Dante Alighieri
La Divina Commedia
Inferno - Canto 01
Melville Best Anderson
The Divine Comedy
Inferno - Canto 01

Proem: Rescue op Dante by Virgil

When half the journey of our life was done
I found me in a darkling wood astray,
Because aside from the straight pathway run.

Ah me, how hard a thing it is to say
What was this thorny wildwood intricate
Whose memory renews the first dismay!

Scarcely in death is bitterness more great:
But as concerns the good discovered there
The other things I saw will I relate.

How there I entered I am unaware,
So was I at that moment full of sleep
When I abandoned the true thoroughfare.

But when I reacht the bottom of a steep
Ending the valley which had overcome
My courage, piercing me with fear so deep,

Lifting mine eyes up, I beheld its dome
Already covered with that planet's light
Which along all our pathways leads us home.

Then was a little quieted the fright
That had been lurking in the heart of me
Throughout the passage of the piteous night.

And as the panting castaway, if he
Escapet the wave and on the shore arrive
Turns back and gazes on the perilous sea.

Even so my spirit, still a fugitive.
Turned back to look again upon the shore
That never left one person yet alive.

My weary frame somewhat refresht, once more
Along the solitary slope i plied
So that the firm foot ever was the lower.

And lo! where but begins the mountainside,
A leopard light and very swifz of pace
And covered with a gayly spotted hide.

Never withdrew she from before my face;
Nay, rather blockt she so my going on
That oft I turned my footing to retrace.

It was about the moment of the dawn;
Uprose the sun and paled the light benign
Of those fair stars which were beside him yon

When took they motion first from Love Divine:
So the sweet season and the time of day
Caused me to augur as a hopeful sign

That animal with skin bedappled gay:
Yet not so much but that I felt dismayed
To see a lion intercept my way.

It seemed to me that he toward me made
With head erected and with hunger raving,
So that the very air appeared afraid:

And a she-wolf, made gaunt by every craving
Wherewith methought she heavy-laden went.
And much folk hitherto of joy bereaying;

She brought on me so much discouragement
By terror of her aspect that perforce
I forfeited all hope of the ascent.

And as one, interrupted in his course
Of winninh, when his fortune is undone
Is full of perturbation and remorse,

That truceless beast made me such malison,
And coming on against me pace by pace
Baffled me back where silent is the sun.

While I was falling back to that low place,
A certain person there appearance made.
Whose lengthened silence argued feebleness.

When him I saw in the deserted glade,
"Have pity upon me!" I imploring cried,
"Whate'er thou beest, whether man or shade."

"Not man, - a man once was I," he replied,
"My parents both were born at Mantua,
And were of Lombard blood on either side.

Sub Julio was I born, though late the day,
And under good Augustus lived at Rome
When false and lying deities bore sway.

I was a poet: that just hero whom
Anchises sired, I sang, who came from Troy
After the burning of proud Ilium.

But why dost thou return to such annoy,
Wherefore ascend not the delightful Mount,
Beginning and occasion of all joy?" -

"Art thou indeed that Virgil, and that fount
Whence pours of eloquence so broad a stream?"
I made reply to him with bashful front.

"O of the other poets light supreme,
May the long study well avail me now
And the great love that made thy book my theme.

Thou art my Master and my Author thou,
And thou alone art he from whom results
The goodly style whereto my honors owe.

Behold the beast that doth my steps repulse:
Come to my help against her, famous sage,
For palpitates my every, vein and pulse." -

"Another journey must thy steps engage,"
When he beheld me weeping, did he say,
"Wouldst from this savage place make pilgrimage;

Because this beast whereat thou criest, gives way
Never to any comer, but doth sore
Impede and harass him until she slay.

Malignant is she so that nevermore
The craving of her appetite is fed,
And after food is hungrier than before.

Many are the animals that with her wed,
And there shall yet be more, until the Hound
Shall come and in her misery strike her dead.

His food shall not be either pelf or ground
But what is loving, wise, and valorous:
Feltro and Feltro shall his nation bound.

That humble Italy preserves he thus
For which the maid Camilla bit the dust,
Turnus and Nisus and Euryalus.

And out of every city shall he thrust
That beast, until he drive her back to Hell
Whence she was first let loose by envious lust.

Wherefore for thee I think and judge it well
Thou follow me, and I will bring about
Thy passage thither where the eternal dwell.

There shalt thou hearken the despairing shout,
Shalt see the souls of yore, each woeful guest
Who craving for the second death cry out.

Shalt see thereafter those who are at rest
Amid the flame, because their wishes bend
To make them, whensoever, of the blest.

If then to these thou wishest to ascend,
For this a worthier soul than I shall wait,
And with her will I leave thee at the end:

Because that Emperor who there holds state,
Seeing I was a rebel to His law,
Wills that through me none pass His City-gate.

There rules His Love, as everywhere His Awe;
There in His Capital He sits on high:
Happy His chosen who may nigh Him draw." -

"O Poet, I entreat of thee," said I,
"By that Divinity thou didst not know,
So this and greater evil I may fly,

That where thou saidst I may a pilgrim go,
And led by thee Saint Peter's portal find,
And those thou makest out afiiicted so." -

Then moved he on, I following behind.


Canto 02

Virgil Describes the Appeal of Beatrice

Day was departing and the dusky air
Loosing the Hving things on earth that dwell
From their fatigues; and I alone was there

Preparing to sustain the war, as well
Of the long way as also of the woe,
Which now unerring memory will tell.

O Muses! O high Genius, aid me now!
O Memory who wrote down what I did see,
Herein all thy nobility will show.

Now I began: »Poet who guidest me,
Look to my worth if it be plenteous,
Ere to the hard pass thou confidest me.

Thou tellest that the Sire of Silvius
Went to the everlasting world, while still
Corruptible, and in the body thus.

But that the Adversary of every ill
Should grace him so, viewing the issue high
And who he was and what he should fulfill,

Seems not unfit to the understanding eye:
For he was father of imperial Rome
Elected in the empyrean sky,

Founding that city and her masterdom
In sooth, for see and sanctuary blest
Of those who after greatest Peter come.

And by that going, which thou honorest,
He heard of things whereon were consequent
His victory and then the Papal Vest.

There afterward the Chosen Vessel went
Thence bringing comfort to that Faith supreme
Which of salvation is the rudiment.

But wherefore I? Who grants me such a dream?
Æneas am I not, nor am I Paul,
Nor to myself or others worthy seem.

Whence, if I dare to yield me to thy call,
I tremble lest the going prove insane:
My words are to the wise, - thou knowest all.« -

And like to those who chop and change again
On second thoughts, unwilling former will,
And make their fair beginning wholly vain,

Such became I on that benighted hill:
Since, taking thought, I canceled the emprise
I was before so eager to fulfill.

»If I have comprehended thy replies,«
Returned that shadow of the lofty mind,
»Thy soul in caitiff apprehension lies,

Which oftentimes so baffles humankind,
They turn like animal false sight perceiving.
Leaving emprise of honor all behind.

To free thee from this timid misconceiving,
Let me now tell thee what my coming meant,
And what I heard of thee that set me grieving.

I was with those who are in Limbo pent,
When a fair Lady from the blest abode
Called me, and her command was my consent.

More brilliant than the star her glances glowed;
And gently and serenely she began
With voice angelic, in her own sweet mode:

»O courteous shade, soul of the Mantuan
Whose fame endures today in human ear,
And will endure as long as motion can,

One dear to me and not to fortune dear,
Is on the desert hillside in his way
So hindered that he has turned back for fear,

And may, alas! be now so far astray
That I am risen for his relief too late,
From what I hear the Heavenly voices say.

Now go, and with thine eloquence ornate,
And what may serve for his escape from woe,
Aid him, lest I should be disconsolate.

Myself am Beatrice who bid thee go;
Thence come I whither to return I sigh;
Love prompted me and makes me urge thee so.

When I shall be before my Lord on high
Often will I invoke for thee His grace.« -
Thereat she paused, and I began reply:

»0 Lady by virtue of whom the human race
Doth in nobility all things excel
Within the Heaven that rounds the smallest space,

To do thy bidding pleases me so well
The deed were laggard if already done:
There is no further need thy wish to tell.

But tell me rather why thou dost not shun
Descending to this center from the sphere
So wide, whereto thou bumest to be gone.« -

»Seeing it is thy will so far to peer,
I will proceed to tell thee,« she replied,
»Why I am not afraid to enter here.

Of those things only fear is justified
Wherein is power of harming less or much:
At nothing else need one be terrified.

By Grace Divine have I been fashioned such
That pangs me not the misery of you,
Nor can the flame of all this burning touch.

In Heaven there is a gentle Lady who
Berues this barrier whence I bid thee fare,
So that she bursts on high stern judgment through.

She summoned Lucy to her in her prayer
And said: »Thy faithful one now needs thee so
That I commend him to thy tender care.« -

Lucy, of every cruelty the foe.
Arose and came where I had not been long
With Rachel, who was set there long ago.

»Beatrice,« she said, »God's very choral song,
Why help not him who had such love for thee
That he forsook for thee the vulgar throng?

Dost thou not hear him weep in misery?
Dost thou not see how he is combated
By Death upon a flood wild as the sea?« -

None ever in the world so swiftly sped
Avoiding hurt or questing benefit,
As came I, after suchlike words were said,

Speeding me down from where the blessed sit,
Trusting thy noble speech whose modest lore
Honors thyself, and others hearing it.« -

After she this had spoken, she forbore,
And, weeping, turned her shining eyes away,
Wherefore to come she made me hasten more;

And, coming to thee even as she did pray,
I drew thee from that beast which up the fair
Mountain, bereft thee of the briefer way.

What ails thee then? ah, why, why tarry there?
Why harbor in thy heart such cowardice?
Why not take liberty to do and dare,

When cherish for thee so much care as this
In Court of Heaven three Ladies benedight,
And mine own speaking pledges thee such bliss?« -

Even as the flowerets by the chill of night
Bended and closed, when brightens them the sun
Uplift both stem and petal to the light,

So with my drooping courage I had done
Already, and began like one set free,
So much good daring to my heart had run:

»O deep compassion of her who succored me!
And courteous thou, promptly obedient
To the true words that she addressed to thee!

