory smooth, the forehead gay and round Fills up the space, and forms a fitting bound. XII Two black and slender arches rise above Two clear black eyes, say suns of radiant light, Which ever softly beam and slowly move; Round these appears to sport in frolic flight, Hence scattering all his shafts, the little Love, And seems to plunder hearts in open sight. Thence, through mid visage, does the nose descend, Where Envy finds not blemish to amend. XIII As if between two vales, which softly curl, The mouth with vermeil tint is seen to glow: Within are strung two rows of orient pearl, Which her delicious lips shut up or show. Of force to melt the heart of any churl, However rude, hence courteous accents flow: And here that gentle smile receives its birth, Which opes at will a paradise on earth. XIV Like milk the bosom, and the neck of snow; Round is the neck, and full and large the breast; Where, fresh and firm, two ivory apples grow, Which rise and fall, as, to the margin pressed By pleasant breeze, the billows come and go. Not prying Argus could discern the rest. Yet might the observing eye of things concealed Conjecture safely, from the charms revealed. XV To all her arms a just proportion bear, And a white hand is oftentimes descried, Which narrow is, and somedeal long; and where No knot appears, nor vein is signified. For finish of that stately shape and rare, A foot, neat, short, and round, beneath is spied. Angelic visions, creatures of the sky, Concealed beneath no covering veil can lie. XVI A springe is planted in Rogero's way, On all sides did she speak, smile, sing, or move; No wonder then the stripling was her prey, Who in the fairy saw such show of love. With him the guilt and falsehood little weigh, Of which the offended myrtle told above. Nor will he think that perfidy and guile Can be united with so sweet a smile. XVII No! he could now believe, by magic art, Astolpho well transformed upon the plain, For punishment of foul ungrateful heart, And haply meriting severer pain. And, as for all he heard him late impart, 'Twas prompted by revenge, 'twas false and vain. By hate and malice was the sufferer stung, To blame and wound the fay with slanderous tongue. XVIII The beauteous lady whom he loved so well Is newly banished from his altered breast; For (such the magic of Alcina's spell) She every ancient passion dispossessed; And in his bosom, there alone to dwell, The image of her love, and self impressed. So witched, Rogero sure some grace deserves, If from his faith his frail affection swerves. XIX At board lyre, lute and harp of tuneful string, And other sounds, in mixed diversity, Made, round about, the joyous palace ring, With glorious concert and sweet harmony. Nor lacked there well-accorded voice to sing Of love, its passion and its ecstasy; Nor who, with rare inventions, choicely versed, Delightful fiction to the guests rehearsed. XX What table, spread by whatsoever heir Of Ninus, though triumphant were the board, Or what more famous and more costly, where Cleopatra feasted with the Latian lord, Could with this banquet's matchless joys compare, By the fond fairy for Rogero stored? I think not such a feast is spread above, Where Ganymede presents the cup to Jove. XXI They form a ring, the board and festive cheer Removed, and sitting, play a merry game: Each asks, still whispering in a neighbour's ear, What secret pleases best; to knight and dame A fair occasion, without let or fear, Their love, unheard of any, to proclaim. And in conclusion the two lovers plight Their word, to meet together on that night. XXII Soon, and much sooner than their wont, was ended The game at which the palace inmates play: When pages on the troop with torches tended, And with their radiance chased the night away. To seek his bed the paladin ascended, Girt with that goodly squadron, in a gay And airy bower, appointed for his rest, Mid all the others chosen as the best. XXIII And when of comfits and of cordial wine A fitting proffer has been made anew, The guests their bodies reverently incline, And to their bowers depart the courtly crew. He upon perfumed sheets, whose texture fine Seemed of Arachne's loom, his body threw: Hearkening this while with still attentive ears, If he the coming of the lady hears. XXIV At every movement heard on distant floor, Hoping 'twas her, Rogero raised his head: He thinks he hears; but it is heard no more, Then sighs at his mistake: ofttimes from bed He issued, and undid his chamber door, And peeped abroad, but still no better sped; And cursed a thousand times the hour that she So long retarded his felicity. XXV "Yes, now she comes," the stripling often said, And reckoned up the paces, as he lay, Which from her bower where haply to be made To that where he was waiting for the fay. These thoughts, and other thoughts as vain, he weighed Before she came, and restless at her stay, Often believed some hinderance, yet unscanned, Might interpose between the fruit and hand. XXVI At length, when dropping sweets the costly fay Had put some end to her perfumery, The time now come she need no more delay, Since all was hushed within the palace, she Stole from her bower alone, through secret way, And passed towards the chamber silently, Where on his couch the youthful cavalier Lay, with a heart long torn by Hope and Fear. XXVII When the successor of Astolpho spies Those smiling stars above him, at the sight A flame, like that of kindled sulphur, flies Through his full veins, as ravished by delight Out of himself; and now up to the eyes Plunged in a sea of bliss, he swims outright. He leaps from bed and folds her to his breast, Nor waits until the lady he undressed; XXVIII Though but in a light sendal clad, that she Wore in the place of farthingale or gown; Which o'er a shift of finest quality, And white, about her limbs the fay had thrown: The mantle yielded at his touch, as he Embraced her, and that veil remained alone, Which upon every side the damsel shows, More than clear glass the lily or the rose. XXIX The plant no closer does the ivy clip, With whose green boughs its stem is interlaced. Than those fond lovers, each from either's lip The balmy breath collecting, he embraced: Rich perfume this, whose like no seed or slip Bears in sweet Indian or Sabacan waste; While so to speak their joys is either fixed, That oftentimes those meeting lips are mixed. XXX These things were carried closely by the dame And youth, or if surmised, were never bruited; For silence seldom was a cause for blame, But oftener as a virtue well reputed. By those shrewd courtiers, conscious of his claim, Rogero is with proffers fair saluted: Worshipped of all those inmates, who fulfil In this the enamoured far, Alcina's will. XXXI No pleasure is omitted there; since they Alike are prisoners in Love's magic hall. They change their raiment twice or thrice a day, Now for this use, and now at other call. 