British Romanticism and Italian Literature: Translating, Reviewing, Rewriting

By Laura Bandiera; Diego Saglia | Go to book overview

APPENDIX

William Wordsworth, Translation of Ariosto89 [Orlando Furioso, I. 5–14]

[5] Orlando who great length of time had been Enamour’d of the fair Angelica; And left for her beyond the Indian sea, In Media, Tartary and lands between Infinite trophies to endure for aye, 5

Now to the west with her had bent his way Where, underneath the lofty Pyrenees, With might of French and Germans, Charlemagne Had pitch’d his tents upon the open plain,

[6] To make Marsilius and king Agramant 10

Each for his senseless daring smite his head, The one for having out of Afric led As many as could carry spear or lance, Th’other for pushing all Spain militant To overthrow the beauteous realm of France; 15

Thus in fit time Orlando reach’d the tents But of his coming quickly he repents.

[7] For there to him was his fair Lady lost, Taken away! How frail our judgments are She who from western unto eastern coast 20

[…] with so long war Was taken from him now ‘mid such a band Of his own friends and in his native land, Nor one sword drawn to help the thing or bar! ‘Twas the sage Emperor wishing much to slake 25

A burning feud who did the Lady take.

[8] For quarrels had sprung lately and yet were Twixt Count Orlando and Rinaldo: wroth Were the two kinsman, for that beauty rare With amorous desire had mov’d them both. 30

The Emperor Charles who look’d with little favour On such contention, to make fast the aid The two Knights ow’d him, took away the Maid And to Duke Namo he in wardship gave her,

89 The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, ed. by E. de Selincourt and Helen Darbishire, 5 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1947), IV, pp. 367–69.

-143-

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