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Or wisp that flits o'er a morass: he lurks,

It may be, still, like dull books on a shelf,
In his own den, to scrawl some « Life» or «< Vision,»
As Welborn says-« the devil turn'd precisian.>>

In the following translation I have used the liberty of the original with the proper names; as Pulci uses Gan, Ganellon, or Ganelloue: Carlo, Carlomagno, or Carlomano; Rondel, or Rondello, etc. as it suits his convenience, so has the translator. In other respects

CVI.

As for the rest, to come to the conclusion
Of this true dream, the telescope is gone
Which kept my optics free from all delusion,

Aud show'd me what I in my turn have shown:
All I saw further in the last confusion,

Was, that King George slipp'd into heaven for one;
And when the tumult dwindled to a calm,
I left him practising the hundredth psalm.

the version is faithful to the best of the translator's ability in combining his interpretation of the one language with the not very easy task of reducing it to the same versification in the other. The reader is re

He was

THE Morgante Maggiore, of the first canto of which this translation is offered, divides with the Orlando In-quested to remember that the antiquated language of namorato the honour of having formed and suggested Pulci, however pure, is not easy to the generality of Italians themselves, from its great mixture of Tuscan the style and story of Ariosto. The great defects of Boiardo were his treating too seriously the narratives proverbs; and he may therefore be more indulgent to the present attempt. How far the translator has sucof chivalry, and his harsh style. Ariosto, in his continuation, by a judicious mixture of the gaiety of Pulci, ceeded, and whether or no he shall continue the work, has avoided the one, and Berni, in his reformation of induced to make the experiment partly by his love for, are questions which the public will decide. Boiardo's poem, has corrected the other. Pulci may be and partial intercourse with, the Italian language, of considered as the precursor and model of Berni alwhich it is so easy to acquire a slight knowledge, and together, as he has partly been to Ariosto, however with which it is so nearly impossible for a foreigner to inferior to both his copyists. He is no less the founder become accurately conversant. The Italian language of a new style of poetry very lately sprung up in Eng is like a capricious beauty, who accords her smiles to land. I allude to that of the ingenious Whistlecraft. all, her favours to few, and sometimes least to those who The serious poems on Roncesvalles in the same language, have courted her longest. The translator wished also and more particularly the excellent one of Mr Merivale, to present in an English dress a part at least of a poem are to be traced to the same source. It has never yet never yet rendered into a northern language: at the been decided entirely, whether Pulci's intention was or same time that it has been the original of some of the was not to deride the religion, which is one of his famost celebrated productions on this side of the Alps, vourite topics. It appears to me, that such an intention as well as of those recent experiments in poetry in would have been no less hazardous to the poet than to England which have been already mentioned. the priest, particularly in that age and country; and the permission to publish the poem, and its reception among the classics of Italy, prove that it neither was nor is so interpreted. That he intended to ridicule the monastic life, and suffered his imagination to play with the simple dulness of his converted giant, seems evident enough; but surely it were as unjust to accuse him of irreligion on this account, as to denounce Fielding for his Parson Adams, Barnabas, Thwackum, Supple, and the Ordinary in Jonathan Wild,-or Scott, for the exquisite use of his Covenanters in the << Tales of my

MORGANTE MAGGIORE.

Landlord.»>

CANTO I.
I.

In the beginning was the Word next God;

God was the Word, the Word no less was he;
This was in the beginning, to my mode

Of thinking, and without him nought could be:
Therefore, just Lord! from out thy high abode,
Benign and pious, bid an angel flee,
One only, to be my companion, who

Shall help my famous, worthy, old song through.

II.

And thou, oh Virgin! daughter, mother, bride, Of the same Lord, who gave to you each key Of heaven, and hell, and every thing beside,

The day thy Gabriel said, « All hail!» to thee, Since to thy servants pity 's ne'er denied,

With flowing rhymes, a pleasant style and free, Be to my verses then benignly kind, And to the end illuminate my mind.

III.

T was in the season when sad Philomel

Weeps with her sister, who remembers and Deplores the ancient woes which both befel, And makes the nymphs enamour'd, to the hand Of Phaeton by Phoebus loved so well

His car (but temper'd by his sire's command) Was given, and on the horizon's verge just now Appear'd, so that Tithonus scratch'd his brow;

IV.

When I prepared my bark first to obey,

As it should still obey, the helm, my mind, And carry prose or rhyme, and this my lay

Of Charles the Emperor, whom you will find By sever il pens already praised; but they Who to diffuse his glory were inclined, For all that I can see in prose or verse, Ilave understood Charles badly-and wrote worse.

