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SCIPIO GENTILI TO THE DIVINE ELIZABETH, QUEEN OF ENGLAND, FRANCE, AND IRELAND, PIOUS, BLESSED, RENOWNED, EVER AUGUST
If we believe that shepherds’ small gifts, golden berries and clusters of ivy please a heavenly queen as much as do myrrh, gold, and gifts perfumed with incenses of Sheba bestowed by the hands of Ethiopian kings, then the sweet sound of gods cheering in the welkin has smiled on this lad. You also, o greatest image on earth of our celestial King, sacred brilliance, amidst the choice gifts of your peers, and the music of this festal day, do not despise this song, decked out by me in Latin dress, a song which a prince of those bards who have ever sung though the cities of Italy with the help of their ancestral Muses, divine Tasso, has poured forth from his breast. This is a gift which has not been lacking in any time or prince, oh Elisa, unique splendor of pristine virtue, whether you, protected by your faith, oh virgin rival of Godfrey, should be commanding churches be purged of their profaned altars and Thames to ignore mad Tiber’s threats, or whether you are governing teeming peoples with the reins of justice and tranquil peace, and, grave of countenance, are presiding over great Parliament, seated on your mighty throne, or whether it should please you to visit the Muses’ Boeotian fountains and imbibe their sacred waters, or whether you should be Diana’s sole companion, and, a golden quiver hung on your shoulder, harry the greenwoods and your father’s realms at the hunt. Whither, whither are you carrying me, Muses. Hail, renowned offspring of kings, hail, great glory bestowed upon the earth, and may you read my paltry trifles with a happy face!
Hidden by silent, dark shadows, in which a blind man’s Lydian child and a goddess of Antium plunged him, Tasso nevertheless stirs the remote Britons and the Indies with his Jerusalemite Muses, and freely flies throughout the world, borne on the pinion of his golden glory. He has bested all the poets of Etruria, Rome, and Greece who have lived until now, and he bests the shadows themselves, and the gods.
SCIPIO GENTILI, AN ITALIAN, TO THE POETS OF ITALY
I have introduced these cantos, just lately made known by the Muses of Tuscany, to a city of Roman citizens, although I am dwelling in a northern city as a guest from central Italy, far from your fields. Here, where under an azure sky the Thames produces snow-white swans, and feeds on the grassy beds of its banks, and with its ocean current laves a new Troy, flowing backward towards its source. And though my age of twenty quickly-passing years may daunt me, and although Caesar’s laws might divert my attention in another direction, nevertheless, having begun this task at my friends’ urgings and my fathers behest, I produce a thing that is indeed small, yet glories hatched in a few years of my life. But you, who breathe Italian air sacred to poets under a blessed sky, I pray you extol this bard throughout foreign climes, a bard to be spoken of to the hoary centuries whom Vergil, were he to arise from Elysium’s vale, would gladly bestow upon Latin ears.
TO THE READER
ENTLEMEN, let it be lawfull for me with your leaves to trouble you a little. It was my good hap of late to get into my hands an English translated copie of Seig. Tasso’s Hierusalem, done (as I was informed) by a gentleman of good sort and qualitie, and many waies commended unto me for a worke of singular worth, and excellencie: whereupon, by the advise, or rather at the instance of some of my best friends, I determined to send it to the presse. Wherin if my forwardnes have fore-ranne the gentlemans good liking, yet let mee winne you to make me happie with the sweete possession of your favours, for whose sakes I have done whatsoever herein is done. When first I sent it to the printer, I did not certainely know whose worke it was, and so rested deprived of al meanes to gaine his assent and good liking thereunto, and yet notwithstanding the perswasions of some that would faine have prevailed with me, I resolved (at the motion, no doubt, of some rare excellent spirit, that knew and foresaw this to be the readiest meanes to draw him to publishe some of his many most excellent labours) to goe on with what I had begunne, ever assuring my selfe, and never doubting, but that you would like of it your selves, and intertaine it with such deere affection as it doth worthily merit. Now if it shall not in each part lively resemble the absolute perfection of the doer thereof, yet is hee blamelesse, and the fault as it is mine, so I wil acknowledge it for mine. For by my haste it proves his untimely birth, and doubtlesse miserably wanteth of that glorious beautie wherewith it otherwise would, and hereafter happily may be richly honoured withal. Now whereas I thought you should have had all together, I must pray you to accept of the five first Songs. For it hath pleased the excellent doer of them (for certain causes to him selfe best knowne) to command a staie of the rest till the sommer. In that which is done, I have caused the Italian to be printed together with the English, for the delight and benefit of those gentlemen that love that most lively language. And thereby the learned reader shall see to how strict a course the translator hath tyed himselfe in the whole work, usurping as little liberty as any whatsoever that every wrote with any commendations. Thus (as in duetie I ought) I have presented unto your views the course of my whole proceedings herein, humbly praying you to censure of the work with such respectfull consideration as shalbe meete, and to amend with patience such faults as are unwillingly escaped in the printing. And so you shall doe what shall well beseeme you, and give him his right that will never wrong you.