'Tis often feast, and always holiday; 'Tis wrestling, tourney, pageant, bath, and ball. Now underneath a hill by fountain cast, They read the amorous lays of ages past: XXXII Now by glad hill, or through the shady dale, They hunt the fearful hare, and now they flush With busy dog, sagacious of the trail, Wild pheasant from the stubble-field or bush. Now where green junipers perfume the gale, Suspend the snare, or lime the fluttering thrush: And casting now for fish, with net or book, Disturb their secret haunts in pleasant brook. XXXIII Rogero revels there, in like delight, While Charles and Agramant are troubled sore. But not for him their story will I slight, Nor Bradamant forget: who evermore, Mid toilsome pain and care, her cherished knight, Ravished from her, did many a day deplore; Whom by unwonted ways, transported through Mid air, the damsel saw, nor whither knew. XXXIV Of her I speak before the royal pair, Who many days pursued her search in vain; By shadowy wood, or over champaign bare, By farm and city, and by hill and plain; But seeks her cherished friend with fruitless care, Divided by such space of land and main: Often she goes among the Paynim spears, Yet never aught of her Rogero hears. XXXV Of hundreds questioned, upon every side, Each day, no answer ever gives content. She roams from post to post, and far and wide Searches pavilion, lodging, booth, or rent, And this, mid foot or horsemen, unespied, May safely do, without impediment, Thanks to the ring, whose more than mortal aid, When in her mouth, conceals the vanished maid. XXXVI She cannot, will not, think that he is dead; Because the wreck of such a noble knight Would, from Hydaspes' distant waves have spread, To where the sun descends with westering light. She knows not what to think, nor whither sped, He roams in earth or air; yet, hapless wight, Him ever seeks, and for attendant train Has sobs and sighs, and every bitter pain. XXXVII At length to find the wondrous cave she thought, Where the prophetic homes of Merlin lie, And there lament herself until she wrought Upon the pitying marble to reply; For thence, if yet he lived would she be taught, Of this glad life to hard necessity Had yielded up; and, when she was possessed Of the seer's councils, would pursue the best. XXXVIII With this intention, Bradamant her way Directed thither, where in Poictier's wood The vocal tomb, containing Merlin's clay, Concealed in Alpine place and savage, stood. But that enchantress sage, who night and day Thought of the damsel, watchful for her good, She, I repeat, who taught her what should be In that fair grotto her posterity; XXXIX She who preserved her with protecting care, That same enchantress, still benign and wise, Who, knowing she a matchless race should bear Of men, or rather semi-deities, Spies daily what her thoughts and actions are, And lots for her each day, divining, tries; -- She all Rogero's fortune knew, how freed; Then borne to India by the griffin steed: XL Him on that courser plainly she had eyed, Who would not the controlling rein obey; When, severed by such interval, he hied, Borne through the perilous, unwonted way: And knew that he sport, dance, and banquet plied, And lapt in idleness and pleasure lay; Nor memory of his lord nor of the dame, Once loved so well, preserved, not of his fame. XLI And thus such gentle knight ingloriously Would have consumed his fairest years and best, In long inaction, afterwards to be, Body and soul, destroyed; and that, possessed Alone by us in perpetuity. That flower, whose sweets outlive the fragile rest Which quickens man when he in earth is laid, Would have been plucked or severed in the blade. XLII But that enchantress kind, who with more care Than for himself he watched, still kept the knight, Designed to drag him, by rough road and bare, Towards true virtue, in his own despite; As often cunning leech will burn and pare The flesh, and poisonous drug employ aright: Who, though at first his cruel art offend, Is thanked, since he preserves us in the end. XLIII She, not like old Atlantes, rendered blind By the great love she to the stripling bore, Set not on gifting him with life her mind, As was the scope of that enchanter hoar; Who, reckless all of fame and praise declined, Wished length of days to his Rogero more Than that, to win a world's applause, the peer Should of his joyous life forego one year. XLIV By him he to Alcina's isle had been Dispatched, that in her palace he might dwell, Forgetting arms; and, as enchanter seen In magic and the use of every spell, The heart had fastened of that fairy-queen, Enamoured of the gentle youth, so well, That she the knot would never disengage, Though he should live to more than Nestor's age. XLV Returning now to her that well foreknew Whatever was to come to pass, I say She thither did her journey straight pursue, Where she met Aymon's daughter by the way Forlorn and wandering: Bradamant at view Of her enchantress, erst to grief a prey, Changes it all to hope: the other tells That with Alcina her Rogero dwells. XLVI Nigh dead the maid remains, in piteous guise, Hearing of him so far removed, and more Grieves that she danger to her love descries, Save this some strong and speedy cure restore. But her the enchantress comforts, and applies A salve where it was needed most, and swore That few short days should pass before anew Rogero should return to glad her view. XLVII "Since thou, an antidote to sorcery, Lady (she said), the virtuous ring dost wear, I have no doubt if to yon island I This, where thine every good is hidden, hear, To foil Alcina's wiles and witchery, And thence to bring thee back thy cherished care. This evening, early, will I hence away, And be in India by the break of day." XLVIII And told to her, the tale continuing, The mode which she was purposing to employ, From that effeminate, soft realm to bring Back into warlike France the cherished boy. Bradamant from her finger slipt the ring, Nor this alone would have bestowed with joy; But heart and life would at her feet have laid, If she had deemed they could Rogero aid. XLIX Giving the ring, her cause she recommends To her, and recommends Rogero more. Countless salutes by her the damsel sends, Then of Provence, departing seeks the shore. The enchantress to another quarter wends; And, for the execution of her lore, Conjures, that eve, a palfrey, by her art, With one foot red, black every other part. L Some Farfarello, or Alchino he, I think, whom in that form she raised from hell; And with loose hair, dishevelled horribly, Ungirt and barefoot, mounted in the sell. But, with wise caution, from her finger she Withdrew the ring, lest it should mar the spell: And then by him was with such swiftness born, She in Alcina's isle arrived at morn. LI Herself she changed with wonderful disguise, Adding a palm of stature to her height; And made her limbs of a proportioned size; And of the very measure seemed to sight, As was she deemed, the necromancer wise, Who with such care had reared the youthful knight. With long-descending beard she clothed her chin, And