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By Lodovico Ariosto

Orlando Furioso ("The Frenzy of Orlando", extra actually "Mad Orlando") is an Italian romantic epic through Ludovico Ariosto, released in its whole shape in 1532 and exerting a large impression on later tradition. it's a continuation of Matteo Maria Boiardo's unfinished romance Orlando Innamorato ("Orlando in Love"). From the backdrop of struggle among Charlemagne and his Christian paladins, and the Saracen military trying to invade Europe, the poem wanders at will from Japan to the Hebrides, and comprises many fantastical parts, akin to a visit to the moon and an array of fantastical creatures together with a huge sea monster and the hippogriff. Many topics are interwoven in its complex, episodic constitution, crucial being the paladin Orlando's unrequited love for the pagan princess Angelica, which develops into the insanity of the name. At 38,736 strains, Ariosto's paintings is among the longest poems in ecu literature.

Translated by means of William Stewart Rose.

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Extra info for Orlando Furioso

Sample text

Encor les voici Mélodieuses fuir dans le bois éclairci. A u x calices aimés leurs mains sont gracieuses ; U n peu de lune dort sur leurs lèvres pieuses Et leurs bras merveilleux aux gestes endormis Aiment à dénouer sous les myrtes amis Leurs liens fauves et leurs caresses... Mais certaines, Moins captives du rythme et des harpes lointaines, S'en vont d'un pas subtil au lac enseveli Boire des lys l'eau frêle où dort le pur oubli. 24 ALBUM OF EARtY VERSE The Vain Dancers They who are as light as flowers came, Golden figurines and beauties in miniature Irised by a pallid moon....

Twilight is here, At the heart's sighing my image undulates, The flute, against the entombed azure, warbles Longings of the sounding herds as they go their way. But on the mortal chill where a star is lit, Before the mist forms a gradual tomb, Accept this kiss breaking the water's fatal calm! 3i ALBUM DE VERS A N C I E N S L'espoir seul peut suffire à rompre ce cristal. La ride me ravisse au souffle qui m'exile Et que mon souffle anime une flûte gracile Dont le joueur léger me serait indulgent !

I can no longer love only when I am sleeping The grace of her actions mingling with radiance. At night my days come to give back certain looks, After the first era of miserable sleep; When unhappiness itself is diff used in the dark They come back to live me, and to give me eyes. But if their joy breaks out, an echo awakening me Throws up a mere cadaver on my shore of flesh, And my alien laugh leaves hanging in my ear, Like a murmuring sea in the empty shell, A doubt—on the edge of uttermost marvel— Whether I am, or was, whether I sleep or wake?

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