From Exceter the last of Februarie, 1594.
Yours, C. H.
THE FIRST SONG
1. I sing the godly armes, and that chieftaine,
Who great sepulchre of our Lord did free,
Much with his hande, much wrought he with his braine,
Much in his glorious conquest suffred hee,
And hell in vaine hit selfe opposde, in vaine
The mixed troopes Asian and Libick flee
To armes, for heaven him favour’d, and he drew
To sacred ensignes his straid mates anew.
2. O Muse, thou that they head not compassest
With fading bayes, which Helicon doth beare,
But bove in skyes, amids the quyers blest,
Dost golden crowne of starres immortall weare,
Celestiall flames breath thou into my brest,
Enlighten thou my song, and pardon where
I fainings weave with truth, and verse with art,
Of pleasings deckt, wherin thou hast no part.
3. Thou knowst, where luring Parnase most poures out
His sweetnesse, all the world doth after runne,
And that truth season’d with smoth verse, from doubt
The waywardst (flocking) to beleeve hath wonne,
So cup, his brimmes earst liquoarisht about
With sweete, we give to our diseased sonne.
Beguilde he drinkes some bitter juyce the while,
And doth his life receive from such a guile.
4. Thou noble minded Alfonse, who doest save
From Fortunes furie, and to port dost steare
Me wandring pilgrime, midst of many a wave,
And many a rocke betost, and drencht welneare,
My verse with friendly grace t’ accept vouchsave,
Which as in vow, sacred to thee I beare.
One day perhaps, my pen forhastening
Will dare what now of thee tis purposing.
5. If ever Christians to agreement growe,
And with their navy and their force by land,
A pray so great and wrong from Turkish foe
Seeke to regaine, dew reason doth command
That of that soyle the scepter they bestowe,
Or of those seas, if so thy pleasure stand,
On thee, thou Godfreys countermate, my rime
Attend, and armes provide in this meane time.
6. Since Christian campe for high exploit to th’ East
Had past, the last of sixe yeares on now ranne,
And Nice by force, and Antioch not least
Of power, by warlike policie they wanne.
Wheregainst when Persians passing number preast,
In battaile bold they hit defended thanne.
And Tortose gat, which done, to winters raigne
They yeelde, and stay the comming yeere againe.
7. The season, by his kind enclinde to weat,
Which layes up armes, wearie his course now ends,
When Sire eternall from his loftie seat,
Which in the purest part of heaven extends,
And from the lowest hell, what space is great
To starres, so farre above the starres ascends,
Lookes downe, and in one blinck, and in one vew,
Comprizeth all what so the world can shew.
8. Ech thing he viewes, and then he sett his eye
On Syria, where Christian princes stay,
And with that sight, which percingly can spy
What closet up humaine affections lay,
He Godfrey sees, who Panims lewd to fly
From sacred citie would enforce away.
And full of faith, and full of zeale in heart,
All worldy wealthy, rule, glory, layes apart.
9. But he in Baldwyn sees a greedie vaine,
Which bent to humaine greatnesse high aspires,
He Tancred sees, his life hold in disdaine,
So much a fond love him afflicting fires,
And Boemund he sees, for his new raigne
Of Antioch foundations deep desires
To ground, and lawes enacts, and orders layth
And arts brings in, and plants the Christen faith.
10. And in this course he entred is so farre,
That ought but that hit seemes of nought he weyes,
He skryes Rinaldos mind, addict to warre,
And working spirits, much abhorring ease,
No lust of gold in him, no thoughts there are
Of rule, but great and much enflam’d of prayse,
He skryes that at the mouth he hangs of Gwelfe,
And old examples rare frames to himselfe.
11. When inmost sense of these and other sprights
The King of all the world had <full> unfould,
He calles him to, of the angelicke lights
Him that mongst first the second ranck doth hold.
A faithfull truchman, Gabriell that hights, (interpreter
A nuntio glad, twixt soules of better mould,
And God to us downe heav’ns decreees who shoes,
And up to heav’n who with mens prayers goes.
12. God to his nuntio said, “Seeke Godfrey out,
And tell him in my name, why stands he still?
