[Milton-L] The TeaM: Milton as a translator

Dario Rivarossa dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
Wed Jul 6 01:11:30 EDT 2011

E i medesimi avvoltoi presagio e senso
Hanno quasi divino, ond’è prevista
De’ guerrieri la morte; anzi talvolta
Soglion accompagnar l’armate squadre,
Antevedendo la sanguigna strage
De l’orrida battaglia e ’l fin dolente.

_____Torquato Tasso, Il Mondo Creato 5.1197-1202

Quite literally translated:

Those same vultures a presage and sense
Possess, almost divine, so as to forecast
The death of warriors; sometimes, indeed,
The armed formations they follow,
Foreseeing the bloody slaughter
In the horrid battle, its painful end.

Translated by John Milton (PL 10.273-278):

[…] As when a flock
Of ravenous fowl, though many a league remote,
Against the day of battle, to a field
Where armies lie encamped, come flying, lured
With scent of living carcasses designed
For death, the following day, in bloody fight […]

Milton noticeably, and powerfully, breaks the sentences into convulsive pieces.

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