V.

Leonardo Aretino said already,

That if, like Pepin, Charles had had a writer Of genius quick, and diligently steady,

No hero would in history look brighter;

Ile in the cabinet being always ready,

And in the field a most victorious fighter,

Who for the church and Christian faith had wrought, Certes far more than yet is said or thought.

VI.

You still may see at Saint Liberatore,

The abbey no great way from Manopell, Erected in the Abruzzi to his glory,

Because of the great battle in which fell A pagan king, according to the story,

And felon people whom Charles sent to hell: And there are bones so many, and so many, Near them Giusaffa's would seem few, if any.

VII.

But the world, blind and ignorant, don't prize
His virtues as I wish to see them thou,
Florence, by his great bounty don't arise,

And hast, and may have, if thou wilt allow,
All proper customs and true courtesies:

Whate'er thou hast acquired from then till now, With knightly courage, treasure, or the lance, is sprung from out the noble blood of France.

VIII.
Twelve paladins had Charles, in court, of whom
The wisest and most famous was Orlando;
Him traitor Gan conducted to the tomb

In Roncesvalles, as the villain plann'd too,
While the horn rang so loud, and kuell'd the doom
Of their sad rout, though he did all knight can do,
And Dante in his comedy has given

To him a happy seat with Charles in heaven.

IX.

T was Christmas-day; in Paris all his court
Charles held; the chief, I say, Orlando was,
The Dane; Astolfo there too did resort,
Also Ansuigi, the gay time to pass

In festival and in triumphant sport,

The much renown'd Saint Dennis being the cause; Angiolin of Bayonne, and Oliver,

And gentle Belinghieri too came there:

X.

Avolio, and Arino, and Othone

Of Normandy, and Richard Paladin, Wise Hamo, and the ancient Salemone, Walter of Lion's Mount, and Baldovin, Who was the son of the sad Ganellone,

Were there, exciting too much gladness in The son of Pepin :-when his knights came hither, He groan'd with joy to see them altogether.

XI.

But watchful fortune lurking, takes good heed Ever some bar 'gainst our intents to bring. While Charles reposed him thus in word and deed, Orlando ruled court, Charles, and every thing; Curst Gan, with envy bursting, had such need

To vent his spite, that thus with Charles the king, One day he openly began to say,

<< Orlando must we always then obey?

XII.

<«< A thousand times I've been about to say,
Orlando too presumptuously goes on;
Here are we, counts, kings, dukes, to own thy sway,
Hamo, and Otho, Ogier, Solomon,

Each have to honour thee and to obey;

But he has too much credit near the throne, Which we won't suffer, but are quite decided By such a boy to be no longer guided.

XIII.

<«< And even at Aspramont thou didst begin
To let him know he was a gallant knight,
And by the fount did much the day to win;
But I know who that day had won the fight
If it had not for good Gherardo been:

The victory was Almonte's else, his sight
He kept upon the standard, and the laurels
In fact and fairness are his earning, Charles.
XIV.

<< If thou rememberest being in Gascony, When there advanced the nations out of Spain, The Christian cause had suffer'd shamefully,

Had not his valour driven them back again. Best speak the truth when there's a reason why: Know then, oh emperor! that all complain: As for myself, I shall repass the mounts O'er which I cross'd with two-and-sixty counts.

XV.

<< T is fit thy grandeur should dispense relief,
So that each here many have his proper part,
For the whole court is more or less in grief :
Perhaps thou deem'st this lad a Mars in heart?»
Orlando one day heard this spech in brief,
As by himself it chanced he sate apart:
Displeased he was with Gan because he said it,
But much more still that Charles should give him credit.

XVI.

And with the sword he would have murder'd Gan,
But Oliver thrust in between the pair,
And from his hand extracted Durlindan,
And thus at length they separated were.
Orlando, angry too with Carloman,

Wanted but little to have slain him there;
Then forth alone from Paris went the chief,
And burst and madden'd with disdain and grief.
XVII.

From Ermellina, consort of the Dane,

He took Cortana, and then took Rondell, And on towards Brara prick'd him o'er the plain; And when she saw him coming, Aldabelle Stretch'd forth her arms to clasp her lord again: Orlando, in whose brain all was not well, As « Welcome my Orlando home,» she said, Raised up his sword to smite her on the head. XVIII.

Like him a fury counsels; his revenge

On Gan in that rash act he seem'd to take, Which Aldabella thought extremely strange, But soon Orlando found himself awake; And his spouse took his bridle on this change, And he dismounted from his horse, and spake Of every thing which pass'd without demur, And then reposed himself some days with her.