The warres againe who goes he not about?
Hierusalem opprest to free from ill,
Captaines to counsell let him call, and rout
Of sluggards rayse, that he be chiefe I will.
There him chuse, and those below that are
Tofore his mates, shall be his men of warre.”
13. So spake he, Gabriel himselfe addrest,
Swift to performe the things in charge he takes.
His shape unseene, with aire he doth invest,
And unto mortall sense his subject makes,
Mans lims, mans looke, t’ apparence he possest,
Which yet celestiall majestie pertakes:
Twixt youth and childhood bounded seeme his dayes,
His golden lockes he doth adorne with rayes.
14. He puts on silver wings, yfrendg’de with gold, (fringed
Wearilesse nymble, of most plyant sway,
With these he partes the winds and clouds, and hold
Doth flight with these aloft the earth and sea.
Attyred thus, to <the> worlds lower mould
This messenger of skyes directes his way;
On Liban mountaine hov’ring first he stayd,
And twixt his egall wings himselfe he wayd.
15. Therehence againe to pastures of Tortose,
Plump downe directly levels he his flight.
From easterne coast the new sunne then arose,
Part up, but of more part waves hid the sight,
And earely Godfrey that mornetide bestowes
In prayre to God, as aye his usage night.
When like the sunne, but farre and far more cleare
Th’ angell to him doth from th’ east appeare.
16. And thus bespake Godfrey: “Now season tides,
That best with warriours service doth agree.
Why thwart you lingring then, while fast it slides,
And not Hierusalem from thraldom free?
Do thou to counsaile call the peoples guides,
Do thou the slow their worke to finish see.
God for their chieftain thee hath deemed fit,
And glad at once they shall themselves submit.
17. “God me this message sent, and I reveale
To thee his mind in his owne name, how great
A hope of victorie to have? A zeale
How great, of host thy charge hooves thee to heat?”
He ceast, and vanisht flew to th’ upper deale,
And purest portion of the heavenly seat.
Godfrey those words, and that his shining bright
Daz’led in eyes, and did in heart affright.
18. But fright once gone, and having well bethought,
Who came, who sent, and what to him was said,
Of earst he wisht, he now a fire hath cought
To end the warre whose charge God on him laid.
Not for the heav’ ns him sole this honour brought,
Ambitious winde puffing his stomacke swaid,
But all his will did more in will enflame
Of his deare Lord, as sparke becomes a flame.
19. Then his heroicke mates disperst about,
But not farre off, t’ assemble he invites:
Letter to letter, message on message out
He sendes, advice with praier he unites
What so may flocke or pricke a courage stout,
What skill dull vertue to awake endites:
Seemes all he findes, with efficacie such
As he enforceth, yet contenteth much.
20. The leaders came, the rest ensew’d also.
Boemund alone doth from this meeting stay:
Part campt abroad, part them in circuit stowe,
Another part within Tortosa lay.
The nobles of the campe to counsell goe,
(A glorious senate) on a solemne day.
Then godly Godfrey thus makes silence breach
Goodly of countnance, and as shrill of speach.
21. “Champions of God chosen by king of sky,
Of this true faith the damage to restore,
Whom midst of armes, and midst of guiles, safely
He rul’de and guided both at sea and shore:
So as of rebell realmes many and many
In so few yeares through us him now adore.
And mongst the nations vanquisht and subdew’d,
His ensignes are advanst, his name renew’d.
22. “We have not left our pledges sweete, nor reast
Native to us (if I beleeve aright)
Nor sold our lives to trustlesse seas beheast,
And to the perill of farre distant sight,
To gaine of fames short blast the vulgar feast,
Or that barbarians land we claime our right.
For our deseigns in straight bounds then were pent,
Slender our hire gainst soules or bloud yspent.
23. “But utmost purpose which our thoughts did heare,
Was Sions noble wals by force to gaine:
And Christen brothers to enfranchize there,
From yoake unworthy of their thralled paine,
In Palestine a kingdome new to reare,
Where safely plast, might godlines sustaine.
That holy pilgrms farre from dread of way,
That great tombe might adore, and vowinge pay.
24. “Our deedes till this for perill haue been great,
For travell more then great, for honour small,
For our mayn purpose nought, if we as yeat
Make stop, or bent of armes elsewere doe call.
What bootes it out of Europe to have sett
Fewell of force, and Asia fire withall?
When as at last of these huge sturres we wend,
Nor kingdomes rays’d, but ruin’d are the end.
25. “He buildeth not, whoso his soveraigntie
On worldly ground plots up to raise hath care:
Where midst unnumbred troopes of paganie
Strangers in faith, few of his countrey are.