wrinkled o'er her front and other skin. LII To imitate his speech, and face, and cheer, She knew so well, that, by the youth descried, She might the sage Atlantes' self appear; Next hid, and watched so long, that she espied Upon a day (rare chance) the cavalier At length detached from his Alcina's side: For still, in motion or at rest, the fay Ill bore the youth should be an hour away. LIII Alone she finds him, fitting well her will, As he enjoys the pure and morning air Beside a brook, which trickled from a hill, Streaming towards a limpid lake and fair. His fine, soft garments, wove with cunning skill, All over, ease and wantonness declare; These with her hand, such subtle toil well taught, For him in silk and gold Alcina wrought. LIV About the stripling's neck, a splendid string Of gems, descending to mid-breast, is wound; On each once manly arm, now glittering With the bright hoop, a bracelet fair is bound. Pierced with golden wire, in form of ring, Is either ear; and from the yellow round Depend two precious pearls; not such the coast Of Araby or sumptuous India boast. LV Crisped into comely ringlets was his hair, Wet with the costliest odours and the best; And soft and amorous all his gestures were, Like one who does Valentian lady's hest. In him, beside his name, was nothing fair, And more than half corrupted all the rest. So was Rogero found, within that dell, Changed from his former self by potent spell. LVI Him in the figure of Atlantes sage She fronts, who bore the enchanter's borrowed cheer; With that grave face, and reverend with age, Which he was always wonted to revere; And with that eye, which in his pupillage, Beaming with wrath, he whilom so did fear. And sternly cries, "Is this the fruit at last Which pays my tedious pain and labour past? LVII "The marrow of the lion and the bear Didst thou for this thine early banquet make, And, trained by me, by cliff or cavern-lair, Strangle with infant hands the crested snake; Their claws from tiger and from panther tear, And tusks from living boar in tangled brake, That, bred in such a school, in thee should I Alcina's Atys or Adonis spy? LVIII "Is this the hope that stars, observed by me, Signs in conjunction, sacred fibres, bred; With what beside of dream or augury, And all those lots I but too deeply read, Which, while yet hanging at the breast, of thee, When these thy years should be accomplished, said, Thy fears should so be bruited far and near, Thou justly should be deemed without a peer? LIX "This does, in truth, a fair beginning show; A seed which, we may hope, will soon conceive A Julius, Alexander, Scipio. Who thee Alcina's bondsman could believe; And (for the world the shameful fact might know) That all should, manifest to sight, perceive Upon thy neck and arms the servile chains, Wherewith she at her will her captive trains? LX "If thine own single honour move not thee, And the high deeds which thou art called to do, Wherefore defraud thy fair posterity Of what, was oft predicted, should ensue? Alas! why seal the womb God willed should be Pregnant by thee with an illustrious crew, That far renowned, and more than human line, Destined the sun in glory to outshine? LXI "Forbid not of the noblest souls the birth, Formed in the ideas of Eternal Mind, Destined, from age to age, to visit earth, Sprung from thy stock, and clothed in corporal rind; The spring of thousand palms and festal mirth, Through which, to Italy with losses pined And wounds, thy good descendants shall restore The fame and honours she enjoyed of yore. LXII "Not only should these many souls have weight To bend thy purpose, holy souls, and bright, Which from thy fruitful tree shall vegetate; But, though alone, a single couple might Suffice a nobler feeling to create, Alphonso and his brother Hyppolite: Whose like was seldom witnessed to this time, Through all the paths whence men to virtue climb. LXIII "I was more wont to dwell upon this pair Than all the rest, of whom I prophesied; As well that these a greater part should bear In lofty virtues, as that I descried Thee, listening to my lore with closer care, Than to the tale of all thy seed beside. I saw thee joy that such a pair would shine Amid the heroes of thy noble line. LXIV "Say, what has she, thou makest thy fancy's queen, More than what other courtezans possess? Who of so many concubine has been; How used her lovers in the end to bless, Thou truly know'st: but that she may be seen Without disguise, and in her real dress, This ring, returning, on thy finger wear, And thou shalt see the dame, and mark how fair." LXV Abashed and mute, Rogero, listening, In vain to her reproof an answer sought: Who on his little finger put the ring, Whose virtue to himself the warrior brought. And such remorse and shame within him spring, When on his altered sense the change is wrought, A thousand fathoms deep he fain would lie Buried in earth, unseen of any eye. LXVI So speaking, to the natural shape she wore Before his eyes returned the magic dame; Nor old Atlantes' form was needed more, The good effect obtained for which she came. To tell you that which was not told before, Melissa was the sage enchantress' name: Who to Rogero now her purpose said, And told with what design she thither sped: LXVII Dispatched by her, who him in anxious pain Desires, nor longer can without him be, With the intent to loose him from the chain Wherewith he was begirt by sorcery; And had put on, more credence to obtain, Atlantes de Carena's form; but she, Seeing his health restored, now willed the youth, Through her should hear and see the very truth. LXVIII "That gentle lady who so loves thee, who Were well deserving love upon thy part; To whom (unless forgot, thou know'st how true The tale) thou debtor for thy freedom art, This ring, which can each magic spell undo, Sends for thy succour, and would send her heart, If with such virtue fraught, her heart could bring Thee safely in thy perils, like the ring." LXIX How Bradamant had loved, and loves, she says, Continuing to Rogero her relation; To this, her worth commends with fitting praise, Tempering in truth and fondness her narration; And still employs the choicest mode and phrase, Which fits one skilful in negociation, And on the false Alcina brings such hate, As on things horrible is wont to wait; LXX Brings hate on that which he so loved before; Nor let the tale astonish which you hear, For since his love was forced by magic lore, The ring the false enchantment served to clear. This too unmasked the charms Alcina wore, And made all false, from head to food, appear. None of her own, but borrowed, all he sees, And the once sparkling cup now drugged with lees. LXXI Like boy who somewhere his ripe fruit bestows, And next forgets the place where it is laid, Then, after many days, conducted goes By chance, where he the rich deposit made, And wonders that the hidden treasure shows, Not what it is, but rotten and decayed; And hates, and scorns, and loathes, with altered