Thy words have with such ardent longing bent
My heart to the adventure that, in troth,
I have returned now to my first intent.

Now go, for one will animates us both:
Thou leader and thou lord and master mild!« -
So said I; and he moving, nothing loath

I entered on the pathway deep and wild.


Canto 03

The Dire Inscription and the Dark River

»Through me the way is to the city of woe;
Through me the way unto eternal pain;
Through me the way among the lost below.

Justice commoved my high Creator, when
Made me Divine Omnipotence, combined
With Primal Love and Wisdom Sovereign.

Before me nothing was of any kind
Except eterne, and I eterne abide:
Leave, ye that enter in, all hope behind!«

On high above a gateway I descried,
Written in dusky color, this device:
Whence I: »The sense is dire to me, O Guide!«

Then answered he, as of expert advice:
»Here must thou every fear perforce neglect,
Here must perforce be killed all cowardice.

Now come we where I taught thee to expect
To look upon the woeful populace
Who have forgone the good of intellect.«

Laying his hand on mine with cheerful face.
Whence I was comforted, he made me keep
Right on and inward to the secret place.

Here lamentations, sighs, and wailings deep
Resounding, so the starless welkin fill
That, at the first, I could not choose but weep.

Strange languages, discoursings horrible,
Accents of anger, histories of woes,
Smiting of hands, with voices hoarse and shrill,

Make a tumultuous roar that swirling goes
Forever in that air of endless night,
Like to the sandblast when the whirlwind blows.

And I, my temples girded with affright,
Said: »Master, what is this, and who may be
The folk who seem in such a woeful plight?«

»The melancholy souls,« then answered he,
»Of those enduring this condition dire,
Lived void of honor and of infamy.

They are commingled with that caitiff quire
Of angels, who nowise rebellious were,
Nor leal to God, but all for self-desire.

The Heavens to keep their beauty from impair,
Banned them, nor harbors them the deep of Hell,
Because the damned some boast of them would bear.«

»Master,« said I, »what grievance is so fell
To these, that their lament should be so great?«
He answered: »I will very briefly tell.

These have no hope of death; and this their state
Of blind existence is degraded so,
They are envious of every other fate.

Report of them the world does not allow;
Mercy and Justice hold them in disdain:
Let us not speak of them, but look, and go.«

And I beheld, on looking there again,
A whirling banner running swiftly on,
As scorning all delay; and such a train

Of people in pursuit of it that run,
Nothing but seeing could belief persuade
That ever Death so many had fordone.

And recognizing some, I saw a shade
In whom detected I that one of these
Who cravenly the Great Refusal made.

This was the sect of caitiffs, who displease, -
As now forthwith I understood and knew, -
Not God alone but all His enemies.

Wretches who never were alive, and who
Were sorely stung upon their bodies nude
By hornets and by wasps that thither flew.

These caused their visages to stream with blood,
Which, mixed with tears, was gathered at their feet
By vermin, foul and loathsome multitude.

And now my glances, pushing further, meet
People upon the marge of a great stream;
Whence I: »Now tell me. Master, I entreat,

What folk are these, and by what rule they seem
So eager on the passage to be gone,
As I distinguish by the feeble gleam.«

And he to me: »These matters shall be known
Unto thee, when we stay from our advance
Upon the woeful marge of Acheron.«

Thereon with downcast eyes and modest glance,
Fearing my words were irksome to him, I
Far as the stream refrained from utterance.

And lo! upon a bark approaching nigh,
One white with ancient tresses, passing old:
»Woe to .you wicked spirits!« was his cry.

»Hope nevermore the Heavens to behold:
I come to lead you to the other bank,
Into eternal darkness, heat, and cold.

And thou, O living spirit, from the rank
Dispart thee, of these others who are dead.«
And when he saw me not as one who shrank:

»Another way, by other ports,« he said,
»Not here, shalt come for ferriage to the shore:
Upon a lighter keel must thou be sped.«

»Vex thee not, Charon,« said my Monitor:
»Thus it is willed where will is one and same
With potence to fulfill, - and ask no more.«

Then quieted the shaggy cheeks became,
Of him, the boatman of the marish dark,
Who round about his eyes had wheels of flame.

But all those spirits, so forworn and stark,
Change color and their teeth are chattering,
As soon as they the cruel accents mark.

God they blaspheme and their own sires, and fling
Curses on race and place and time and law
Both of their birth and their engendering.

Then, flocking all together, they withdraw,
Bitterly weeping, to the cursed shore
Awaiting each who holds not God in awe.

Charon, the demon, with the eyes that glow'r,
Beckoning to them, every one receives,
And smites whoever lingers, with the oar.

As in the autumn season when the leaves,
First one and then another, lightly fall,
Till all upon the ground the bough perceives:

Likewise the evil seed of Adam all
Fling them from off that margin one by one
At signals, like the bird at his recall.

Thus over the dusk water they are gone,
And ere they can alight on yonder strand
Forgathers a fresh throng on this anon.

»Son,« said the courteous Master, »understand
That those who perish subject to God's ire
Are all assembled here from every land,

And ready are to pass the river dire,
Because Celestial Justice so doth goad
That very fear converts into desire.

No righteous spirit ever takes this road:
And hence, though Charon may of thee complain,
Thou knowest now the meaning of his mode.« -

When he had ended, all the dreary plain
So trembled that, but calling it to mind,
The terror bathes me now with sweat again.

The land of tears gave forth a blast of wind
With lightning flashes of vermilion deep,
Whence consciousness I utterly resigned:

Then sank I like one overcome with sleep.


Canto 04

First Circle: Limbo; the Virtuous Pagans

A pealing burst of thunder loosed my sense
From chains of heavy sleep, and made me bound
Like one who is awakt by violence:

And, risen erect, on every side around
I moved my rested eye, and fixed my sight
To recognize the features of that ground.

True is it that I stood upon the height
Above the valley of the Abyss of Woe,
Which gathers roar of wailing infinite.

It was so dark, deep, cloudy, that although
My gaze upon the bottom I confined,
Not anything discerned I there below.

»Now go we down among the people blind,«
Began the Poet, pallid as the dead:
»I will go first, and follow thou behind.«

And I, observant of his pallor, said:
»How shall I come if thou afraid appear,
By whom I am wonted to be comforted?«

»The anguish of the people downward here,
Portrays upon my face,« said he at this,
»That pity which thou deemest to be fear.

The long way urges: come, be not remiss.«
Thus he set forth, and made me enter thus,
The foremost circle that begirds the abyss.

Here was no sound perceptible to us
Of wailing, only sighs and sighs again,
That made the eternal air all tremulous:

And this arose from woe unpanged with pain,
Felt by the great and thronging multitude
Of children and of women and of men.

»Askest thou not,« resumed the Master good,
»What spirits these may be thou dost behold?
Now ere thou go, I wish it understood

Though these sinned not, their merit manifold
Doth not, for want of Baptism, signify, -
The portal of the faith which thou dost hold.

They worshipt God but through idolatry.
Seeing they were to Christian ages prior:
And among such as these myself am I.

For such defects, and for no trespass dire,
Lost are we, suffering no more but so,
That without hope we languish in desire.«

On hearing this, laid hold on me great woe,
For very worthy people knew I well,
Suspended in that Limbo there below.

»O tell me, Lord, O Master, speak and tell,«
Began I, wishing full intelligence
About the faith that doth all error quell,

»Went ever any by self-merit hence,
Or by another's, to a blissful fate?«
And he, who understood my covert sense,

Made answer: »I was new unto this state,
When I beheld One come omnipotent,
With sign of victory incoronate.

The shade of our first father penitent,
Abel his son and Noah, hence He drew;
Moses the lawgiver obedient;

Patriarch Abraham, King David too;
Israel with his sire, with every son.
With Rachel for whose sake such pains he knew,

And many more, and gave them benison:
And thou must know that earlier than these,
Never a human soul salvation won.«

Not for his speaking, did our going cease,
But ever through the forest did we fare, -
The forest, I mean, where spirits were the trees.

We had not traveled far as yet from where
My sleep befell, when I beheld a blaze
Which conquered from the dark a hemisphere.

We still were distant by a little space,
Yet not so far but I discerned in part
That honorable people held that place.

»O thou who honorest both science and art,
Who may these be that so great honor claim,
Thus set from fashion of the rest apart?«

And he to me: »The honorable fame
Concerning them that in thy life doth ring,
Wins grace in Heaven that so advances them.«

Hereon I heard a voice thus heralding:
»Honor to him of poets loftiest!
His shade returneth home from wandering.«

After the voice had ceast and was at rest,
Four mighty shades advancing did I see,
In whom nor grief nor joy was manifest.

The Master good began to say to me:
»Mark him there, carrying that sword in hand,
Who, as their lord, comes on before the three:

'Tis Homer, sovran bard of every land,
Horace next after him, satiric wit,
Third Ovid, Lucan last of all the band.

Since unto each doth, as to me, befit
The name the one voice sounded, in such wise
They do me honor, and do well in it.«

Thus gathered the fair school before mine eyes,
Of him, the lord of song the loftiest,
Who o'er the others like an eagle flies.

When they had talkt awhile with him, the rest
To me with signs of salutation bent;
Whereat my Master's smile his mind exprest.

They paid me honor far more eminent,
In that they made me of their brotherhood:
So I was sixth of them, the sapient.

Toward the light we thus our way pursued.
Discoursing things whereof fits reticence,
Even as there to speak of them was good.

We gained a castle's grand circumference,
With seven lofty walls encircled round,
Bemoated with a brooklet for defense.

This passed we over as upon dry ground:
Through seven gates I with those sages went;
A meadow of fresh verdure there we found.

People were there of aspect eminent.
With eyes that moved majestical and slow:
Taciturn, but with voices sweetly blent.

A little to one side withdrew we so,
Into an open place, and high and sheen,
Where one and all we might behold and know.

There opposite, upon the enameled green,
Were shown to me the mighty souls, whom I
Feel inwardly exalted to have seen.

I saw Electra with much people by,
Hector among them, and Æneas descried,
And armored Cæsar with the falcon eye.

Camill', Penthesiléa, I espied;
Over against them King Latinus dwelled,
Lavinia, his daughter, by his side.