Where of the Greekes he hopes no loyaltie,
And westerne succours can arive so spare,
But ruynes he procures, which which opprest,
Sole for himselfe a sepulchre he drest.
26. “Turkes, Persians, Antioch, noble matters be,
In name magnificent, and in effect:
Yet workes not ours, but heavens largesse we
Them deeme: conquests of wonder unexpect.
Now if the giver them wrong turned see,
And misemployed from their course direct:
Heare he’l reaue them quite, and honour past
So great, will waxe the peoples scorne at last.
27. “Ah be there none (for love of God) that guifts
So pleasing to bad uses turne and spill,
To web of these so high attempting drifts
Let threed and end of worke be suited still:
Now that the season to our service shifts,
Now that ech passage we have free at will,
Why to the citie runne we nott, thats set
Our conquests bound: who ist that can us let?
28. “My lords I do protest, and that which I
Do thus protest, the present world shall heare,
And that to come shall heare, and Saints on hie
Do heare, the time long since did ripe appeare:
And yet sits our exploit, but lie you still,
And t’ will most doubtfull fall that now is cleare.
I prophesie if our course be delayde,
The Palestine from Egypt shall have ayde.”
29. He spake, his speech a muttring short befell,
Next after solitarie Peter rose,
Though private, mongst the princes at counsell,
As he from whom that voyage chiefly groes,
“What Godfrey doth exhort, I say aswell,
No doubt here fals, the truth so certaine shoes,
It skryes hit selfe, he plaine demonstrance gave,
Th’ allowance longs to you, sole t’ adde I have.
30. “If I remember well the brawles and shame,
As t’ were of purpose by you made and borne,
Your froward counsels and proceedings lame,
Which midst of working made your works forlorne,
I gesse that from another head there came
The cause of all these stops, and concord torne,
Namely th’ authoritie in many wits,
And many men that equall peyzed sits. (balanced
31. “Where onely one doth not command, from whom
Judgement of paines and prices may depend:
From whom may offices and charges come,
There still the rule to eyther side will bend:
Ah of these members friendly joyn’d, in some
One bodie make, and make a head to wend
And guide the rest, let one the scepter beare,
And let him rule as king and prince he weare.”
32. The olde man silenst here. What thoughts? What breasts
Are shut from thee breath sacred! Heat divine!
Thou in the hermite dost enspire these heasts,
And in the knights harts though the same dost shrine,
Th’ ingraft, th’ inborne affections thou outwrests
Of rule, of libertie, of honours signe.
So as both Gwelfe and Guillam chiefe in place,
Did Godfrey first with name of chieftaine grace.
33. The rest allowance gave, henceforth must be
Their part t’ advise, the others to direct:
Conditions to the conquer’d grant shall hee,
Warre, peace, when, where he please elect,
The rest now brought to becke, earst equall free,
The charge of his commandments are t’ effect.
This so agreed, the fame out flies, and wide
Spreading it self through tongs of men doth glide.
34. To souldiers then he goes, him worthy they
Deeme of the high estate, that giv’n they have,
And greetings glad, and warlick showts they pay,
Which he receives with countnance mildly grave:
Thus when to showes of minds humbler t’ obay,
And deere in love, he sitting answere gaue:
He points in flied of scope muster to take,
To th’ ensewing day what force the camp can make.
35. The sunne from out the east return’d againe
So bright, and fairely lightsome, as but seeld:
When with the new daies beams came forth the traine,
And under ensignes splayd their weapons weeld,
At Bullions hands ech seeking praise to gaine
Beyond his mates, whilst ring they cast in feeld:
Both horse and foote marshald in warlicke bands,
Before him on do march, where firme he stands.
36. Thou minde, of yeeres and of oblivion foe,
Of what so is, guardaine and steward trew:
Afford thy reasons helpe that I may showe
This camps ech captaine, and ech band to view:
Let their old fame new sound, and ample growe,
On which late yeeres the vayle of silence drew:
Adorne my speech from out thy store to set,
What ev’ry age may heare, and none forget.
37. The Franckes did muster first, of whom tofore
Hugo had charge, a brother to their king.
From Ile of France issewd this warlicke store,
A soile faire, large, on foure streames bordering.
When Hue deceast, th’ ensigne that lilies bore
Of gold, Clotared still them conducting
They followed, who captaine great in fame,
That nought might want, possest a royall name.
38. Of complet armed they are hundreds ten,
So many more of horse next them advance,
So like the first, as twixt them none may ken,
In ordring, nature, armes, a variance:
Normands they be, and Robert leades the men,
Their native prince borne and bred up in France.