eyes, And throws away what he was used to prize. LXXII Rogero thus, when by Melissa's lore Advised, he to behold the fay returned, And that good ring of sovereign virtue wore, Which, on the finger placed, all spells o'erturned; For that fair damsel he had left before, To his surprise, so foul a dame discerned, That in this ample world, examined round, A hag so old and hideous is not found. LXXIII Pale, lean, and wrinkled was the face, and white, And thinly clothed with hair Alcina's head; Her stature reached not to six palms in height, And every tooth was gone; for she had led A longer life than ever mortal wight, Than Hecuba or she in Cuma bred; But thus by practice, to our age unknown, Appeared with youth and beauty not her own. LXXIV By art she gave herself the lovely look, Which had on many like Rogero wrought; But now the ring interpreted the book, Which secrets, hid for many ages, taught. No wonder then that he the dame forsook, And banished from his mind all further thought Of love for false Alcina, found in guise Which no new means of slippery fraud supplies. LXXV But, as Melissa counselled him, he wore His wonted semblance for a time, till he Was with his armour, many days before Laid by, again accoutred cap-a-pee. And, lest Alcina should his end explore, Feigned to make proof of his agility; Feigned to make proof if for his arms he were Too gross, long time unwont the mail to bear. LXXVI Next Balisarda to his flank he tied (For so Rogero's trenchant sword was hight), And took the wondrous buckler, which, espied, Not only dazzled the beholder's sight, But seemed, when its silk veil was drawn aside, As from the body if exhaled the sprite: In its close cover of red sendal hung, This at his neck the youthful warrior slung. LXXVII Provided thus, he to the stables came, And bade with bridle and with saddle dight A horse more black than pitch; for so the dame Counselled, well-taught how swift the steed and light. Him Rabicano those who know him name, And he the courser was, that with the knight, Who stands beside the sea, the breeze's sport, The whale of yore conducted to that port. LXXVIII The hippogryph he might have had at need, Who next below good Rabican was tied, But that the dame had cried to him, "Take heed, Thou know'st how ill that courser is to ride"; And said the following day the winged steed 'Twas her intention from that realm to guide, Where he should be instructed at his leisure, To rein and run him every where at pleasure: LXXIX Nor, if he took him not, would he suggest Suspicion of the intended flight: The peer This while performed Melissa's every hest, Who, still invisible, was at his ear. So feigning, from the wanton dome possessed By that old strumpet, rode the cavalier; And pricking forth drew near unto a gate, Whence the road led to Logistilla's state. LXXX Assaulting suddenly the guardian crew, He, sword in hand, the squadron set upon; This one he wounded, and that other slew, And, point by point made good, the drawbridge won: And ere of his escape Alcina knew, The gentle youth was far away and gone. My next shall tell his route, and how he gained At last the realm where Logistilla reigned. CANTO 8 ARGUMENT Rogero flies; Astolpho with the rest, To their true shape Melissa does restore; Rinaldo levies knights and squadrons, pressed In aid of Charles assaulted by the Moor: Angelica, by ruffians found at rest, Is offered to a monster on the shore. Orlando, warned in visions of his ill, Departs from Paris sore against his will. I How many enchantresses among us! oh, How many enchanters are there, though unknown! Who for their love make man or woman glow, Changing them into figures not their own. Nor this by help of spirits from below, Nor observation of the stars is done: But these on hearts with fraud and falsehood plot, Binding them with indissoluble knot. II Who with Angelica's, or rather who Were fortified with Reason's ring, would see Each countenance, exposed to open view, Unchanged by art or by hypocrisy. This now seems fair and good, whose borrowed hue Removed, would haply foul and evil be. Well was it for Rogero that he wore The virtuous ring which served the truth to explore! III Rogero, still dissembling, as I said, Armed, to the gate on Rabican did ride; Found the guard unprepared, not let his blade, Amid that crowd, hang idle at his side: He passed the bridge, and broke the palisade, Some slain, some maimed; then t'wards the forest hied; But on that road small space had measured yet, When he a servant of the fairy met. IV He on his fist a ravening falcon bore, Which he made fly for pastime every day; Now on the champaign, now upon the shore Of neighbouring pool, which teemed with certain prey; And rode a hack which simple housings wore, His faithful dog, companion of his way. He, marking well the haste with which he hies, Conjectures truly what Rogero flies. V Towards him came the knave, with semblance haught, Demanding whither in such haste he sped: To him the good Rogero answers naught. He hence assured more clearly that he fled, Within himself to stop the warrior thought, And thus, with his left arm extended, said: "What, if I suddenly thy purpose balk, And thou find no defence against this hawk?" VI Then flies his bird, who works so well his wing, Rabican cannot distance him in flight: The falconer from his back to ground did spring, And freed him from the bit which held him tight; Who seemed an arrow parted from the string, And terrible to foe, with kick and bite; While with such haste behind the servant came, He sped as moved by wind, or rather flame. VII Nor will the falconer's dog appear more slow; But hunts Rogero's courser, as in chace Of timid hare the pard is wont to go. Not to stand fast the warrior deems disgrace, And turns towards the swiftly-footed foe, Whom he sees wield a riding-wand, place Of other arms, to make his dog obey. Rogero scorns his faulchion to display. VIII The servant made at him, and smote him sore; The dog his left foot worried; while untied From rein, the lightened horse three times and more Lashed from the croup, nor missed his better side. The hawk, oft wheeling, with her talons tore The stripling, and his horse so terrified, The courser, by the whizzing sound dismayed, Little the guiding hand or spur obeyed. IX Constrained at length, his sword Rogero drew To clear the rabble, who his course delay; And in the animals' or villain's view Did now its point, and now its edge display. But with more hinderance and vexatious crew Swarm here and there, and wholly block the way; And that dishonour will ensue and loss, Rogero sees, if him they longer cross. X He knew each little that he longer stayed, Would bring the fay and followers on the trail; Already drums were beat, and trumpets brayed, And larum-bells rang loud in every vale. An act too foul it seemed to use his blade On dog, and knave unfenced with arms or mail: A better and shorter way it were The buckler, old Atlantes' work, to bare. XI He raised the