I saw that Brutus Tarquin who expelled;
Lucrece, Cornelia, Julia, Marcia; then
Alone, apart, great Saladin beheld.

And when I lifted up my brows again,
The Master I beheld of those who know,
Sitting amid the philosophic train.

All look to him, to him all honor show:
Here saw I Plato, Socrates advance,
Who nearer him before the others go;

Democritus, who puts the world on chance,
Anaxagoras and Diogenes I saw;
Dioscorides, collector good of plants;

Thales, and Zeno of the Stoic law;
Orpheus, Heraclitus, Empedocles,
Tully, and Linus, and moral Seneca;

Euclid, geometer; Hippocrates,
Ptolemy, Avicen, Galen; him who wrought
The Commentary great, Averroës.

In full concerning all report I not,
For the long theme impels me forward: thus
Many a time the word comes short of thought.

The band of six gives place to two of us:
My sage Guide leads me by another way
Forth from the still air to the tremulous;

And now I come where shines no light of day.


Canto 05

Second Circle: Francesca da Rimini

From the first circle thus I made descent
Down to the second, whose contracted rim
Girdles so much more woe it goads lament.

There Minos stands and snarls with clamor grim,
Examines the transgressions at the gate,
Judges, and sends as he encircles him.

Yea, when the spirit born to evil fate
Before him comes confessing all, that fell
Distinguisher among the reprobate,

Seeing what place belongs to it in Hell,
Entwines him with his tail such times as show
How many circles down he bids it dwell.

Always before him many wait; they go
All turn by turn to sentence for their sin:
They tell and hear and then are whirled below.

»O thou that comest to the woeful inn!«
As soon as he beheld me, Minos cried,
Leaving the act of so great discipline,

»Beware to enter, beware in whom confide,
Be not deceived by wideness of the door.« -
»Why dost thou also clamor?« said my Guide,

»Bar not his going fated from before:
Thus it is willed up yonder where is might
To bring the will to pass, and ask no more.« -

And now the notes of woe begin to smite
The hollow of mine ear; now am I come
Where I am pierced by wailings infinite.

I came into a place of all light dumb,
Which bellows like a sea where thunders roll
And counter-winds contend for masterdom.

The infernal hurricane beyond control
Sweeps on and on with ravishment malign
Whirling and buffeting each hapless soul.

When by the headlong tempest hurled supine,
Here are the shrieks, the moaning, the laments,
Here they blaspheme the puissance divine.

I learned that to such sorry recompense
Are damned the sinners of the carnal sting,
Who make the reason thrall to appetence.

And as great flocks of starlings on the wing
In winter time together trooping go,
So did that blast the wicked spirits fling

Now here, now there, now up, and now below:
Comfort of hope to them is never known
Either of rest or even less bitter woe.

And as the pilgrim cranes from zone to zone
Draw out their aery file and chant the dirge,
So saw I, and I heard them making moan,

Shadows who on that storm-blast whirl and surge:
Whence I: »Who, Master, are those tempest-flung,
Round whom the black air whistles like a scourge?« -

»The first,« said he, »that multitude among,
Of whom thou seekest knowledge more precise,
Was empress over many a tribe and tongue.

Abandoned so was she to wanton vice
That, her own stigma so to wipe away,
Lust was made licit by her law device.

That is Semiramis, - as annals say
Consort of Ninus and successor too;
Where governs now the Soldan, she held sway.

The next one, lo! herself for love she slew
And to Sichæus' urn her faith dismissed;
Next wanton Cleopatra comes to view;

Now lookest thou on Helen, whose acquist
Brought evil years; and great Achilles see
Who found in Love his last antagonist.

Look, Paris, Tristan . . .« and he pointed me
A thousand shades, and named me every name,
Who in our life gave Love the victory.

When I had heard my Teacher many a dame
Of eld enumerate, and many a knight,
Pity assailed me and almost overcame.

»Poet,« began I, »fain would I invite
Speech with those twain who go a single way
And seem upon the wind to be so light.« -

And he made answer: »Thou shalt mark when they
Draw near to us, and then adjure them by
The Love that leads them, and they will obey.« -

Thereafter when a whirlwind swept them nigh
I lifted up my voice: »O souls forspent,
Come and have speech with us if none deny.« -

As doves to the heart's call obedient
Are borne along to the beloved nest
On wide and steady pinions homeward bent,

So these came tow'rd us through the air unblest,
Veering from Dido and her multitude,
So tender and so strong was my request.

»O living creature full of grace and good
Who goest through the dusk air visiting
Us who left earth encrimsoned with our blood,

If friendly were the Universal King
We would be praying to Him for thy peace,
Seeing thou pitiest our suffering.

Whatever ye to speak and hear may please,
That will we speak and hear you close at hand,
If yet awhile the wind as now may cease.

The town where I was born sits on the strand
Beside the water where descends the Po
In quest of peace, with his companion band.

Love that in gentle heart is soon aglow
Laid hold on this one for the person fair
Bereft me, and the mode is still my woe.

Love that doth none beloved from loving spare,
To do him pleasure made my heart so fain
That, as thou seest, not yet doth it forbear.

Love led us down to death together: Cain
Awaits the soul of him who laid us dead.« -
These words from them to us returned again.

Hearing those injured souls, I bowed my head
And held it for so long dejectedly
That, »Whereon thinkest thou?« the Poet said.

When I could answer, I began: »Ah me,
How many tender thoughts, what longing drew
These lovers to the pass of agony.« -

Thereafter I turned to them, and spoke anew:
»Francesca, all thy torments dim mine eyes
With tears that flow for sympathy and rue.

But tell me, in the time of the sweet sighs
By what, and how did Love to you disclose
The vague desires, that ye should realize?« -

And she to me: »It is the woe of woes
Remembrance of the happy time to keep
In misery, - and that thy Teacher knows.

But if thy yearning be indeed so deep
To know the first root of a love so dear,
I will do even as they who speak and weep.

One day together read we for good cheer
Of Love, how he laid hold on Launcëlot:
Alone we were and without any fear.

Many and many a time that reading brought
Our eyes to meet, and blancht our faces o'er.
But only one point we resisted not.

When reading of the smile long-waited-for
Being kissed by such a lover chivalrous,
He, never now from me divided more,

Kissed me upon the mouth, all tremulous.
Gallehaut was the book and writer too:
That day there was no reading more for us.« -

And while one soul was saying this, for rue
So wept the other, that I fainted all
For pity, even as dying persons do,

And fell, as would a lifeless body fall.


Canto 06

Third Circle: The Intemperate

On coming to my senses, closed at sight
Deplorable of them, the kindred twain,
Pity for whom had overwhelmed me quite,

New souls in torment and new modes of pain
Wherever I am moving I behold,
Wherever I turn and look about again.

In the Third Circle am I, where the cold
Eternal cursed heavy rain doth flow,
In mode and measure ever as of old.

Thick hail and turbid water-drops and snow
Down through the darkling air forever fall;
Foul stench receives them on the ground below.

Cerberus, fierce and monstrous animal,
With triple gullet barks in currish wise
Above the people here submerged withal.

Greasy and black his beard, and red his eyes,
And belly big, and fingers clawed amain:
Clutching the spirits, he doth rend and slice.

Howling like dogs by reason of the rain,
They shelter one side with the other, - thus
Turn back and forth the reprobates profane.

The open-mouthed great dragon Cerberus
Displayed his fangs, what time he us descried:
No limb had he that was not tremulous.

And, spreading palms and fingers out, my Guide
Took earth up and, full-fisted, flung it right
Into those gullets ravenous and wide.

As dog that barks for craving appetite
Grows quiet setting tooth upon his food,
For but to gorge it doth he tug and fight,

So quiet grew those faces, filth-imbrued,
Of Demon Cerberus, who bellows so
The spirits would be deaf if they but could.

We passed above the shadows whom below
The heavy rain is beating, treading down
What seems a body, but is empty show.

Prone on the bottom lay they every one,
Except that sudden sat erect one shade
As soon as it perceived us passing on.

»O thou who through this Hell art led,« it prayed,
»Recall me, if thou canst, to memory:
Or ever I was unmade, wast thou made.«

»Perchance,« said I, »the anguish thou dost dree,
Doth from my memory thy form efface
So that, it seems, I never looked on thee.

But tell me who thou art, that in a place
So woeful liest, punished in such plight
That none, though greater, were so much disgrace.«

»Thy city,« he returned, »distended quite
With envy till the sack no more can hold,
Held me as hers, when life to me was bright.

Ciacco, ye citizens called me of old:
For the pernicious guilt of gluttony
The rain subdues me, as thou dost behold.

And, wretched spirit, not alone am I,
Since for like guilt these suffer, all and some,
Like punishment:« no more he made reply.

»Ciacco,« I answered him, »thy martyrdom
Doth weigh me down to tears compassionate:
But tell me, if thou knowest, to what will come

The citizens of the divided state?
If any one therein be just? and whence
Such mighty discord makes it desolate?«

And he to me: »After long turbulence
There will be bloodshed, and the rustics, they
Will drive the others forth, with much offense.

Thereafter it behooves them fall away
Within three suns, and the others rise again
Thanks to a certain one who trims today.

Long while shall they a lofty front maintain,
Keeping the former, spite of tears and shame,
'Neath heavy fardels bended down amain.

The just are two, but none gives heed to them:
Envy and avarice and arrogance
Are triple sparks that set all hearts aflame.«

Here ended he the sad deliverance.
And I: »Pray thee, instruct me further forth, -
I crave the guerdon of more utterance.

Of Tegghiaio and Farinata, men of worth,
Of Rusticucci, Arrigo, Mosca, tell,
And of the others who brought good to birth,

Where are they, - cause that I may know them well:
For great desire constrains me to descry
If Heaven may soothe them, or envenom Hell.«

»They are among the souls of blackest dye,
Whom sins diverse down to the bottom weigh:
Thou mayst behold them, going down where they lie.

But when thou art in the sweet world, I pray
That thou wilt bring me back to human mind:
No more I answer thee, no more I say.«

His straight eyes thereupon aslant inclined,
Awhile he scanned me; then did headlong fall
Down to the level of the other blind.

