No Comment, Quotation — May 26, 2008, 3:28 am

Ariosto’s Man Who Broke the Mold

piero_della_francesca_040

Vedi tra duo unicorni il gran leone,
che la spada d’argento ha ne la zampa:
quell’è del re di Scozia il gonfalone;
il suo figliol Zerbino ivi s’accampa.
Non è un sì bello in tante altre persone:
natura il fece, e poi roppe la stampa.
Non è in cui tal virtù, tal grazia luca,
o tal possanza: ed è di Roscia duca.

The lion ‘twixt two unicorns behold
Upon the standard of the Scottish king!
Which has a sword of silver in its hold.
There camps his son: of all his following
Is none so beauteous: nature broke the mould
In which she cast him, after fashioning
Her work: Is none in whom such chivalry
And valour shines. The Duke of Rothsay he!

Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando furioso canto x, lxxxiv (1519)(Wm. Stewart Ross transl.)

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