crimson cloth in which he wore The wondrous shield, enclosed for many a day; Its beams, as proved a thousand times before, Work as they wont, when on the sight they play; Senseless the falconer tumbles on the moor; Drop dog and hackney; drop the pinions gay, Which poised in air the bird no longer keep: Then glad Rogero leaves a prey to sleep. XII In the mean time, Alcina, who had heard How he had forced the gate, and, in the press, Slaughtered a mighty number of her guard, Remained nigh dead, o'erwhelmed with her distress; She tore her vesture, and her visage marred, And cursed her want of wit and wariness. Then made forthwith her meiny sound to arms, And round herself arrayed her martial swarms. XIII Divided next, one squadron by the way Rogero took, she sent; the bands were two: She at the port embarked the next array, And straight to sea dispatched the warlike crew. With this good squadron went the desperate fay, And darked by loosened sails the billows grew; For so desire upon her bosom preyed, Of troops she left her city unpurveyed. XIV Without a guard she left her palace there, Which to Melissa, prompt her time to seize, To loose her vassals that in misery were, Afforded all convenience and full ease; -- To range, at leisure, through the palace fair, And so examine all her witcheries; To raze the seal, burn images, and loose Or cancel hag-knot, rhomb, or magic noose. XV Thence, through the fields, fast hurrying from that dome, The former lovers changed, a mighty train, Some into rock or tree, to fountain some, Or beast, she made assume their shapes again: And these, when they anew are free to roam, Follow Rogero's footsteps to the reign Of Logistilla's sage; and from that bourn To Scythia, Persia, Greece, and Ind return. XVI They to their several homes dispatched, repair, Bound by a debt which never can be paid: The English duke, above the rest her care, Of these, was first in human form arrayed: For much his kindred and the courteous prayer Of good Rogero with Melissa weighed. Beside his prayers, the ring Rogero gave; That him she by its aid might better save. XVII Thus by Rogero's suit the enchantress won, To his first shape transformed the youthful peer; But good Melissa deemed that nought was done Save she restored his armour, and that spear Of gold, which whensoe'er at tilt he run, At the first touch unseated cavalier; Once Argalia's, next Astolpho's lance, And source of mighty fame to both in France. XVIII The sage Melissa found this spear of gold, Which now Alcina's magic palace graced, And other armour of the warrior bold, Of which he was in that ill dome uncased. She climbed the courser of the wizard old, And on the croup, at ease, Astolpho placed: And thus, an hour before Rogero came, Repaired to Logistilla, knight and dame. XIX Meantime, through rugged rocks, and shagged with thorn, Rogero wends, to seek the sober fay; From cliff to cliff, from path to path forlorn, A rugged, lone, inhospitable way: Till he, with labour huge oppressed and worn, Issued at noon upon a beach, that lay 'Twixt sea and mountain, open to the south, Deserted, barren, bare, and parched with drouth. XX The sunbeams on the neighbouring mountain beat And glare, reflected from the glowing mass So fiercely, sand and air both boil with heat, In mode that might have more than melted glass. The birds are silent in their dim retreat, Nor any note is heard in wood or grass, Save the bough perched Cicala's wearying cry, Which deafens hill and dale, and sea and sky. XXI The heat and thirst and labour which he bore By that drear sandy way beside the sea, Along the unhabited and sunny shore, Were to Rogero grievous company: Bur for I may not still pursue this lore, Nor should you busied with one matter be, Rogero I abandon in this heat, For Scotland; to pursue Rinaldo's beat. XXII By king, by daughter, and by all degrees, To Sir Rinaldo was large welcome paid; And next the warrior, at his better ease, The occasion of his embassy displayed: That he from thence and England, subsidies Of men was seeking, for his monarch's aid, In Charles's name; and added, in his care, The justest reasons to support his prayer. XXIII The king made answer, that `without delay, Taxed to the utmost of his powers and might, His means at Charlemagne's disposal lay, For the honour of the empire and the right. And that, within few days, he in array Such horsemen, as he had in arms, would dight; And, save that he was now waxed old, would lead The expedition he was prayed to speed. XXIV `Nor like consideration would appear Worthy to stop him, but that he possessed A son, and for such charge that cavalier, Measured by wit and force, was worthiest. Though not within the kingdom was the peer, It was his hope (as he assured his guest) He would, while yet preparing was the band, Return, and find it mustered to his hand.' XXV So sent through all his realm, with expedition, His treasures, to levy men and steeds; And ships prepared, and warlike ammunition, And money, stores and victual for their needs. Meantime the good Rinaldo on his mission, Leaving the courteous king, to England speeds; He brought him on his way to Berwick's town, And was observed to weep when he was gone. XXVI The wind sat in the poop; Rinaldo good Embarked and bade farewell to all; the sheet Still loosening to the breeze, the skipper stood, Till where Thames' waters, waxing bitter, meet Salt ocean: wafted thence by tide of flood, Through a sure channel to fair London's seat, Safely the mariners their course explore, Making their way, with aid of sail and oar. XXVII The Emperor Charles, and he, King Otho grave, Who was with Charles, by siege in Paris pressed, A broad commission to Rinaldo brave, With letters to the Prince of Wales addressed, And countersigns had given, dispatched to crave What foot and horse were by the land possessed. The whole to be to Calais' port conveyed; That it to France and Charles might furnish aid. XXVIII The prince I speak of, who on Otho's throne Sate in his stead, the vacant helm to guide, Such honor did to Aymon's valiant son, He not with such his king had gratified. Next, all to good Rinaldo's wish, was done: Since for his martial bands on every side, In Britain, or the isles which round her lay, To assemble near the sea he fixed a day. XXIX But here, sir, it behoves me shift my ground, Like him that makes the sprightly viol ring, Who often changes chord and varies sound, And now a graver strikes, now sharper string: Thus I: -- who did to good Rinaldo bound My tale, Angelica remembering; Late left, where saved from him by hasty flight, She had encountered with an anchorite. XXX Awhile I will pursue her story: I Told how the maid of him with earnest care, Enquired, how she towards the shore might fly: Who of the loathed Rinaldo has such fear, She dreads, unless she pass the sea, to die, As insecure in Europe, far or near, But she was by the hermit kept in play, Because he pleasure took with her to stay. XXXI His heart with love of that