Their squadrons next William and Ademere,
Two pastors of the people mustred there.
39. The tone and th’ other of them who but late (one
An holy office in Gods service beare,
Now playted lockes pressing with cap of plate,
Have manly use of arms falne to their share.
Orenge citie and confines of that state,
Foure hundred warriours to the first do spare.
The second those of Poggio doth guide,
Equall in tale, nor less in value tride.
40. When Baldwyn makes his muster next in feeld,
With Bulleyners tofore his brothers band,
For his good brother them contents to yeeld,
Now he on captaines captain doth command:
Th’ ensewing roome th Earle of Carnute helde,
Mightie in counsell, valiant of hand.
Foure hundred with him march, a treble force
Under his cornet Baldwyn leades of horse.
41. Gwelfe occupies the bordring circuit, one
Whose merit his high fortune egalleth,
By Latine sire, of Estine graundsires gone,
A bedroll long and trew he reckoneth: (pedigree
But he unto the great house of Gwelfon,
Germanyn in name, and lordship succeedeth.
Corinthia he rules, and Sweve and Rhetian realmes.
42. To this livelode that from his mother came,
Conquests he winned, glorious and great:
Thence brought he men, who made (he bidding) game
To march where death they were assur’d to geat:
They winters cold by stooves to temper frame,
And with invitings glad pertake their meat.
Five thousand came from home but hardly tho
He could the thirds (the Persians reliques) show.
43. White skins, and yealow locks next people have
Twixt Francks and Germains and the sea bestowde,
Where bancks oreflow doth Mose and Rhenish wave,
Land that of graine and beasts beares fruitful lode:
Eke iland men, whom oceans swellings brave,
Gainst which they force up rampires high and brode.
Ocean that not on wares alone hath power
And ships, but townes and kingdomes doth devour.
44. These that a thousand are and other are,
Under another Robert make one band,
A greater squadron is the British farre,
Committed by their king to Williams hand,
His yonger sonne. Their bowes these English bare,
And people bring the pole that neerer stand.
Whom Ireland placed at the worlds end,
Doth from his wildwoods with locks shaggy send.
45. Then Tancred comes, there’s non amongst the rout
(Regnald except) a braver warrier,
Nor of a stomacke noble more or stout,
Nor countenance and conditions more faire.
If cloud of blame wrapt his deserts about
Them dimme, loves folly sole the fault must beare,
Above twixt battailes borne, bred of short sight,
Fed with afflictions, still accreeuing might. (accruing?
46. Fame tells what day the Francks with glory great
The Persian troopes discomfited in fight,
After that Tancred in victorious heat
Chasing those runawayes, was tir’de outright,
Some cooly easefull place he sought to geat
For his scorcht lips, and lims devoide of might,
And drew whereas inviting him to shade,
Closde with greene banks, a fresh spring issue made.
47. Unthought of there appeares to him a dame,
All save her face in complet armour dight.
Shee was a Painim, and she also came
Like rest to gaine in like betyred plight:
Her feature he beheld, he held the same
Most faire, he likes, his liking fire doth light
Of love, o wonder! Love then scarcely bred
Grew great, and flew and in armes triumphed.
48. On goes her helme, and fire th’ assaylers part
Had playd, save others there by chance arrive:
The haughtie dame doth from her thrall depart,
Who of some force becomes a fugitive:
But he her warlike image farre in hart
Preserved so as hit presents alive
The chance, the place, how, whar she came in view,
In restlesse thought still feeding flame anew.
49. His looke was looke that bid his folke to ware
In letters large, he burn’d of hope devoyd,
So full of sighes he went, and so he bare
His eye-lids vayled downe and sadly cloyd:
Th’ eight hundred hoste which under-went his care,
Campanias pleasant fields tofore enjoyd,
Dame natures greatest pompe, and hils that lay
Mellow, fertile woode by the Tirhene Sea.
50. Two hundred followed of the Greekish tong,
Who yron armour none in manner bring,
Their hooked swords upon the the tone side hong, (one
Their bowes and quivers at their backes do ring,
Their light horse service doth to gallop long,
For travaile tough, spare in their dyeting,
Readie t’ assayle and to retire at will,
Disordred, scattred, fled, yet fight they still.
51. Latine that cornet led, and only he
Of Greece the Latine armes accompanide.
O shame! O foule misdeede! And had not ye,
O Grekes, these warres ev’n sticking in your side?
Yet (as at games) sluggards you sit to see
What issue will to these great actes betide:
Now if a slave thou serve, this thy bondage
(Doe not complaine) is justice, not outrage.
