Untangling Syntax

Elizabethan poets rearranged word order for metrical convenience far more than is customary today. Modern readers find this practice unsettling at first, but understanding grows with familiarity. This exercise uses examples from Edward Fairfax's 1600 translation of Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered. In the following exercises you will learn to read Elizabethan verse by translating the original passage into a modern equivalent using the same words but in a more natural word order. The first "caution" below is meant to discourage highly creative scrambling of the original words. The nature and degree of distortion to which older poets subjected the language are actually quite limited, and the exercise is meant to teach you these limits by trial and error; there will be far less error if you stick to conservative reconstructions.

Fairfax's Sentence:
A tinsel veil her amber locks did shroud.

Instructions: First, read the original sentence, shown above. Do not neglect this first step as you proceed! Then, restore normal word order by dragging and dropping sentence elements onto the lines.
Caution: 1. Make as few changes as you can to smooth out the syntax.
2. Be aware that the auxiliary verb "do" is often omitted where we would use it and used where we would omit it.