rare beauty glowed, And to his frozen marrow pierced the heat; Who, after, when he saw that she bestowed Small care on him, and thought but of retreat, His sluggish courser stung with many a goad; But with no better speed he plied his feet. Ill was his walk, and worse his trot; nor spur Could that dull beast to quicker motion stir: XXXII And for the flying maid was far before, And he would soon have ceased to track her steed, To the dark cave recurred the hermit hoar, And conjured up of fiends a grisly breed: One he selected out of many more, And first informed the demon of his need; Then in the palfrey bade him play his part, Who with the lady bore away his heart: XXXIII And as sagacious dog on mountain tried Before, accustomed fox and hare to chase, If he behold the quarry choose one side, The other takes, and seems to slight the trace: But at the turn arriving, is espied, Already tearing what he crossed to face; So her the hermit by a different road Will meet, wherever she her palfrey goad. XXXIV What was the friar's design I well surmise; And you shall know; but in another page. Angelica now slow, now faster, flies, Nought fearing this: while conjured by the sage, The demon covered in the courser lies; As fire sometimes will hide its smothered rage: Then blazes with devouring flame and heat, Unquenchable, and scarce allows retreat. XXXV After the flying maid had shaped her course By the great sea which laves the Gascon shore, Still keeping to the rippling waves her horse, Where best the moistened sand the palfrey bore, Him, plunged into the brine, the fiend perforce Dragged, till he swam amid the watery roar. Nor what to do the timid damsel knew, Save that she closer to her saddle grew. XXXVI She cannot, howsoe'er the rein she ply, Govern the horse, who swims the surge to meet: Her raiment she collects and holds it high; And, not to wet them, gathers up her feet. Her tresses, which the breeze still wantonly Assaults, dishevelled on her shoulders beat. The louder winds are hushed, perchance in duty, Intent, like ocean, on such sovereign beauty. XXXVII Landward in vain her eyes the damsel bright Directs, which water face and breast with tears, And ever sees, decreasing to her sight, The beach she left, which less and less appears. The courser, who was swimming to the right, After a mighty sweep, the lady bears To shore, where rock and cavern shag the brink, As night upon the land begins to sink. XXXVIII When in that desert, which but to descry Bred fear in the beholder, stood the maid Alone, as Phoebus, plunged in ocean, sky And nether earth had left obscured in shade; She paused in guise, which in uncertainty Might leave whoever had the form surveyed, If she were real woman, or some mock Resemblance, coloured in the living rock. XXXIX She, fixed and stupid in her wretchedness, Stood on the shifting sand, with ruffled hair: Her hands were joined, her lips were motionless, Her languid eyes upturned, as in despair, Accusing Him on high, that to distress And whelm her, all the fates united were. Astound she stood awhile; when grief found vent Through eyes and tongue, in tears and in lament. XL "Fortune what more remains, that thou on me Shouldst not now satiate thy revengeful thirst? What more (she said) can I bestow on thee Than, what thou seekest not, this life accurst? Thou wast in haste to snatch me from the sea, Where I had ended its sad days, immersed; Because to torture me with further ill Before I die, is yet thy cruel will. XLI "But what worse torment yet remains in store Beyond, I am unable to descry: By thee from my fair throne, which nevermore I hope to repossess, compelled to fly; I, what is worse, my honour lost deplore; For if I sinned not in effect, yet I Give matter by my wanderings to be stung For wantonness of every carping tongue. XLII "What other good is left to woman, who Has lost her honour, in this earthly ball? What profits it that, whether false or true, I am deemed beauteous, and am young withal? No thanks to heaven for such a gift are due, Whence on my head does every mischief fall. For this my brother Argalia died; To whom small help enchanted arms supplied: XLIII "For this the Tartar king, Sir Agrican, Subdued my sire, who Galaphron was hight, And of Catay in India was great khan; 'Tis hence I am reduced to such a plight, That wandering evermore, I cannot scan At morn, where I shall lay my head at night. If thou hast ravished what thou couldst, wealth, friends, And honour; say what more thy wrath intends. XLIV "If death by drowning in the foaming sea Was not enough thy wrath to satiate, Send, if thou wilt, some beast to swallow me, So that he keep me not in pain! Thy hate Cannot devise a torment, so it be My death, but I shall thank thee for my fate!" Thus, with loud sobs, the weeping lady cried, When she beheld the hermit at her side. XLV From the extremest height the hermit hoar Of that high rock above her, had surveyed Angelica, arrived upon the shore, Beneath the cliff, afflicted and dismayed. He to that place had come six days before; For him by path untrod had fiend conveyed: And he approached her, feigning such a call As e'er Hilarion might have had, or Paul. XLVI When him, yet unagnized, she saw appear, The lady took some comfort, and laid by, Emboldened by degrees, her former fear: Though still her visage was of death-like dye. "Misericord! father," when the friar was near (She said), "for brought to evil pass am I." And told, still broke by sobs, in doleful tone, The story, to her hearer not unknown. XLVII To comfort her, some reasons full of grace, Sage and devout the approaching hermit cites: And, now his hand upon her moistened face, In speaking, now upon her bosom lights: As her, securer, next he would embrace: Him, kindling into pretty scorn, she smites With one hand on his breast, and backward throws, Then flushed with honest red, all over glows. XLVIII A pocket at the ancient's side was dight, Where he a cruise of virtuous liquor wore; And at those puissant eyes, whence flashed the light Of the most radiant torch Love ever bore, Threw from the flask a little drop, of might To make her sleep: upon the sandy shore Already the recumbent damsel lay, The greedy elder's unresisting prey. XLIX (Stanza XLIX untranslated by Rose) L (Lines 1-2 untranslated by Rose) Hopeless, at length upon the beach he lies, And by the maid, exhausted, falls asleep. When to torment him new misfortunes rise: Fortune does seldom any measure keep; Unused to cut her cruel pastime short, If she with mortal man is pleased to sport. LI It here behoves me, from the path I pressed, To turn awhile, ere I this case relate: In the great northern sea, towards the west, Green Ireland past, an isle is situate. Ebuda is its name, whose shores infest, (Its people wasted through the Godhead's hate) The hideous orc, and Proteus' other herd, By him against that race in vengeance stirred. LII Old stories, speak they falsely or aright, Tell how a puissant king this country