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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Reconciliation of Rinaldo and Armida
By Torquato Tasso (1544–1595)
 
        
From ‘Jerusalem Delivered’: Translation of Edward Fairfax
  
  [The two knights, having safely passed the terrors and the seductions of the Enchanted Gardens, discover Rinaldo in the Bower of Bliss in the arms of Armida. Stung by shame and remorse, he returns with them to the camp, notwithstanding the entreaties, reproaches, and incantations of Armida; and takes a glorious part in the final struggles. Armida, mortified and enraged against him, offers her kingdom, her treasures, and herself to any knight who will kill him, and joins the Egyptian army and does great execution upon the Crusaders. But the field being lost, in terror of gracing the Conqueror’s triumphal car she decides on suicide. At the moment when she is plunging one of her own darts into her breast, Rinaldo arrests the stroke and throws his arm around her waist; and while she struggles to escape, and bursts into tears (it is uncertain whether from anger or affection), he pleads with her with the following result.]

“BUT if you trust no speech, no word,
  Yet in mine eyes my zeal, my truth behold:
For to that throne whereof thy sire was lord,
  I will restore thee, crown thee with that gold;
And if high Heaven would so much grace afford        5
  As from thy heart this cloud, this veil unfold
Of Paganism, in all the East no dame
Should equalize thy fortune, state, and fame.”
 
Thus plaineth he, thus prays, and his desire
  Endears with sighs that fly and tears that fall;        10
That as against the warmth of Titan’s fire
  Snowdrifts consume on tops of mountains tall,
So melts her wrath, but love remains entire:
  “Behold” (she says) “your handmaid and your thrall:
My life, my crown, my wealth, use at your pleasure.”        15
Thus death her life became, loss proved her treasure.
 
 
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