52. A squadron next there comes in order last,
But first for honour, valure and for art:
Invict heroic ventrers here are plaste,
Alias terrour, and Mars thunder dart:
Cease Argos, Arther cease, vaine shootes you waste,
Knights saylers, and knights errants acts t’ impart,
For old exployts comparde with these are winde.
Where shall we then for them fit cheaftaine finde?
53. Dudon of Consa is their head, because
Hard t’ was of bloud and vertue doome to geeve,
They all agree to undergo his lawes,
Who did of all know most, and most atcheeve,
And grave of manlines and ripe of lawes:
He showes in hoarie lockes of strength the preeve. (proof
He showes of wounds not foule the printed skarres,
The worthy steps of honour wonne in wars.
54. Eustace is next amongst the chiefe, whose owne
Prayse makes him great, but brother Boglion more,
From stocke of Norway kings eke Gernand growne,
On scepters, titles, crownes, him proud he bore:
Roger of Balnauil mongst best is knowne:
Old fame, and Eugerlan do there him score.
Eke with the bravest they solemnize doo
One Genton, one Rambald, and Gerards too.
55. Ubald also, and Rosomond is praysd:
Of Dutchy great of Lancaster the heire,
Nor can Obire the Tuscane downe be peyzd(weighed, evaluated
By him that memories away doth beare,
Nor Lombard brothers three will be disseyzd, (deceived, cheated
Achilles, Sforza, Palamade, of their
Clear fame, nor Otto strong that wonne the shield
Where serpents mouth sends forth a naked child.
56. Nor Guasco, nor Rudolfo left behinde,
Nor th’ one nor th’ other Guido, famous both,
Nor Evrard, nor Gernier must slip my mind
To passe in gratelesse silence more then loth.
Whither do you lovers and your spouses kind?
Gildip and Edward hale him, now that grow’th
Of numbring wearie. O consorts in warre!
Though dead, disjoynd you never shalbe farre.
57. What can there not be learnd in schooles of love?
There was she taught to waxe a warrier bolde,
To his deere side still cleaves she, and above
One destiny, his and her life doth holde:
No blow that hurts but one, they ever proue
But eche wounds smart encreast is doublefold,
And oft the one is hit the other playnes,
Tone bleedes at soule, the tother at the vaynes.
58. But youth Rinaldo farre surpasseth these,
And passeth all that to the muster went,
Most sweetly fierce, up should you see him rayse
His royall looke and all lookes on it spent:
He hope oregoes, he overgrowes his dayes,
When bud was thought but bloome, out fruit he sent:
To such as armes him thundering saw embrace,
Mars did he seem, love, if he shew’d his face.
59. Him on the banck of Adige foorth brought
Sofia to Bertold, Sofia the faire,
To Bertold the puissant when newly rought
From mothers teat, and yet unwayn’d welneare, (unweened
Maved would him have, and nurst, him, and him tought
In princely skils, and kept him still with her,
Untill his youthly minde plight his beheast,
T ’ ensew the triump that sounded from the east.
60. Then he thrice five of yeares could scantly skore,
Yet fled alone and walkt through uncouth wayes,
He past th’ Egean Sea and Greekish shore,
And at the campe arrives, where far hit stayes,
Most noble flight, well worthy that once more
Some nephew chivalrous make like assayes:
Three yeeres are spent, and he in wars when now
His chyns soft downe could scarce a beard avow.
61. The horsemen past, the muster next doth grow
Of men on foot, and Reymond leades the way,
Tholouse he rulde, and brought his souldiers from
Mount Piren, Garon streame, and Ocean sea.
Of thousands foure, well arm’d, well trayn’d, a show
He makes, whom toyle or want could not affray:
Tall were the men, and led they could not be
By one more strong, or better skil’d then he.
62. But thousands five doth Stephen from Amboise
And Blois and Tours unto the service bring:
Though sorted bright in armes and weapons choice,
For strength or paine not worth the valewing:
The soyle is tender, light, shapte to rejoyce,
And like it selfe his dwellers fostering:
In battaile first they give an onsett bold,
But soone waxt faint, and in their courage cold.
63. Alcasto commeth third (as Thebes by
Was Capaneus once) of visage grim:
Sixe thousand Swizzards commons, fierce, hardy,
From Alpine castles levide come with him,
Who yron wont to plowes and clots t’ apply,
To new shapes now and worthier uses trim.
And with the hand that kept the ragged heard,
Seeme kingdomes to defie, are not afeard.