»No more,« my Leader said, »he waken shall
This side of the angelic trumpet sound.
When shall arrive the judge inimical

Each one shall in his dismal tomb be found,
His flesh and outward figure reassume.
And hear what shall eternally resound.«

So fared we onward through that filthy scum
Of shadows and of sleet, with footing slow,
Touching a little on the life to come.

Wherefore I questioned: »Master, will this woe
After the mighty Judgment grow amain,
Or less become, or burning be just so?«

»Turn to thy science,« answered he again,
»Which holds, the more complete the thing, the more
It feels of pleasure, and the like of pain.

Though these accursed people nevermore
Reach true perfection, after that event
They look to be completer than before.«

A circling course along that road we went,
Speaking far more than may repeated be;
Then came we to the point of the descent,

And here found Plutus the arch-enemy.


Canto 07

Fourth Circle: The Parsimonious and the Prodigal

»Papé Satan Papé Satan aleppë!«
Thus Plutus' clucking voice beginning went;
And that benignant Sage, experienced:

In all things, said for my encouragement:
»Fear not, for any war that he may wage
Shall not prohibit thee the rock's descent.«

Then to that bloated visage turned my Sage,
And said: »Accursed wolf, be not so loud!
And be thou gnawed within by thine own rage.

Not without cause this going is allowed:
Thus it is willed above where Michaël
Wrought vengeance for the deed of whoredom proud.«

As ocean-faring sails, which the winds swell,
Would fall entangled should the mainmast crack,
So to the ground the cruel monster fell.

Descending into the Fourth Gap, we track
Still farther that declivity of woe
Which doth our universal guilt ensack.

Justice Divine! can any there below
Heap up such penalties and travail new?
And why does guilt of ours consume us so?

As on Charybdis yonder surges do,
Each against other shattering its crest,
So here the folk their counter-dance pursue.

Here saw I people more than all the rest
Who from each quarter, with a howling din,
Were trundling burdens by main force of breast.

They clash together, and then both begin
The counter-movement, rolling back again,
Shouting: »Why throw away?« and »Why hold in?« -

So on both sides they circle to regain
The point opposed, along the dismal mew,
Still shouting their opprobrious refrain:

Then as along his semicircle drew
Each one to the other joust, he wheeled withal.
And I, who felt my heart as stricken through,

Said: »Master mine, now tell me, who may all
These people be? and on our left-hand side
These shaven crowns, - were they all clerical?« -

»All these were in the first life,« he replied,
»Of mind so squinting that the middle route
Of measured spending could not be espied.

With voice exceeding clear they bark this out,
When to the two points of the circle come,
Where counter-crime compels them turn about.

These heads bereft of hair were, all and some,
Priests, popes, and cardinals, whose practices
Show avarice in sovereign masterdom.«

Then said I: »Master, among such as these
There surely must be some I ought to know,
Who were defiled with these iniquities.«

And he to me: »Vain thoughts combinest thou:
The purblind life that made them sordid there
Bedims them to all recognition now.

To the two buttings will they ever fare;
Out of the sepulcher will these arise
Close-fisted, even as those with scissored hair.

Ill-giving and keeping ill have Paradise
Bereft them, and in such a scuffle joined:
No beauteous phrase to grace it I devise.

How transient is the farce, here mayst thou find,
Of goods committed unto Fortune, son,
Whence buffet one another humankind.

For all the gold the moon looks down upon,
Or that did ever in the world exist,
Could of these weary souls give rest to none.«

»Master, now tell me more,« did I insist:
»This Fortune whereunto thou dost allude,
What is she, with the world's wealth in her fist?«

And he to me: »O foolish human brood,
What ignorance is this wherein ye pine!
Now let my judgment of her be thy food: -

He whose transcendent wisdom is divine,
Fashioned the skies, and gave them those who guide
That every part to every part may shine,

So equally do they the light divide;
Likewise for earthly grandeur did ordain
A common regent, who, as times betide,

Might work vicissitude of treasures vain,
That they from people and from kindred pass,
Beyond all human prudence to restrain.

Whence rules one race, another cries »Alas!«
Obeying her decree, the circumstance
Whereof is hidden, like the snake in grass.

Your wisdom can no counterstand advance:
She looks beforehand, judges, and pursues,
As do the other gods, her governance.

Her permutations have not any truce:
Necessity makes her precipitate,
With frequent turns of luck at fast and loose.

Such is that one against whom people prate
Who rather ought to praise her, doing amiss
To deal in blame and to vituperate.

But she is blest and takes no heed of this:
With other primal creatures jocundly
She rolls her wheel, rejoicing in her bliss.

Now go we down to deeper misery:
Already sinks each star that made ascent
When I set forth, - no loitering may be.«

Across the circle to the bound we went,
Above a bubbling fountain that careered
Down through a gully where it found a vent.

The water far more dark than perse appeared:
And as the dusky waves companioned us,
We entered downward by a pathway weird.

A marish, Styx by name, this dolorous
Rivulet fosters when its waters flow
To foot of the gray slope precipitous.

And standing there intently gazing, lo!
I saw a folk bemired upon that fen,
All of them naked, and with look of woe.

Each smote his fellow with the hand, and then
With both the feet and with the chest and head,
Rending with teeth and rending once again.

»Now seest thou, son,« the kindly Master said,
»The souls of those whom Wrath did overquell:
And I would also have it credited

That underneath the water people dwell
Who sigh, and make it bubble at the brim,
As wheresoe'er it turn, thine eye may tell.

Fixt in the ooze, they murmur forth this hymn:
»Sweet sun-rejoicing air did we respire
Sullenly, drowned in sluggish vapors grim:

Now lie we sullen here in the black mire.«
They gurgle in their gullets this refrain,
Because they cannot speak with words entire.«

Thus, in wide compass round the filthy fen,
Between the dry bank and the bog we passed,
Scanning the guzzlers of the puddle: then

We reacht the bottom of a tower at last.


