Orlando Furioso, Volume 2
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Translated by Barbara Reynolds
A dazzling kaleidoscope of adventures, ogres, monsters, barbaric splendor, and romance, this epic poem stands as one of the greatest works of the Italian Renaissance.
had told his lord what he resolved. 68 Rinaldo reaches Basle on the next day, Where rumour has it that the Count Anglant Has pledged in a three-cornered final fray To fight Gradasso and King Agramant. This, nobody had heard Orlando say, No message of the kind by him was sent But he who brought the news arrived hotfoot From Sicily, and he was in no doubt. 69 Rinaldo longs to reach Orlando’s side. The journey he must undertake is vast. Every ten miles he changes mount and
event. And on Frontino mounted was anew. They rode for days, and many countries passed, Then came to France, and Paris reached at last. 62 Outside the city walls, Leon prefers To set up his pavilion and at once He gives instructions to his messengers To ride to Court to tell the king of France He has arrived; when Charles these tidings hears, He visits him and courteous gifts presents. Leon explains why he has come today And begs that matters be arranged straightway. 63 He asked
near, Dissuaded him from such an enterprise. Not only was Marfisa not his peer, And hence to challenge her would compromise His royal status (though there was no fear As to the outcome); it would be unwise To risk the censure which he would invite If she should press him long in a hard fight. 97 The honour would be small, the danger great, In combat with this woman warrior; Better to let Brunello share the fate Which for such felons is the end in store; And if to save him, he went
beyond any doubt, this crowned their plight), Their queen would surely hear of their collapse. The messenger the tidings would recite, How each had failed, laid low by the first lance Which they had met to run against in France. 68 And they were ready now to do or die; Their one desire was to avenge their shame. That the report to be delivered by The messenger (Ullania is her name) Might be more favourable, they would try Their strength once more. When Bradamante came Across the
protect, and learning too. But if I list in their entiret The noble deeds he will perform, it’s plain Orlando for his wits will wait in vain.’ 10 These were the words which Christ’s disciple said In converse with the duke. When they had been In all the rooms where lives were stored, he led Astolfo to the stream which he had seen On entering; sand, rising from the bed, Rendered the water clouded and unclean There on the bank they found that ancient man Who to and fro perpetually ran.