64. He after saw the loftie standard splayd
With Peters diademe and with his keyes,
These thousands sev’n doth good Camillus lead,
Footmen in armour bright, and huge of peyze,
He glad the heav’ns so great a charge obeyd,
There to renew his graundsires auncient prayse,
Or shew at least that to valure Latine
Or nothing lackes, or onely discipline.
65. But now the squadrons all in musters faire
Were marching on, and this of all the last,
When Godfrey calles the greatest captaines neare,
And by his words gave of his meaning taste:
“To morow when the dawning shall appeare,
I will that light and prest the hoast do haste,
So as unto the sacred citie we
May come unlookt, as much as much may be.
64. “Prepare you all both to the journey than,
And to the fight, and to the victorie.”
This hardie speech of so discreet a man
Gave ech one care, and vaunt his courage hie,
All prest march on, when the first ray began
To sprout, loth them broad day should there deskry,
But Bollion provident wants not his feare,
Though close conceald it in his breast he beare.
65. For he by newes for certaine understood
Th’ Egyptian king was now upon his way
To Gaza ward, a fortresse strong and good,
Which frontier-wise to Sirian kingdoms lay,
Nor could he thinke a man of restlesse mood,
In high exploits, would trifle time away,
But him sharpe foe attends: and sayeth this
To Henryck a true messenger of his:
66. “Unto some frigate light get thee aboord,
And toward Grekish soyle no sayling slake,
There shall you meet (for have I written woord,
From one who newes of lyes will neuer make)
A royall youth, none braver guirt with sword,
That part with us in warre pretends to take:
He is the prince of Danes, and leades a band
From where the Pole is zenith to the land.
67. “But for the Greekish empe’rour fraught with guile,
With him perhaps wil use his wonted art
To turne him backe or bend his course the while
Farre off fron us unto some forraine part:
My messenger and counsler true as stile, (steel? a vertical post?
Do thou in my behalfe dispose his hart,
To our and his owne good, and bid him speed,
For stay were now his most unseemely deed.
68. “Come not with him thy selfe, but tarry there
With Greekish king so to procure us ayde,
Which more then once he hath us promisde faire,
And by our league thus ought not be delayde.”
So speakes he, so informes, and gives to beare
Letters, the which with greetings credence prayd.
Henryck for speed a present congey takes,
And with his thoughts a truce time Godfrey makes.
69. Th’ ensewing day when of the lightsome east
The gates are opned to the sunnes approch,
The drums and trumpets gave the care no rest,
Exhorting warriours on the way encroch.
Thunder in heat is no such welcome guest,
Which hope of ner showre to the world doth broch,
As all the hardy souldiers pleasing sound
Of warlicke instruments this shrilly sound.
70. Straightway ech one, pricked with great desire,
Clothed his lims with his oft worne spoyles,
Straightway ech one musters in complet tire,
Straightway ech one to his cheftaine recoyles,
And the well-marshald army joyned nyre
His ensignes all displayes to Eols broyles (Aeolus’
And the emperiall standard stately large
A crosse triumphant over all doth charge.
71. This while the sunne, which in the heav’nly ground
Still vauntage winnes, and up ascendeth hie,
On th’ armour beates and flashes make rebound,
And quaking lightnings cleere, which bleare the eye:
The aire with sparckles seemes enflamed round,
And shines like burning fire that up doth flie:
And with the neighings fierce accordes the noyse
Of clashing armour and the fields accloyes.
72. The generall, who from the en’mies snares
Desires his troups in safetie may remaine,
Store of light horse from the maine armie pares,
And round to scoure the coast employes their paine,
And pioners to send before he cares,
So for his campe an easie march to gaine,
The pits to fil, the cragges away to take,
And passages forclosde wide ope to make.
73. There are no Painim forces laevide yet,
No walls environed with trenches steepe,
No river broad, no combrous hill to get,
No forrest thicke their voyage backe to keepe,
Ev’n so the king of streames on priding set,
When as he growes past measure high and deepe,
Beyond his banckes abroad all wrackfull goes,
And nought is found that dare it selfe oppose.
74. Onely the king of Trypoli, who kept
Within well guarded walles coyne, men, and armes,
Athwart the Frankish army might have stept,
Yet durst he not by warre to stirre up harmes:
But he by presents to their favour crept,
And by his fires at home them gladly warmes.
And such conditions of a peace doth take
As vertuous Godfrey likes with him to make.
75. There from Mount Seyr which uplifted hie,
Neere to the citie stands on easterne side
Of true beleeving wights a companie,
Mingled in age and sexe downe flocking hide,
And Christens presents brought for victorie,
And glad them view, and with them talking bide,
Admiring uncouth armes, and to Godfrey
They prov’d true faithfull guides to shew the way.