Canto 08

Fifth Circle: The Wrathful

Long while before (I say continuing) We reacht the bottom of that tower so high. Our gaze upon its top was Hngering By reason of two hghts we could descry; And other signal gleamed far opposite. So far away it hardly caught the eye. Turned to that Sea of Wisdom infinite, I said: "What means this? what may answered be By yonder beacon? and who kindled it?" "The thing we await thou mayst already see Over the turbid waves," he answered, "so The marish-vapor hide it not from thee." Cord never shot an arrow from the bow That ran so swift a course athwart the air. As o'er the water at that moment, lo! I saw a little bark toward us fare. Under a single boatman's pilotage. Who shouted: "Now, fell spirit, art thou there?" *Phlegyas, Phlegyas," replied to him my Sage, "This time thou shoutest vainly: it is meet Thou have us but to pass the ferriage." As one who listens to some foul deceit That has been done him, and resents it sore, Such became Phlegyas in his gathered heat. Embarking thereupon my Monitor Caused me to take my station at his side, - And only then the boat seemed laden more. When I was in the wherry with my Guide, The ancient prow upon the passage sped. More than with others furrowing the tide. Filippo Argenii While we were running through the channel dead, house of^he Arose before me one whom mud did steep: Adimari, a "Who art thou, coming ere thy time?" he said. The Poefs Hate of Hate 31 And I: "Though come, I stay not in the deep: But who art thou who art grown filthy so?" tf^L^!: \ And he: "Thou seest that I am one who weep." vnih silver \ Then I to him: "With weeping and with woe Accursed spirit, tarry here for aye: For thee, all filthy as thou art, I know." - / Then stretcht he forth both hands, the boat to stay: \ But him my wary Master from us pressed, ' Crying: "Away, with the other dogs, away!" Then said: "Indignant soul!" as he caressed j My bosom with embrace, my cheek with kiss, ] "Blessed be she that bore thee 'neath her breast! • A person arrogant on earth was this; [ His memory is graced with nothing kind: \ So likewise here his shade in fury is. I Up there how many who are in their mind j Great kings, shall wallow here in mire like swine, | Leaving a horrible report behind." "Much should I Hke," said I, "O Master mine, j To see him in this hellbroth dipt and dyed, j Before we issue from the marsh malign." j And he to me: "Thou shalt be satisfied ^ Ere comes the shore to view; it is not fit That such desire of thine should be denied." ' Short while thereafter I beheld him smit; By that bespattered folk with stroke so fell; That still I praise and thank my God for it. j "At Philip Argenti! at him!" all did yell: That spirit Florentine exasperate j Turned on his very self with tooth and nail. j We left him there, nor more do I narrate: \ But lamentation smote mine ears upon. Whence I look forward with mine eyes dilate. And the good Master said: "Now, O my son, I The city named of Dis is nigh at hand, s With heavy citizens, great garrison." i 32 Inferno The reference to the mosques in the Capital of the Infernal Empire is in harmony with the elaborate poetical parol- lelism between Heaven and Hell, the things of God and those of Lucifer, which is one of the features of Dante's art. To the mind of the medieval Chris- tian the mosque is the temple of a wicked heresy. Thus Hell has "cloisters''; the members of the "college'' of the hypocrites wear "cowls"; Dante goes so far as to parody one of the Latin hymns of the Church to emphasize the contrast between Christ and Satan (begin- ning of Canto xxxiv) And I: "Already in the valley stand Its mosques, O Master, and to me they show Vermilion, as if issuing from the brand." And he made answer: "The eternal glow Of inward flame kindles that ruddy glare. As thou perceivest in this Hell below." Then came we into the deep fosses, where They compass round that town disconsolate: The walls appeared to me of iron there. Not without making first a circuit great. We came unto a place where loudly cried The boatman: "Get ye out, here is the gate." I saw above the portals and beside. Thousands rained down from Heaven, who wrath- ful said: "Who is this man that, never having died, Is going through the kingdom of the dead.?" And my sage Master signaled he would fain Talk with them privately. - Thus they were led A little to abate their great disdain. And cried: "Come thou alone; let him go back Who has made bold to enter this domain. Alone shall he retrace his reckless track: Let him attempt it; for thou here shalt stay Who hast revealed to him a land so black." Imagine, Reader, w^hat was my dismay At hearing that accursed language: for I felt that I could never find the way. "O my beloved Leader, thou who more Than seven times hast made me safe, and hast Rescued from peril deep," did I implore, "Do not forsake me thus undone at last; And if the going farther be denied. Let us retrace our steps together fast." And that Lord who had thither been my Guide, Answered: "Fear nothing, for the way we go By Such is given, none turneth us aside. Repulse of Virgil 33 Wait here, and let thy soul, forwearied so. Be fed with better hope and comforted: I will not leave thee in the world below/* And thus the gentle Father forth is sped. There leaving me who in conjecture dwell; For Yes and No contend within my head. What he proposed to them I could not tell; But long he had not tarried with them, when Back inwards all went scurrying pell-mell. The gates they shut, those enemies of men, On my Lord's bosom, who, excluded thence, With tardy steps returned to me again. His eyes were on the ground, of confidence His forehead shorn, and amid sighs he spake: "Who has denied me the grim tenements?" And then to me: "What though my wrath awake. Be not dismayed, for I shall find the way. Whatever obstacle within they make. This insolence is nothing new, for they Displayed it at less hidden gate of yore. Which stands unbolted to this very day. Thou sawest the deadly writ above the door; And now descends the steep upon this side, Passing without a guide the circles o'er. One who shall fling the city open wide." VirgiTs repulse here seems to shadow forth a spiritual crisis so terrible that the noblest hu- man reason is unavailing. There are dread- ful gates where the wisest can only cast his eyes to the ground. In Uie middle of the next Canio the Poet emphasizes the importance of the allegory in this crudal passage 34 Inferno IX Sixth Circle: The Furies and the Angel; 1 The cowardice that blancht my outward hue \ On seeing my Conductor back repair, | The sooner checkt in him his color new. \ As Ustening, he stopt attentive there. Because the vision not far forth could roam ] Through the thick murk and through the darkling j air. ] "Yet we must gain perforce the masterdom,'^ \ Beganhe:"Nay but . . . so great help was sent . . . Oh, long it seems until that Other come!" - I plainly saw how what at first he meant,; He sought with after thoughts to cancel through i In phrases from the former different. j But still his language roused my fear anew, *; For in the broken phrase I traced a scope , Perchance more harmful than he had in view. j "Into this hollow, down the dismal slope ^ Comes ever any one from the first grade ] Whose only punishment is crippled hope?^; So questioned I; and this reply he made: { "Rarely does any out of our abode Journey, as I am doing, to this glade. j Once previously, indeed, I took this road; Conjured by that Erichtho void of grace ^ Who erst their bodies to the shades bestowed. My flesh was bare of me but little space. When she compelled me enter yonder mure. To draw a spirit forth from Judas' place. \ That is the lowest round, and most obscure, | And farthest from the all-circhng Heaven: the path i I know full well: therefore be thou secure. | This marish, breathing forth the fetid scath, j Begirds the woeful city of the dead, ] Where now we cannot enter without wrath.*' ''\ Coming of the Angel 35 I bear not now in mind what more he said. Because so fast were riveted mine eyes To that high tower with summit glowing red. Where on a sudden up erect arise Infernal Furies three of bloody dye. Who have the limbs of women and their guise; Bright green the hydras they are girded by; Little horned serpents pleated in a braid Like tresses round their cruel temples lie. And recognizing every cruel maid Of her, the Queen of everlasting woe, "Behold,*' he bade me, "the Erinyes dread. This is Megaera on the left, and lo! Alecto weeping yonder on the right; Tisiphone is between," he ended so. Each with her talons rips her breast; they smite Upon themselves with palms, so loudly wailing That close I press the Poet in affright. '^Medusa come, with stone his body scaling,'' All shouted looking downward; "to our bane Avenged we not on Theseus his assailing." "Turn round, and let thine eyes close shut remain: For should the Gorgon come, and shouldst thou se There would be no returning up again." Thus said the Master; and thereafter he Turned me, nor trusted to my hands alone. But also with his own blindfolded me. ye who hold sane intellect your own. Consider heedfully the hidden lore Whereon the veil of the strange verse is thrown! And now there came the troubled waters o'er A crashing clangor of a fearful kind, Whereat were trembling yon and hither shore: Not otherwise it was than when the wind, By dint of adverse heats grown wild and high. Tosses the forest boughs, and unconfined It seems to be agreed that the Furies represent pangs of con- science. Bid what is the Gor gon? Some say. Doubt, which turns the heart to stone; others make it an em- blem of the hard ening effect of Despair. The modem psycho- analyst might term it the Medusa-com- plex, and bring about the open- ing of the gate toithout the in- tervention of the Messenger of Heaven. But his comirvg is one of the high points of the Poem 36 Inferno 5 Shatters, and dashes down, and sweeps them by: J Superbly whirls along in dust and gloom, \ Making the wild beasts and the shepherds fly. \ He loosed mine eyes: "Across that ancient foam Be now the nerve of sight directed yond,'^ He bade me, "where most pungent is the fume." As frogs before their serpent-foe abscond, 1 All slipping through the water in retreat; Till squatted on the bottom of the pond, \ So saw I thousands of lost spirits fleet \ Away before a Certain One who plied j Over the Stygian ford with unwet feet. He often fanned that fetid air aside. By waving the left hand before his face, \ And only with that trouble seemed annoyed. Well I perceived him sent from Heavenly place,; And turned me to the Master, who made sign 1 That I stand quiet and my knees abase. \ Ah, how he seemed replete with scorn condign! \ When with a little wand he touched the gate j It opened, - ^nor came any to confine. j "O abject race, from Heaven how alienate'." Began he, standing on the horrible sill, \ "How harbor ye this insolence so great? j Wherefore recalcitrate against that Will ] Which from its purpose never can be shut. And which has many a time increased your ill? \ What profits it against the Fates to butt? i For this your Cerberus, as well ye ween, j Is going yet with chin and gullet cut." \ Then he turned back along the way obscene | Speaking no word to us, but did advance \ Like one constrained and urged by care more keen Than that of him soliciting his glance. ■ And we went forward to the City of Dis, \ Secure after the holy ordinance. i Burning Tombs of Heretics 37 We entered without arms or armistice: And I, because I had desire to know The state of them lockt in such jail as this. Being within, cast round mine eye; and lo! On either hand a spacious plain was shown Replete with cruel torment and with woe. Even as at Aries, where ponds the river Rhone, Even as at Pola near Quarnaro Bay Which bathes Italians limitary zone, Sepulchers strew the ground in rough array: Here upon every hand it was the same. Except that here more bitter was the way: For scattered in among the tombs was flame. Whereby such utter heat in them arose That never craft can more from iron claim. Their lids were lifted all, and out of those Were issuing such dire lamenting cries. As told of wretched ones and full of woes. "Master,'^ said I, "what people on this wise Finding within these burial-chests their bed. Make themselves audible with woeful sighs?" "Here the arch-heretics," to me he said, "With followers of every sect are pent: More than thou thinkst the tombs are tenanted. Like unto like are here in burial blent. And heated more and less the monuments." Then, when he to the right had turned, we went Between the tortures and high battlements. At Aries the Rhone no longer '^ponds" al- though its tend- ency