XIX.

Then full of wrath departed from the place,
And far as Pagan countries roam'd astray,
And while he rode, yet still at every pace

The traitor Gau remember'd by the way;
And wandering on in error a long space,
An abbey which in a lone desert lay,

Midst glens obscure, and distant lands he found, Which form'd the Christian's and the Pagan's bound.

XX.

The abbot was call'd Clermont, and by blood
Descended from Angrante: under cover

Of a great mountain's brow the abbey stood,
But certain savage giants look'd him over!
One Passamont was foremost of the brood,
And Alabaster and Morgante hover
Second and third, with certain slings, and throw
In daily jeopardy the place below.

XXI.

The monks could pass the convent gate no more, Nor leave their cells for water or for wood. Orlando knock'd, but none would ope, before Unto the prior it at length seem'd good; Enter'd, he said that he was taught to adore

Him who was born of Mary's holiest blood, And was baptized a Christian; and then show'd How to the abbey he had found his road.

XXII.

Said the abbot, «You are welcome; what is mine We give you freely, since that you believe With us in Mary Mother's son divine;

And that you may not, cavalier, conceive
The cause of our delay to let you
in

To be rusticity, you shall receive
The reason why our gate was barr'd to you;
Thus those who in suspicion live must do.

XXII.

« When hither to inhabit first we came
These mountains, albeit that they are obscure,
As you perceive, yet withour fear or blame
They seem'd to promise an asylum sure:
From savage brutes alone, too fierce to tame,
'T was fit our quiet dwelling to secure;
But now, if here we 'd stay, we needs must guard
Against domestic beasts with watch and ward.
XXIV.

<< These make us stand, in fact, upon the watch,
For late there have appear'd three giants rough;
What nation or what kingdom bore the batch
I know not, but they are all of savage stuff.
When force and malice with some genius match,
You know, they can do all-we are not enough:
And these so much our orisons derange,
I know not what to do till matters change.
XXV.

<«< Our ancient fathers living the desert in,
For just and holy works were duly fed;
Think not they lived on locusts sole, 't is certain

That manna was rain'd down from heaven instead;

But here 't is fit we keep on the alert in

Our bounds, or taste the stones shower'd down for

bread,

From off yon mountain daily raining faster, And flung by Passamont and Alabaster.

XXVI.

« The third, Morgante, 's savagest by far; he Plucks up pines, beeches, poplar-trees, and oaks, And things them, our community to bury,

And all that I can do but more provokes.»> While thus they parley in the cemetery,

A stone from one of their gigantic strokes, Which nearly crush'd Rondell, came tumbling over, So that he took a long leap under cover.

XXVII.

« For God sake, cavalier, come in with speed, The manna's falling now,» the abbot cried :

<< This fellow does not wish my horse should feed,
Dear Abbot,» Roland unto him replied;

« Of restiveness he 'd cure him had he need;
That stone seems with good-will and aim applied.»
The holy father said, « I don't deceive;
They'll one day tling the mountain, I believe.»>
XXVIII.

Orlando bade them take care of Rondello,
And also made a breakfast of his own:
Abbot,» he said, «I want to find that fellow
Who flung at my good horse yon corner-stone.»
Said the abbot, «Let not my advice seem shallow,
As to a brother dear I speak alone;

I would dissuade you, baron, from this strife,
As knowing sure that you will lose your life.

XXIX.

« That Passamont has in his hand three darts--
Such slings, clubs, ballast-stones, that yield you must;
You know that giants have much stouter hearts
Than us, with reason, in proportion just;
If go you will, guard well against their arts,
For these are very barbarous and robust.»>
Orlando answer'd, « This I'll see, be sure,
And walk the wild on foot to be secure.»>

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You still may see at Saint Liberatore,

The abbey no great way from Manopell, Erected in the Abruzzi to his glory,

Because of the great battle in which fell
A pagan king, according to the story,

And felon people whom Charles sent to hell:
And there are bones so many, and so many,
Near them Giusaffa's would seem few, if any.
VII.
But the world, blind and ignorant, don't prize
His virtues as I wish to see them thou,
Florence, by his great bounty don't arise,

And hast, and may have, if thou wilt allow,
All proper customs and true courtesies:

Whate'er thou hast acquired from then till now, With knightly courage, treasure, or the lance, Is sprung from out the noble blood of France.

