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LXXII.

"Take care he don't revenge himself, though dead, As Nessus did of old beyond all cure.

I don't know if the fact you've heard or read; But he will make you burst, you may be sure." "But help him on my back," Morgante said, "And you shall see what weight I can endure. In place, my gentle Roland, of this palfrey, With all the bells, I'd carry yonder belfry."

LXXIII.

The abbot said, "The steeple may do well,
But, for the bells, you've broken them, I wot."
Morgante answer'd, "Let them pay in hell
The penalty who lie dead in yon grot;"
And hoisting up the horse from where he fell,
He said, "Now look if I the gout have got,
Orlando, in the legs-or if I have force;"
And then he made two gambols with the horse.

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Morgante was like any mountain framed;
So if he did this, 'tis no prodigy;
But secretly himself Orlando blamed,
Because he was one of his family;

And fearing that he might be hurt or maim'd,
Once more he bade him lay his burden by:
"Put down, nor bear him further the desert in."
Morgante said, "I'll carry him for certain."

LXXV.

E portollo, e gittollo in luogo strano,
E tornò a la badìa subitamente.
Diceva Orlando: or che più dimoriano ?
Morgante, qui non facciam noi niente;
E prese un giorno l'abate per mano,
E disse a quel molto discretamente,
Che vuol partir de la sua reverenzia,
E domandava e perdono e licenzia.

LXXVI.

E de gli onor ricevuti da questi,
Qualche volta potendo, arà buon merito;
E dice: io intendo ristorare e presto
I persi giorni del tempo preterito:
E' son più dì che licenzia arei chiesto,
Benigno padre, se non ch' io mi perito;
Non so mostrarvi quel che drento sento;
Tanto vi veggo del mio star contento.

LXXVII.

Io me ne porto per sempre nel core
L'abate, la badìa, questo deserto ;
Tanto v'ho posto in picciol tempo amore:
Rendavi su nel ciel per me buon merto
Quel vero Dio, quello eterno Signore
Che vi serba il suo regno al fine aperto :
Noi aspettiam vostra benedizione,
Raccomandiamci a le vostre orazione.

LXXV.

He did; and stow'd him in some nook away,
And to the abbey then return'd with speed.
Orlando said, "Why longer do we stay?
"Morgante, here is nought to do indeed."
The abbot by the hand he took one day,

And said, with great respect, he had agreed
To leave his reverence; but for this decision
He wish'd to have his pardon and permission.

LXXVI.

The honours they continued to receive
Perhaps exceeded what his merits claim'd:
He said, "I mean, and quickly, to retrieve

The lost days of time past, which may be blamed; Some days ago I should have ask'd your leave, Kind father, but I really was ashamed,

And know not how to show my sentiment,
So much I see you with our stay content.

LXXVII.

"But in my heart I bear through every clime The abbot, abbey, and this solitude

So much I love you in so short a time;

For me, from heaven reward you with all good The God so true, the eternal Lord sublime!

Whose kingdom at the last hath open stood. Meantime we stand expectant of your blessing, And recommend us to your prayers with pressing."

LXXVIII.

Quando l'abate il conte Orlando intese,
Rintenerì nel cor per la dolcezza,
Tanto fervor nel petto se gli accese;
E disse: cavalier, se a tua prodezza
Non sono stato benigno e cortese,
Come conviensi a la gran gentillezza ;
Che so che ciò ch'ï'ho fatto è stato poco,
Incolpa la ignoranzia nostra e il loco.

LXXIX.

Noi ti potremo di messe onorare,
Dì prediche di laude e paternostri,
Piuttosto che da cena o desinare,
O d'altri convenevol che da chiostri:
Tu m'hai di te sì fatto innamorare
Per mille alte eccellenzie che tu mostri;
Ch'io me ne vengo ove tu andrai con teco.
E d'altra parte tu resti quì meco.

LXXX.

Tanto ch'a questo par contraddizione;
Ma so che tu se' savio, e 'ntendi e gusti,

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E intendi il mio parlar per discrizione;

De' beneficj tuoi pietosi e giusti
Renda il Signore a te munerazione,
Da cui mandato in queste selve fusti;
Per le virtù del qual liberi siamo,
E grazie a lui e a te noi ne rendiamo.

LXXVIII.

Now when the abbot Count Orlando heard,
His heart grew soft with inner tenderness,
Such fervour in his bosom bred each word;
And, "Cavalier," he said, " if I have less
Courteous and kind to your great worth appear'd,
Than fits me for such gentle blood to express,
I know I have done too little in this case;
But blame our ignorance, and this poor place.

LXXIX.

"We can indeed but honour you with masses, And sermons, thanksgivings, and pater-nosters, Hot suppers, dinners (fitting other places

In verity much rather than the cloisters); But such a love for you my heart embraces, For thousand virtues which your bosom fosters,

That whereso'er you go I too shall be,

And, on the other part, you rest with me.

LXXX.

"This may involve a seeming contradiction;
But you
I know are sage, and feel, and taste,
And understand my speech with full conviction.
For your just pious deeds may you be graced
With the Lord's great reward and benediction,
By whom you were directed to this waste:
To his high mercy is our freedom due,
For which we render thanks to him and you.

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