to do so is manifest in La Camargue, a little behw. A few relics of the ancient ceme- tery are still to be seen there. But in the Great War Italy has finally regained its boundary on the Gvlf of Quarnaro, be- yond Pola 38 Inferno Dante exhibits the great here- tics, as he does the virtnmis pa- gans, with frank admiraiion. The lofty figure of Farinata is jxjr- trayed vnth the same sympathy, not to say par- tiality, vyvth which Milton draws his im- posing Satan. The poet's atti- tude is mu£h the same in the case of Ulysses {Can- to xxvi) Sixth Circle; Farinata of the Uberti My Master now along a hidden track Between the city rampart and the fires. Goes forward, and I follow at his back. "O Virtue high, that through these impious gyres Dost wheel me at thy pleasure," began I, "Speak to me, - give content to my desires. The people in the sepulchers that lie. Might they be seen? With lifted covers burn They ever, and no one keeps guard thereby." "All will be shut within, when they return Back from Jehosaphat," thereat he said, "Bringing their bodies from the burial urn. Herein with Epiciu-us have their bed His followers one and all, who represent The spirit with the body to be dead. But soon shalt thou within here have content As to the question which thou hast proposed, And to the wish whereof thou'rt reticent." And I: "Good Leader, I do not keep closed My heart from thee, except that words be few: Nor hast thou me now first thereto disposed." "O Tuscan, thou who goest living through The city of fire, speaking becomingly. May it please thee stay thy steps in this purlieu! The fashion of thy speech proclaimeth thee A native of that land of noble pride Which haply suffered too much harm from me." Suddenly in such accents some one cried From out one of the coffers; startled now, I drew a little closer to my Guide. Whereat he said: "Turn round; what doest thou?" "Lo! Farinata, standing at full height: And thou canst see him all from belt to brow." Tlie Dauntless Gkibelline Chief 39 Upon his countenance I fixt my sight; And he was hfting up his brow and breast. As looking upon Hell with great despite. My Leader pusht me to his burial-chest Among the tombs with bold and ready hand, "Be chary of thy words!" was his behest. When at the bottom of his tomb I stand. Awhile he eyes me; then, with some disdain, Inquires: "Who were thy fathers in the land.^" And I, to be compliant wholly fain. Conceal it not, revealing to him all. He sUghtly lifts his brow, then speaks again: "Fiercely to mine were they inimical. To me, and to the cause I had at heart. And therefore twice I scattered them withal." "Though banisht, they came back from every part," I answered him, "both once and yet anew; But yours have never rightly learnt that art." Then, alongside of him, arose to view A shade uncovered to the chin; and bent Upon the knees, I think it upward drew. It peered all round about me, as intent To look for some one who escaped its ken; But when expectancy was wholly spent. Weeping it said: "If through this sunless den. Thou goest because of lofty genius, Where is my son, and why not with thee then.^*" "Of mine own self," said I, "I come not thus: He, waiting yonder, leads, of whom perchance Your Guido held regard contemptuous." His words, and of his pain the circumstance. Had told his name already: otherwise My answer would have had less relevance. Suddenly starting up erect, he cries: "How sayst thou, held? - ^And does he live no more.^ Does the sweet Hght not fall upon his eyes.''" The personage by the side of Farinata is Hie father of Guido Cavalcanti. Gui- do, who was Dante's intimate friend, seems to have belonged to that Floren- tine type of the lofty-minded, cultivated, able, somewhat skep- tical Patrician, of which Lorenzo U Magnifico is the most con- spicuous exam- ple. The broken spirit of the elder Cavalcardi here sets the superb figure of Fari- nata in relief 40 Inferno The bloody bat- tle of Monta- perti, near Siena, in 1260, where ike Flor- entine Guelfs were utterly put to rout by the Sienese and the Florentine Ghib- eUines under the leadership of Farinata Then he, aware of some delay before My answer I returned, incontinent Fell back again, and stood forth nevermore. But that great-hearted one for whose content I had remained, no change of aspect made. Neither his neck he moved nor flank he bent. "And if, - " resuming what before he said, "They ill have learnt that art, - if this be so It more torments me than this fiery bed. But fifty times shall not rekindled show The visage of the Lady reigning here. Ere thou the hardness of that art shalt know. And so the world may sweet to thee appear. Say why the statute of that people runs So pitiless against my kindred dear?" "The havoc and the massacre that once Stained," I replied, "the Arbia-water red. Are causing in our fane such orisons." And sighing thereupon, he shook his head: "Not I alone in that, and in no case Should causeless with the rest have moved," he said: "But I it was, when in that other place To wipe out Florence one and all agreed. Alone defended her with open face." "Ah! so may ever rest in peace your seed," Entreated I, "pray loose that knot for me, Which doth my judgment at this point impede. It seems that ye prophetically see What time brings with it, if I hear aright. And as to present things act differently." "We see, like him who has imperfect sight. The things," said he, "that are remote from view. So much still shines for us the Sovran Light: When they draw nigh, or are, quite canceled through Our vision is; if others bring it not. Unto your human state we have no clew. The Poet Disturbed hy Forebodings 41 Whence thou canst comprehend that blotted out Will be our knowledge, from that moment when The portal of the future shall be shut." As conscious of my fault, I said: "Now, then, I wish that you would tell that fallen one His son is still conjoined with living men. And if just now I rendered answer none. Tell him it was because my thoughts were tied Still by that error which you have undone." Already was recalling me my Guide: Wherefore more hurriedly did I request That spirit tell who else therein abide. "With thousands here," he said to me, "I nest: The Second Frederick herein is pent. And the Cardinal: I speak not of the rest." He hid himself; and thereupon I went Toward the ancient Poet, pondering That word which seemed to me maleficent. He moved along, and then, thus journeying. Inquired of me, "Why art thou so bestirred?" Whereat I satisfied his questioning. "Let memory preserve what thou hast heard Against thyself," that Sage adjured me so. Lifting his finger; - ^'^and now mark my word! When thou shalt standing be in the sweet glow Of her w hose beauteous eye on all is bent. From her the journey of thy life shalt know." Then turned he leftward: from the wall we went. Striking across toward the middle by A pathway leading to a pit that sent Its loathsome stench ascending even so high. The Emperor, oj whom Dante often speaks and whom he ad- mired greatly; and the Cardinal Ottaviano of the Ubaldiniy who said when ahotU to die: ''If there be a soul, I have lost mine a thousand times for the Ghibd- linesP He had looked at the Gorgon! 4% Inferno ' XI ^ Classes of Sins and Distribution of the Damned Upon an eminence with margin steep, ] Formed by rock-masses in a circle rent, j We came above a still more cruel deep. j And here, by reason of the horrible scent; That was belched forth from the profound abyss. Behind the lid of a great monument i We stood aside, and saw inscribed on this: J "I hold within Pope Anastasius " He whom Photinus led to go amiss/* - "We must delay our going down, that thus ' A little more familiar to the sense, i The dismal blast no longer trouble us." ' The Master thus; and I: "Some recompense I Do thou devise to balance this delay. Lest time be lost." - ^^My very thought!" he assents. | "My son, within these rocks," began he say,! "From grade to grade three lesser circles wind, ' Like those above from which we come away. i All swarm with cursed souls of humankind: But that the sight alone suffice from hence, ^ Learn how and wherefore they are thus confined. \ Of every malice that gives Heaven offense, Injury is the aim; such aim again | Grieves others or by Fraud or Violence. ^ But because Fraud is man's f>eculiar bane, \ God loathes it more; and so the fraudulent ^ Are placed beneath, assailed with greater pain. ' The whole First Circle is for the violent: But since to persons threefold force is done, 1 In triple rounds it has apportionment. To God, to neighbor, and to self, can one ] Do violence: I say, their property \ And them, - as thou shalt hear made clearly known .; i i Sins of Fraud Most Heinous 43 By violence, death and grievous wounds may be Dealt to one's neighbor; to his goods and rights Injury, arson, and rapacity: Whence homicides and each who wrongly smites. Marauders and freebooters, all their train The foremost rondure plagues in various plights. A man may lay a violent hand again On self and on his goods: wherefore below In the second rondure must repent in vain Whoso deprives him of your world, whoso Gambles and dissipates his affluence. And comes to grief where he should jocund go. The Deity may suffer violence With heart's denial and with blasphemies. Which Nature scorn, and His beneficence: And hence the smallest rondure signet- wise Stamps Sodom and Cahors, and all of those Who, speaking from the heart, their God despise. That Fraud whose gnawing every conscience knows, A man may use on others who confide. Or on them who no confidence repose. This latter method seems but to divide The link of love that in our nature is: Whence in the Second Circle there reside Wizards, hypocrisy, and flatteries. Cheating, and simony, and thievishness. Panders, and the like filth, and barratries. In the other mode there lies forgetfulness Of love which nature makes, and furthermore Of what begets especial trustfulness: Whence in the Smallest Circle, at the core Of the whole universe, and seat of Dis, Whoso betrays is wasted evermore.'* "Master, thy reasoning of the abyss Runs clear," said I, "defining what belongs To place, and to the folk possessing this. Cahors, in South Central France, was a noted seat of Usury. The aitittule of Dante toward Usury is the re- sult of a 'preju- dice which is traceable back to Aristotle and which 'propa- gated itself until the middle of the eighteenth cen- tury, when Tur- got gave it the "coup de grdceP Dante, indeed, failed to read correctly some of the economic signs of his own time 44 Inferno The classificor Hon of sins is dear. The sig- nificance of the quite different classification in Purgatorio vnU be jmnted out in a note to Purg. But tell me: of the fat lagoon the throngs, Those the rain beats upon, those tempest-led. Those who encounter with such bitter tongues, Wherefore are they within the City red Not punisht, if the wrath of God they bide? If otherwise, then wherefore so bestead ?'' "Why wandereth thine intellect so wide Beyond the wonted mark?" he said, "or what Hath thine attention elsewhere occupied? Hast thou the tenor of those words forgot Wherewith thine Ethics thoroughly explain The vices three that Heaven endureth not, - Incontinence, and malice, and insane Bestiality? and how incontinence Less angers God, and less doth censure gain? If thou consider well this evidence. And what they are recall to memory. Who up outside are bearing punishments. Thou wilt discern why they divided be From all these felons, why God*s hammers smite Upon them somewhat less avengingly." ''O Sun! thou healer of all troubled sight, So gladdens me thy bringing truth to view. That doubt no less than knowledge is delight. Yet turn a little back," said I, "pursue Thy argument that usury offends Divine beneficence, - that knot undo." ''Philosophy," said he, "if one attends. Not merely in one passage has defined How Nature in her origin descends From art Divine, and from the Master Mind; And if unto thy Physics thou refer. After not many pages wilt thou find That your art, as it can, pursueth her. As the disciple doth the master; so That your art is Grod's grandchild, as it were. Usury neither of Nature nor of Art 45 To these twain, if thy memory backward go To Genesis where it begins, perforce Must men their life and their advantage owe. Since usurers adopt another course. They Nature and her follower disdain. Because they draw their hope from other source. But follow, for the journey am I fain: The Fishes on the horizon writhe by this. While wholly over Caurus lies the Wain, And yonder far descends the precipice." This is an elab- orate way of saying that it is an fumr or ttco before sunrise. The Fishes are on the morning horizon, the Ram {with the sun) just below it, the Wain (Septen- trion/'Dipper'^ is wUh the North- west wind (Cau- rus) 46 Inferno | XII Seventh Circle: Ring 1. Those Violent ■ AGAINST Neighbors \ The place we came to that we might descend | Was alpine, what beside was on that bank ' Was such that it would every eye offend. | Such as that rock-fall which upon the flank -\ Struck on the Adige, this side of Trent, ' Whether by earthquake or support that sank; For, from the summit whence the ruin went, 1 Down to the plain, the cliff has fallen between, i So from above there might be some descent; ' The Minotaur, Such was the causeway into that ravine; • symbol oj vio- ^^ ^^ |.j^e border of the rugged brow i lence, the more m • • • >-i * bestial for being The mfamy of Crete was prostrate seen, j half human. The rpj^^^. ^^g conceived in the fictitious cow: symbdic union u • ir i. i, i • j i of Padphae and He bit himself, when eyes on us he laid, i the bvU w twice Subdued within by anger. "Haply thou," rejerrea to m it-i««i Purg. xxvi. My Master sage toward him shouting said. The Minotaur "Believest here the Duke of Athens, who ) IS the fit guar- . ,i- ^ ^ ^ ^^ *< dian of the en- Up in the world of mortals struck thee dead? trance to thu re- Monster, begone! for guided by no clew gtonoflleU, ,>,. , , . , . 