76. He ever butting on the salt-sea wave,
By wayes directest doth conduct his hoast,
Well weeting that th’ associat shipping have
Resolv’d to sayle still hard aboord the coast,
Which course unto his armie plenty gave
Of vittaile, and what else was needful most:
For him ech ile of Greece their harvest rept,
And Creete and rocky Scio vintage kept.
77. The bordering sea under the waight did grone
Of the tall ships, and of the lightest pines,
So as safe passage there was open none
In midland sea to any Saracines.
For mand out not from Marck and George alone
In the Venetian and the Gene confines (Aegaean
Came fleetes, but England, France, and Holland some
Do send, and some from fruitfull Sicil come.
78. And these which now together are combinde
With soundest know of love in one consent,
At divers shores had loden in ech kind
What by the campe should needfully be spent.
So when the frontire coast they freed finde
From en’mies shipping, which are close up pent,
With canvas spred at full they thither goes
Where Christ for mortall men bare mortall woe.
79. But fame foreran, the ready carrier
Of true reports, and rumours fraught with lyes,
That safe is joyn’d the army conquerer,
And now sets forth and all delaying flyes,
She of ech band makes a perticular,
She showes their names whose prayse doth highest rise,
She showes their vaunts, and terrible of face
Sions usurpers ceasles doth menace.
80. And ill lookt for perhaps brings greater ill,
Then selfe ill doth, when it is present, beare,
On ech uncertaine breath of rumour still
Doubtfull hangs ev’ry mind, and ev’ry eare,
Muttring confusde within, without doth fill
The fields, and doleful citie all with feare.
But th’ aged king neere perill of such losse
Counsels savage in doubtfull hart doth tosse.
81. Aladine is his name, who of that realme
Newe soveraigne ruled in continuall thought:
A man earst cruell, but that mood extreame
His riper age part had to mildnesse wrought:
He that conceav’d wherat the Latines ayme,
Who of his towne the walles to batter sought.
To auncient feare adjoyneth new suspectes,
And dreads his foes, and dreadeth his subjectes.
82. For in one citie mingled dwellings fall
Of people contrarie in faith, the lesse
And weaker part on Christ their saviour call,
The great and stronger Mahomet professe.
But when the king first conquer’d Sion wall,
And there his seat to stablish did addresse,
From common taskes the Painims he set free,
And double lodes the Christians miserie.
83. The thought of this his native savage mood,
Which couched lay, and languisht cold with yeares,
Angring eneigres and it makes new wood, (irritates
That thirst of bloud now more than aye appeares,
So gentle seemd a while the snakish brood,
That to his fiercenesse turnes as sommer neares.
And so the tamed lion takes againe
His native fury, if he wrong sustaine.
84. “I see,” says he, “of new conceived joy
Undoubted signes in this unfaithfull race:
What their sole good that proves our chiefe annoy,
Sole they do laugh in this our common case
Of woe, and now perhaps their wits employ
To guile and treason, and discourse apace,
How me to slay, or to consorted mates,
Mine enemies, how they may ope the the gates.
85. “But soft not so, I will prevent (I trow)
Their wicked purposes, I’le glut my will,
I’l hew them downe, I’l sharpe examples show,
I’l sucklings in their mothers bosoms kill,
I’l fire in ech their house and temples throw,
Such funerals shall their death rights fulfill:
Ile offer on that sepulchre of theirs
Their priests for sacrifice amid their preyrs.”
86. So did this tyrant reason in his mind,
But thought so ill conceiv’d tooke no successe:
Yet if these innocents a pardon finde,
Base heart, not pittie doth him thereto presse.
For if one feare to crueltie him tinde, (inflame
Another greater doubt bridles no lesse.
He dreads all wayes of concord to debarre,
And armes of conqu’ring foes t’ incense too farre.
87. This fellon then his mad rage tempereth,
Or rather seekes elsewhere the same to wrake,
The countrey houses downe he ruyneth,
And places well manur’d a pray doth make
To flames: nought leaves he whole or sound unneath,
Where any Franck may food or lodging take:
The springs and brooks he soyles, and waters sound
With deadly poysons he doth all confound.
88. He spitefull warie is, ne ought foreslackes
Hierusalem with new force to supply,
On three sides strong before no helpe it lackes,
Onely the north part least assur’d doth lye,
But from his first suspect the same he backes,
On that weaker flancke with rampires hye,
And numbers great of souldiers cul’d in haste,
Hirelings and subjects by him there are plaste.
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