[Milton-L] The TeaM: The founder of WWF

Dario Rivarossa dario.rivarossa at gmail.com
Wed Mar 9 01:09:31 EST 2011

Né de l’aspra sentenzia il gran divieto
De la terra impedia la copia ancora:
Ch’erano allor più antichi i vari frutti
Del peccar nostro e di vetusta colpa.

_____Torquato Tasso, Il Mondo Creato 3.1141-1144

The great prohibition in the harsh sentence
Did not prevent the Earth’s plenty yet:
’Cause the different fruits were then older
Than our sin and ancient fault.

In a somehow over-elaborate way, Tasso says that Nature in the
beginning was much more luxuriant than nowadays, because Adam and Eve
had not been expelled from Eden yet (by God’s “harsh sentence”
including His “prohibition” for them to stay there), so that the human
activity had not impoverished the environment yet.
Once again, I dare say that “it was the first time” that a poet, in
Italy at least, dealt with a very modern issue, in this case Ecology.
It was the first time that a poet – or somebody else – wondered if
Nature could be irreparably spoiled by mankind. The question will
surface some more times in MC. In general, Tasso answers that God’s
Providence succeeds in fixing the disasters made by us. But, not
always. E.g. in 6.385 we read:

Dove i leoni producea l’Europa

Where Europe used to have lions

implying that in the 16th century they were – as still are –
completely extinct because of the hunting. In 5.489-499 he maintains
that the whales’ off-shore environment hides them enough to save their
species from the attacks of Man. We would like he was right.

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