11 where sins of Given by thy sister, comes this man below, \ T^^t^^t "^ -^^^ passes by, your punishments to view." j punished. Just as the bull that feels the deadly blow, I D^kTof'^lSs Breaks from his halter, and not very far ,^ also by Shake- Can move, but merely plunges to and fro: So doing I beheld the Minotaur. \ "Run," cried my Master, who the passage showed, "While he is raging, hasten down the scar." ^ Thus downward we, our way pursuing, trode I That dump of stones, which often as I went j Moved 'neath my feet, so novel was the load. 1 I musing passed. And he: "Thou art intent ^ Perhaps upon this ruin, sentineled ] By that brute wrath, now rendered impotent. ] i TheJUver of Hot Blood 47 Now I would have thee know, that when I held My first course hither to the deep abyss, This mass of rock had not as yet been felled. But certainly, discern I not amiss, A little ere He came who mighty prey From the upper circle levied upon Dis, The deep and loathsome valley every way He who said so So trembled, that the Universe, I thought, ^^ Iposs^ly Was thrilled with love, whereby there are who say DarUe means to rnj 11 j'ii -I li^' hint that love in The world was many a time to chaos brought^ g^n ,^j^^i^ j^ And in that moment, here and elsewhere, thus locally at least. Upon this ancient crag was ruin wrought. , auorgamzing But fix thine eyes below; for neareth us ^^ The river of blood, wherein all boiling be Who were by force to men injurious." wicked, blind, and mad cupidity. That in our brief existence spurs us so. And in the eternal steeps so bitterly! 1 saw a wide moat curved into a bow And such that it doth all the plain embrace. According as my Guide had let me know. Between it and the precipice did race The Centaurs, Centaurs in file with arrows, as of yore ^^r%fbZt It was their wont on earth to follow chase. and half human. Seeing us coming down, they moved no more: ^^^al And three detacht themselves from out the row, watchmen here With bows and with long arrows, chosen before. And from afar one shouted: "To what woe Descending thus the precipice come ye? Tell it from thence; if not, I draw the bow." My Master answered: "Our reply will be To Chiron yonder at close quarters made: Thus ever rash thy will, the worse for thee!" "That one is Nessus," nudging me he said, "Who died because of Dejanira fair, And for himself, himself his vengeance paid. 48 Inferno And gazing on his breast between the pair. Is mighty Chiron who Achilles taught: Pholus the wrathful is the other there. By thousands go they round the fosse about. Piercing with darts whatever soul withdraw From out the blood, more than its crime allot." Nearing those fleet wild animals, we saw Chiron take up a shaft and with the notch He ruffled back his beard behind his jaw. When his huge mouth he had uncovered, "Watch! Are ye aware,'' thus to his mates he said, "That he behind moves whatso'er he touch? Not so are wont the footfalls of the dead." And my good Leader, level with his breast Where the two natures are together wed, Replied: "Indeed he lives, and by behest Alone I show him thus the dark defile: Necessity, not choice, imp>els the quest. From singing Alleluiah paused awhile One who commits to me this office new; He is no robber, I no spirit vile. But by that Virtue which gives motion to My feet along so wild a thoroughfare. Give us for escort any one of you, That he may show us where to ford, and bear This man upon his back across the tide: For 'tis no spirit that can walk the air." "Turn about, Nessus, so to be their guide," Said Chiron, round upon his right breast bent: "If other troop encounter, warn aside.'* Together with the trusty guide we went Along the boiling of the crimson flood. Wherein the boiled were making loud lament. I saw who plunged there to the eyebrows stood: "Once these," the Centaur great took up the tale, "Were tyrants steept in pillage and in blood. Ferocious Tyrants and Outlaws 49 The ruthless wrongs they wrought they here bewail: Here Alexander, fell Dionysius who Made woeful years in Sicily prevail; And yonder brow with hair so black of hue Is Ezzelin; that other, fair of face, Obizzo of Este, whom his bastard slew Up in the world, to truly state the case.'^ - Then turned I to the Poet, and he said: "Give him the first and me the second place." A little farther on the Centaur led And paused above a folk whose evil fate Plmiged them throat-high within that boiling red. He showed a shade alone and separate, Saying: "That spirit cleft within God's breast The heart that still by Thames they venerate.'' Then saw I people who with head and chest Wholly uplifted from the river stood; And many I recognized among the rest. Thus evermore grew shallower that blood Until it only cookt the feet: and lo! Here was our passageway across the flood. "Just as thou seest the boiling river grow Still lower on the farther side, and lower,'' The Centaur said, "so I will have thee know That on this other, with a circling shore Its bottom sinks, until it makes its way Where tyranny must groan forevermore. Justice divine here goads that Attila Who was a scourge upon the earth, and stings Pyrrus and Sextus, and milks forth for aye From Rinier of Corneto tears, and wrings Hot tears from Rinier Pazzo, - ^Riniers twain Who on the highways wrought such plunderings." Back then he turned and passed the ford again. Of the violent here the two most interesting to us are Ezze- lino da Romano^ called a "fire- brand" by his sister, the blessed Cunizza, whom we shall meet in the Heaven of Venus; and Guy de Montfort, who slew in church at Viterbo the young English prince, Henry of Cornwall, inno- cent victim of vendetta 50 Inferno i XIII { Seventh Circle: Ring 2. The Suicidal Wood | i Not yet had Nessus gained the farther side, \ When we began to pass a forest through. Wherein not any path could be descried. i Not green the foHage, but of dusky hue; Not smooth the boughs, but gnarled and intricate; ■ No fruits therein, but thorns with poison grew.; Those fierce wild animals that hold in hate! Tilled lands 'tween Cecina and Corneto, no ] Thickets infest so dense and desolate. J Hither the loathsome Harpies nesting go. Who drove the Trojans from the Strophades, With direful prophecy of coming woe. | Broad wings, and human face and neck have these,; And feet with claws, huge belly feathered all;! They utter rueful cries on the weird trees. "Ere yet,^' the Master good began withal, j "Thou tread the Second Round, consider well That here thou shalt employ the interval Until thou comest to the sand-waste fell. ] So look aright, and there shall be descried j Things thou wouldst not believe, if I should tell.'* \ Thereat I wailings heard, on every side. And p)erson who might utter them saw not: Whence stood I still, completely mystified. > I think now that he thought perhaps I thought That through those trunks so many voices came i From p>eople who from us concealment sought. j Wherefore thus said the Master: "If thou maim | Of any of these plants one little spray, i The thoughts thou hast will all be rendered lame." ] Lifting my hand a little then, away j A branchlet from a mighty thorn I tore; Then did the trunk of it, lamenting, say: i Pier delle Vigne 51 "Why rendest thou?" Thereafter, dark with gore. Began again to cry: "Why mangle me? Hast thou no spirit of pity then? Of yore Men were we, and each now is turned to tree: Well might thy hand have shown itself more kind. Though souls of veritable serpents we." As out of a green brand, which burns behind. And from the other side the drops exude. The while it sputters with the escaping wind: So from that broken sliver words and blood Were flowing forth together: whence I let The tip fall down, and like one frighted stood. "O wounded soul!" my Sage replied, "if yet Before he had been able to believe What he has only in my numbers met. Thou wouldst not this oflFense from him receive; The wonder of the thing made me advise His doing that whereat myself I grieve. But tell him who thou wast, so that in guise Of some amends, he yet may vindicate Thy fame on earth, where he again shall rise.^ The trunk: "Thy honeyed words hold out such bait, I cannot choose but speak; then let it be Not burdensome if I expatiate. I am that one who held the double key The shade of Of Frederick's heart, and, tiu-ning both ways, knew chaLeUor aj!d' To lock and loose with such suavity, confidant of the His confidence from others I withdrew: ^^.erickTand To that high trust fideUty I bore, an aUe and do- Losing my vigor and repose therethrough. ^^ "^^ The harlot who yet never from the door may still be Of Caesar's dwelling turned her wanton eyes, ^^^ *^^ o/yS- The curse and bane of courts f orevermore, age to him as a Inflamed all minds against me; in such wise ])ante makes Inflamed, they made Augustus flame again, him teU his So that glad honors turned to dismal sighs. ormtel manner 52 Inferno \ My spirit, through her temper of disdain, . Deeming by dying from disdain to flee, i Made me, though just, to self-injustice fain. i I swear by the new rootlets of this tree J That to my Lord, whose worth I honored so, j I never forfeited fidelity. If one of you to earth returning go. Let him the memory of me restore, ] Still lying prostrate under Envy's blow." - \ When he a little to discourse forbore, \ The Poet said: "Let not the moment go, ^ But speak and ask him what thou wouldest more." \ And I to him: "Do thou entreat him show Whatever thou thinkest may content my will, j For I cannot, for pity of his woe." i Whence he resumed: "So may the man fulfill i What thou hast prayed for, and full willingly. Imprisoned spirit, may it please thee still j To tell us in what way the soul may be Bound in these knots; and tell, if licit, too, \ If ever any from such limbs breaks free." ' The trunk a mighty suspiration blew, 1 Whereon that wind was changed to voice like this: | "Brief the reply that shall be made to you. j When the fierce spirit separates amiss From out the body whence itself has torn, Minos consigns it to the seventh abyss. i It falls into the forest, where no bourn Is chosen for it, but where chance may throw, \ Here it sprouts up, as doth a grain of corn; | Doth to a sapling and a wild tree grow: \ The Harpies, browsing then its leafy crest, | Cause woe, and give a window to the woe.: We shall go seek our bodies like the rest. But with them never to be re-arrayed: For 'tis not just to have what we divest. ] \ \ i The Black Dogs of the Wood of Phlegethon 53 Here shall we drag them, and the forest glade Shall see our bodies hanging dismally. Each on the thomtree of its injured shade/' We were attentive still unto the tree, Thinking that haply it would tell us more. When a tumult overtook us, so that we Were like to one aware of hunt and boar Approaching to the place where he had stood. Who hears the branches crash the beasts before. And lo! on the left hand, two spirits nude And scratcht, fleeting along so furious They broke through every barrier of the wood. The first: "Now hurry, hurry. Death to us!" And the next, who thought himself in speed outdone, Was shouting; "Lano, not alertly thus Thy legs did at the jousts of Toppo run." And haply for his breath too short he found, A thicket and himseK he grouped as one. After them, filling all the forest round. Were running ravening bitches black, and fleet As, after slipping from the leash, the hound. In him who cowered down their tushes