swayed; Who had a daughter fair, so passing bright And lovely, 'twas no wonder if the maid, When on the beach she stood in Proteus' sight, Left him to burn amid the waves: surveyed, One day alone, upon that shore in-isled, Her he compressed, and quitted great with child. LIII This was sore torment to the sire, severe And impious more than all mankind; nor he, Such is the force of wrath, was moved to spare The maid, for reason or for piety. Nor, though he saw her pregnant, would forbear To execute his sentence suddenly; But bade together with the mother kill, Ere born, his grandchild, who had done no ill. LIV Sea-Proteus to his flocks' wide charge preferred By Neptune, of all ocean's rule possessed, Inflamed with ire, his lady's torment heard, And, against law and usage, to molest The land (no sluggard in his anger) stirred His monsters, orc and sea-calf, with the rest; Who waste not only herds, but human haunts, Farm-house and town, with their inhabitants: LV And girding them on every side, the rout Will often siege to walled cities lay; Where in long weariness and fearful doubt, The townsmen keep their watch by night and day. The fields they have abandoned all about, And for a remedy, their last assay, To the oracle, demanding counsel, fly, Which to the suppliant's prayer made this reply: LVI `That it behoved them find a damsel, who A form as beauteous as that other wore, To be to Proteus offered up, in lieu Of the fair lady, slain upon the shore: He, if he deems her an atonement due, Will keep the damsel, not disturb them more: If not, another they must still present, And so, till they the deity content.' LVII And this it was the cruel usage bred; That of the damsels held most fair of face, To Proteus every day should one be led. Till one should in the Godhead's sight find grace. The first and all those others slain, who fed, All a devouring orc, that kept his place Beside the port, what time into the main The remnant of the herd retired again. LVIII Were the old tale of Proteus' false or true, (For this, in sooth, I know not who can read) With such a clause was kept by that foul crew The savage, ancient statute, which decreed That woman's flesh the ravening monster, who For this came every day to land, should feed. Though to be woman is a crying ill In every place, 'tis here a greater still. LIX O wretched maids! whom 'mid that barbarous rout Ill-fortune on that wretched shore has tost! Who for the stranger damsel prowl about, Of her to make an impious holocaust; In that the more they slaughter from without, They less the number of their own exhaust. But since not always wind and waves convey Like plunder, upon every strand they prey. LX With frigate and with galley wont to roam, And other sort of barks they range the sea, And, as a solace to their martyrdom, From far, or from their isle's vicinity, Bear women off; with open rapine some, These bought by gold, and those by flattery: And, plundered from the different lands they scower, Crowd with their captives dungeon-cell and tower. LXI Keeping that region close aboard, to explore The island's lonely bank, a gallery creeps; Where, amid stubs upon the grassy shore, Angelica, unhappy damsel, sleeps. To wood and water there the sailor's moor, And from the bark, for this, a party leaps; And there that matchless flower of earthly charms Discovers in the holy father's arms. LXII Oh! prize too dear, oh! too illustrious prey! To glut so barbarous and so base a foe! Oh! cruel Fortune! who believed thy sway Was of such passing power in things below? That thou shouldst make a hideous monster's prey The beauty, for which Agrican did glow, Brought with half Scythia's people from the gates Of Caucasus, in Ind, to find their fates. LXIII The beauty, by Circassian Sacripant Preferred before his honour and his crown, The beauty which made Roland, Brava's vaunt, Sully his wholesome judgment and renown, The beauty which had moved the wide Levant, And awed, and turned its kingdom upside down, Now has not (thus deserted and unheard) One to assist it even with a word. LXIV Oppressed with heavy sleep upon the shore, The lovely virgin, ere awake, they chain: With her, the enchanter friar the pirates bore On board their ship, a sad, afflicted train. This done, they hoisted up their sail once more, And the bark made the fatal isle again, Where, till the lot shall of their prey dispose, Her prisoned in a castle they enclose. LXV But such her matchless beauty's power, the maid Was able that fierce crew to mollify, Who many days her cruel death delayed, Preserved until their last necessity; And while they damsels from without purveyed, Spared such angelic beauty: finally, The damsel to the monstrous orc they bring, The people all behind her sorrowing. LXVI Who shall relate the anguish, the lament And outcry which against the welkin knock? I marvel that the sea-shore was not rent, When she was placed upon the rugged block, Where, chained and void of help, the punishment Of loathsome death awaits her on the rock. This will not I, so sorrow moves me, say, Which makes me turn my rhymes another way; LXVII To find a verse of less lugubrious strain, Till I my wearied spirit shall restore: For not the squalid snake of mottled stain, Nor wild and whelpless tiger, angered more, Nor what of venomous, on burning plain, Creeps 'twixt the Red and the Atlantic shore, Could see the grisly sight, and choose but moan The damsel bound upon the naked stone. LXVIII Oh! if this chance to her Orlando, who Was gone to Paris-town to seek the maid, Had been reported! or those other two, Duped by a post, dispatched from Stygian shade, They would have tracked her heavenly footsteps through A thousand deaths, to bear the damsel aid. But had the warriors of her peril known. So far removed, for what would that have done? LXIX This while round Paris-walls the leaguer lay Of famed Troyano's son's besieging band, Reduced to such extremity one day, That it nigh fell into the foeman's hand; And, but that vows had virtue to allay The wrath of Heaven, whose waters drenched the land, That day had perished by the Moorish lance The holy empire and great name of France. LXX To the just plaint of aged Charlemagne The great Creator turned his eyes, and stayed The conflagration with a sudden rain, Which haply human art had not allayed. Wise whosoever seeketh, not in vain, His help, than whose there is no better aid! Well the religious king, to whom 'twas given, Knew that the saving succour was from Heaven. LXXI All night long counsel of his weary bed, Vexed with a ceaseless care, Orlando sought; Now here, now there, the restless fancy sped, Now turned, now seized, but never held the thought: As when, from sun or nightly planet shed, Clear water has the quivering radiance caught, The flashes through the spacious mansion fly, With reaching leap, right, left, and low, and high. LXXII To memory now returned his lady gay, She rather ne'er was banished from his breast; And fanned the secret fire, which