VIII. Twelve paladins had Charles, in court, of whom The wisest and most famous was Orlando; Him traitor Gan conducted to the tomb

In Roncesvalles, as the villain plann'd too, While the horu rang so loud, and knell'd the doom

Of their sad rout, though he did all knight can do, And Dante in his comedy has given To him a happy seat with Charies in heaven.

IX. .

'T was Christmas-day; in Paris all his court
Charles held; the chief, I say, Orlando was,
The Dane; Astolfo there too did resort,
Also Ansuigi, the gay time to pass
In festival and in triumphant sport,

The much renown'd Saint Deunis being the cause; Angiolin of Bayonne, and Oliver,

And gentle Belinghieri too came there:

X. Avolio, and Arino, and Othone

Of Normandy, and Richard Paladin, Wise Ilamo, and the ancient Salemone,

Walter of Lion's Mount, and Baldovin, Who was the son of the sad Ganellone,

Were there, exciting too much gladness in The son of Pepin :-when his knights came hither, He groan'd with joy to see them altogether.

XI.

But watchful fortune lurking, takes good heed
Ever some bar 'gainst our intents to bring.
While Charles reposed him thus in word and deed,
Orlando ruled court, Charles, and every thing;
Curst Gan, with envy bursting, had such need

To vent his spite, that thus with Charles the king, One day he openly began to say,

<< Orlando must we always then obey?

XII.

«< A thousand times I've been about to say, Orlando too presumptuously goes on;

Here are we, counts, kings, dukes, to own thy sway, Hamo, and Otho, Ogier, Solomon,

Each have to honour thee and to obey;

But he has too much credit near the throne, Which we won't suffer, but are quite decided By such a boy to be no longer guided.

XIII.

«And even at Aspramont thou didst begin To let him know he was a gallant knight, And by the fount did much the day to win;

But I know who that day had won the fight If it had not for good Gherardo been:

The victory was Almonte's else, his sight He kept upon the standard, and the laurels In fact and fairness are his earning, Charles.

XIV.

<< If thou rememberest being in Gascony,

When there advanced the nations out of Spain, The Christian cause had suffer'd shamefully,

Had not his valour driven them back again. Best speak the truth when there's a reason why : Know then, oh emperor! that all complain: As for myself, I shall repass the mounts O'er which I cross'd with two-and-sixty counts.

XV.

«T is fit thy grandeur should dispense relief,

So that each here many have his proper part, For the whole court is more or less in grief : Perhaps thou deem'st this lad a Mars in heart?» Orlando one day heard this spech in brief, As by himself it chanced he sate apart: Displeased he was with Gan because he said it, But much more still that Charles should give him credit.

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XVII.

From Ermellina, consort of the Dane,

He took Cortana, and then took Rondell,
And on towards Brara prick'd him o'er the plain;
And when she saw him coming, Aldabelle
Stretch'd forth her arms to clasp her lord again:
Orlando, in whose brain all was not well,
As « Welcome my Orlando home,» she said,
Raised up his sword to smite her on the head.
XVIII.
Like him a fury counsels; his revenge

On Gan in that rash act he seem'd to take,
Which Aldabella thought extremely strange,
But soon Orlando found himself awake;
And his spouse took his bridle on this change,

And he dismounted from his horse, and spake
Of every thing which pass'd without demur,
And then reposed himself some days with her.
XIX.
Then full of wrath departed from the place,
And far as Pagan countries roam'd astray,
And while he rode, yet still at every pace

The traitor Gau remember'd by the way;
And wandering on in error a long space,

An abbey which in a lone desert lay, Midst glens obscure, and distant lands he found, Which form'd the Christian's and the Pagan's bound.

XX.

The abbot was call'd Clermont, and by blood
Descended from Angrante: under cover
Of a great mountain's brow the abbey stood,
But certain savage giants look'd him over!
One Passamont was foremost of the brood,
And Alabaster and Morgante hover
Second and third, with certain slings, and throw
In daily jeopardy the place below.

XXI.

The monks could pass the convent gate no more, Nor leave their cells for water or for wood. Orlando knock'd, but none would ope, before

Unto the prior it at length seem'd good; Enter'd, he said that he was taught to adore

Him who was born of Mary's holiest blood, And was baptized a Christian; and then show'd How to the abbey he had found his road.

XXII.

Said the abbot, « You are welcome; what is mine We give you freely, since that you believe With us in Mary Mother's son divine;

And that you may not, cavalier, conceive
The cause of our delay to let you in

To be rusticity, you shall receive
The reason why our gate was barr'd to you;
Thus those who in suspicion live must do.

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