through the day (Now kindled into flame) had seemed at rest; That in his escort even from Catay Or farthest Ind, had journeyed to the west; There lost: Of whom he had discerned no token Since Charles's power near Bordeaux-town was broken. LXXIII This in Orlando moved great grief, and he Lay thinking on his folly past in vain: "My heart," he said, "oh! how unworthily I bore myself! and out, alas! what pain, (When night and day I might have dwelt with thee, Since this thou didst not in thy grace disdain.) To have let them place thee in old Namus' hand! Witless a wrong so crying to withstand. LXXIV "Might I not have excused myself? -- The king Had not perchance gainsaid my better right -- Of if he had gainsaid my reasoning, Who would have taken thee in my despite? Why not have armed, and rather let them wring My heart out of my breast? But not the might Of Charles or all his host, had they been tried, Could have availed to tear thee from my side. LXXV "Oh! had he placed her but in strong repair, Guarded in some good fort, or Paris-town! -- Since he would trust her to Duke Namus' care, That he should lose her in this way, alone Sorts with my wish. -- Who would have kept the fair Like me, that would for her to death have gone? Have kept her better than my heart or sight: Who should and could, yet did not what I might. LXXVI "Without me, my sweet life, beshrew me, where Art thou bestowed, so beautiful and young! As some lost lamb, what time the daylight fair Shuts in, remains the wildering woods among, And goes about lamenting here and there, Hoping to warn the shepherd with her tongue; Till the wolf hear from far the mournful strain, And the sad shepherd weep for her in vain. LXXVII "My hope, where are thou, where? In doleful wise Dost thou, perchance, yet rove thy lonely round? Art thou, indeed, to ravening wolf a prize, Without thy faithful Roland's succour found? And is the flower, which, with the deities, Me, in mid heaven had placed, which, not to wound, (So reverent was my love) thy feelings chaste, I kept untouched, alas! now plucked and waste? LXXVIII "If this fair flower be plucked, oh, misery! oh, Despair! what more is left me but to die? Almighty God, with every other woe Rather than this, thy wretched suppliant try. If this be true, these hands the fatal blow Shall deal, and doom me to eternity." Mixing his plaint with bitter tears and sighs, So to himself the grieved Orlando cries. LXXIX Already every where, with due repose, Creatures restored their weary spirits; laid These upon stones and upon feathers those, Or greensward, in the beech or myrtle's shade: But scarcely did thine eyes, Orlando close, So on thy mind tormenting fancies preyed. Nor would the vexing thoughts which bred annoy, Let thee in peace that fleeting sleep enjoy. LXXX To good Orlando it appeared as he, Mid odorous flowers, upon a grassy bed, Were gazing on that beauteous ivory, Which Love's own hand had tinged with native red; And those two stars of pure transparency, With which he in Love's toils his fancy fed: Of those bright eyes, and that bright face, I say, Which from his breast had torn his heart away. LXXXI He with the fullest pleasure overflows, That ever happy lover did content: But, lo! this time a mighty tempest rose, And wasted flowers, and trees uptore and rent. Not with the rage with which this whirlwind blows, Joust warring winds, north, south, and east, unpent. It seemed, as if in search of covering shade, He, vainly wandering, through a desert strayed. LXXXII Meanwhile the unhappy lover lost the dame In that dim air, nor how he lost her, weets; And, roving far and near, her beauteous name Through every sounding wood and plain repeats. And while, "Oh wretched me!" is his exclaim, "Who has to poison changed my promised sweets?" He of his sovereign lady who with tears Demands his aid, the lamentation hears. LXXXIII Thither, whence comes the sound, he swiftly hies, And toils, now here, now there, with labour sore: Oh! what tormenting grief, to think his eyes Cannot again the lovely rays explore! -- Lo! other voice from other quarter cries -- "Hope not on earth to enjoy the blessing more." At that alarming cry he woke, and found Himself in tears of bitter sorrow drowned. LXXXIV Not thinking that like images are vain, When fear, or when desire disturbs our rest, The thought of her, exposed to shame and pain, In such a mode upon his fancy pressed, He, thundering, leaped from bed, and with what chain And plate behoved, his limbs all over dressed; Took Brigliadoro from the stall he filled, Nor any squire attendant's service willed. LXXXV And to pass every where, yet not expose By this his dignity to stain or slight, The old and honoured ensign he foregoes, His ancient bearing, quartered red and white. And in its place a sable ensign shows, Perhaps as suited to his mournful plight, That erst he from an Amostantes bore, Whom he had slain in fight some time before. LXXXVI At midnight he departed silently, Not to his uncle spake, not to his true And faithful comrade Brandimart, whom he So dearly cherished, even bade adieu; But when, with golden tresses streaming-free, The sun from rich Tithonus' inn withdrew, And chased the shades, and cleared the humid air, The king perceived Orlando was not there. LXXXVII To Charles, to his displeasure, were conveyed News that his nephew had withdrawn at night, When most he lacked his presence and his aid; Nor could he curb his choler at the flight, But that with foul reproach he overlaid, And sorely threatened the departed knight, By him so foul a fault should be repented, Save he, returning home, his wrath prevented. LXXXVIII Nor would Orlando's faithful Brandimart, Who loved him as himself, behind him stay; Whether to bring him back he in his heart Hoped, or of him ill brooked injurious say: And scarce, in his impatience to depart, Till fall of eve his sally would delay. Lest she should hinder his design, of this He nought imparted to his Flordelis: LXXXIX To him this was a lady passing dear, And from whose side he unwont to stray; Endowed with manners, grace, and beauteous cheer, Wisdom and wit: if now he went away And took no leave, it was because the peer Hoped to revisit her that very day. But that befel him after, as he strayed, Which him beyond his own intent delayed. XC She when she has expected him in vain Well nigh a month, and nought of him discerns, Sallies without a guide or faithful train, So with desire of him her bosom yearns: And many a country seeks for him in vain; To whom the story in due place returns. No more I now shall tell you of these two, More bent Anglantes' champion to pursue; XCI Who having old Almontes' blazonry So changed, drew nigh the gate; and there the peer Approached a captain of the guard, when he; "I am the County," whispered in his ear, And (the bridge quickly lowered, and passage free At his commandment) by the way most near Went straight towards the foe: but what befell Him next, the canto which ensues shall tell.