meet, All into pieces rending him: again They bear away those limbs dilacerate. Taking me by the hand, my Leader then Led forward to the bush, with many a sigh Lamenting through its bleeding wounds in vain. "O James of Sant' Andrea," was its cry, "Of making me thy screen what is the good? For all thy wicked life what blame have I?" The Master said when he beside it stood: "Who wast thou that, through wounds so numerous Art blowing forth thy woeful words with blood?" "O souls that hither come," he said to us, "To view the shameful havoc that from me Has rended all away my foliage thus. 54 Inferno It was a char- acteristic popu- lar superstition at Florence that the continual strife that raged there was due to the jealousy of the ancient pa- tron god. Mars. The present Baptistry, the old Cathedral, was pretty cer- tainly built on the foundation of an ancient temple of Mars. Compare the significant ref- erence to the maleficence of the mutilated statu£ of the god on the Ponte Vecchio {Par. rvi, near end of canto) Gather it up beneath the wretched tree. Mine was the town that her first patron for The Baptist changed: and for this reason he Will plague her with his art forevermore. And, were it not that still of him remain Some features where men cross the Arno o'er, Those citizens who built the town again Upon the ashes left by Attila, Would have performed the labor all in vdin. With mine own house I made myself away.'' The Steady Rain of Fire 55 XIV Seventh Circle: Ring 3. Defiers of God Because for native country reverent, Perforce I gathered up the scattered leaves And gave them back to him, whose voice was spent. Thence came we to the boimdary which cleaves - The Second Rondure from the Third, where dread Mode of eternal justice one perceives. To show the new things clearly, be it said That we arrived upon a desert plain Which banishes all plants from off its bed. The woeful wood enwreathes it, as again The dismal moat encloses that around: Here, hard upon the verge, did we remain. An arid and dense sand composed the ground. Nor was it formed and fashioned otherhow Than that of old where Cato footing found. Vengeance of God! O how much oughtest thou By every person to be held in awe Who reads that which was manifested now! Manifold flocks of naked souls I saw Who all did woeful lamentations pour. And they seemed subject unto diverse law. Supine were lying some upon the floor. And some were sitting all together bent. And others went about forevermore. The more were those who round about there went. And fewer those who lay in torment low. But had their tongues more loosened to lament. Above that waste of sand, descending slow. Rained everywhere dilated flakes of fire. As upon Alps, without a wind, the snow. As Alexander, where the heat is dire In India, upon his host beheld Flames fall, as far as to the ground entire; 56 ' Inferno Whereat he with his legions was compelled To trample down the soil, for better so The flames, remaining single, could be quelled: Such was descending the eternal glow; Whereby, like tinder under steel, the sands Were kindled for redoubling of the woe. Forever tossing were the wretched hands Now hither and now thither without rest, Fanning fresh burning off in counter-dance. ''Master," began I, "thou who conquerest All things except the stubborn demon train That from the gate against our entering pressed. Who is the mighty one that in disdain Lies scowling, nor appears the fire to dread, So that he seems unripened by the rain?" - And that same one, i>erceiving what I said In question to my Guide of him, did shout: "What once I was alive, that am I dead. Should Jupiter his blacksmith weary out, From whom the sharpened thunderbolt he tore Wrathful, and me upon my last day smote; Or weary out the others o'er and o*er Mongibdlo is In Mongibello at the stithy swart, "fm^EtnT where drying, *Help, help, good Vulcan,' as of yore the Cyclopes had On Phlegra's battlefield; and should he dart their forge jjjg bolts at me with vigor multiplied. That vengeance never should make glad his heart." My Leader then with so much strength replied That I had never heard his voice so great: "O thou Capaneus, just because thy pride Remains unquencht, the woefuUer thy fate: No torment save thy very rage would be Unto thy fury pain proportionate!" Then with a better look he turn'd to me: "That one was of the seven monarchs who Laid siege to Thebes; he held and seemingly The Old Man of Crete 57 Holds God in scorn, and gives contempt to view: But, as I said to him, his spiteful mood Is for his breast adornment very due. Now follow me, and let thy heed be good Not on the burning sand thy feet to set. But keep them ever back, close to the wood." In silence came we where a rivulet Gushes from out the wood: a rill so red That thinking of it makes me shudder yet. As from the Bulicame there takes head A brooklet which the sinful women share. So this ran down across the sandy bed. The bottom and both shelving banksides were Hardened to stone, and the margins at the side: Whence I perceived our passageway was there. "Among all other things by thee descried Through me, since entering within the gate Whose threshold unto no one is denied. Thine eyes not anything yet contemplate Noteworthy as the present stream, which quite Doth all the flames above it suffocate." This language of my Leader did incite Petition from me that he let me taste The food for which he lent the appetite. "In the mid-sea there lies a country waste," Thereon he said, "that bears the name of Crete, Under whose king the world of old was chaste. There is a mountain, Ida, once the seat Of laughing waters and of leafy shade; Today it lies deserted and effete. Once Rhea in this faithful cradle laid Her son; and to conceal him should he raise His voice to weep, caused clamors to be made. A tall old man within the mountain stays. Who doth his back to Damietta hold. And upon Rome, as in a mirror, gaze: Bulicame: name of a hot mineral spring at Viter- ho, from which water seems to have been con- ducted to the houses of un- fortunate women 58 Inferno The tall old man in the cavern of the Cretan Mount Ida seems to sym- bolize histori- cally the human race facing west- ward, its tears supjdying the rivers of Hell His head is fashioned of the finest gold, And of pure silver are the arms and breast, Whence to the fork he is of brazen mold; Thence downward all is iron, of the best. Save the right foot of terra cotta, and more Doth he on that than on the other rest. Every part, except the golden ore. Is broken by a cleft where tears distill. And, gathering, perforate that cavern floor. They fall cascading to this valley, - ^fill » And Acheron and Styx and Phlegethon; Then flow along this narrow channel, till They come where there is no more going down: They form Cocytus, - that pool shalt thou know By seeing: so be here description none." And I: "If thus the present brooklet flow Down from our world wherein its source is found, Why does it only on this border show.?" And he to me: "Thou knowest the place is round; And though thou comest from a distant place, Still to the left toward the bottom bound. Thou dost not yet the circle fully trace: Wherefore if something novel comes to view. It ought not to bring wonder to thy face." "Where found is Phlegethon," said I anew, "And Lethe? for of one thou'rt silent. Lord, And sayest the other to this rain is due." "Thy questions please," he said, "in every word. Although the crimson brook's ebuUience Might well the answer unto one afford. Lethe shalt see, but from this fosse far hence. There where to lave themselves the souls repair. When guilt has been removed by penitence." Then added he: "The time is come to fare Out of the wood: take heed thou follow me: The banks, not burning, form a thoroughfare. And all the space above from flame is free." Brunetto Latini 59 XV Seventh Circle: Ring 3. Dante Meets A Great Teacher Now bears us over one of the hard banks. And fumes above the brooklet, shading well, Shelter from fire the water and the flanks. As Flemings, who 'twixt Bruges and Wissant dwell. Fearing the floodtides that upon them run. Throw up the dike the ocean to repel. And as by Brenta does the Paduan, His villas and his villages to spare Before Carinthia ever feels the sun: Of like formation those were fashioned there. Though not so high nor of so broad a base The Master made them, whosoe'er he were. We were so distant from the forest chase By this, that I could never have descried The spot, though backward I had turned my face; And now we met along the margin side A company of spirits coming by. Who each peered at us, as at eventide Beneath new moon, we one another spy; And they were puckering their brows at us Like an old tailor at the needle's eye. By such a family inspected thus. Well-known I proved to one of them, who caught My garment's hem, and cried: "How marvelous!" And when he stretcht his arm, a glance I brought To bear so fixt upon his branded hue. That his scorcht countenance prevented not His recognition by my inner view; And to his visage bending mine anigh, I answered: "Ser Brunetto, is it you?" "My son " he said, "be not displeased if I, Brunet' Latini, backward with thee fare A little way, and let the train go by." 60 Inferno Brunetto Laiini was a distin- guished citizen and man of let- ters who had powerfully in- fluenced Dante in the latter' s earlier years. Brunetto s prin- cipal vxrrk was written in French- ""Le lAvre dou Tresor,"-a compilation of encyclopedic character held at that time in high esteem "That is/' I said toliim, "my urgent prayer; And if you wish me sit with you, I fain Will do it, if it please my Leader there." "O son,'' he said, "whoever of this train But pauses, lies thereon a century low. Without a fan when pelts the fiery rain. Therefore pass on: I at thy skirts will go. And then rejoin my fellows, who lament, While faring onward, their eternal woe." I durst not from the causeway make descent Level to walk beside him, but did bow My head, and walkt as walk the reverent. "What fate," began he, "or what fortune now Leads thee down hither ere thy final day? And who may this one be that shows thee how .J"' ''Up in the clear life yonder," did I say, "Or ever yet my age was fully come, I went within a valley far astray. But yestermorn I turned my face therefrom: This one appeared to me returning there. And leads me now along this pathway home." "If following thy star thou onward bear. Thou canst not fail of glorious port," he said, "If well discerned I in the life so fair: And but that I was far too early dead. Beholding Heaven so unto thee benign, I would thee in the work have comforted. But that ungrateful populace malign. Who came of yore down from Fiesole, And savor still of mountain and of mine. For thy good deeds will be thy enemy; And rightly: for 'mid crabbed sorbs confined. Befits not the sweet fig to fructify. Old rumor in the world proclaims them blind; A people envious, arrogant, and hard: Take heed thou from their manners be refined. Dante Faces the Future Serenely 61 Fortune reserves thee honor and reward. Such that both parties yet will hungry go For thee: but far from goat shall be the sward. Let the Fiesolan beasts their litter strow. Rending themselves; nor let them touch the blade, If ever any on their dunghill grow. Wherein may yet revive the holy seed Of Romans, - those therein still resident When it became such nest of evil deed." "If all my prayer had found accomplishment," Replied I to him, "not yet would you be From human nature placed in banishment: For I have held in loving memory Your kind paternal image, and now yearn For you, who in the world instructed me From hour to hour how man becomes eterne: And while I am alive, it is but right Men in my words my gratitude discern. What you relate about my course, I write. And keep - with other text - ^for Lady, who. If I attain her, can the gloss indite. Thus much would I have manifest to you. That if so be my conscience do not frown, I am ready, whatsoever Fortune do. Not newly is such hansel paid me down: Therefore let twirling Fortune ply her wheel At pleasure, and his mattock ply the clown." Thereat my Master, back upon his heel Turning toward the right, upon me bent His eyes; then said: "Who notes it, listens well!" Nor speaking less on that account, I went With Ser Brunetto on, and question made Of his companions known and eminent. "To know of some of them is well," he said, "Of others best be silent, for the time With so much speaking were too quickly sped. 62 Inferno Know then, in brief, that all were clerks, sublime In their renown, and men of letters great. On earth polluted with the one same crime. Priscian goes with yon troop disconsolate, And Francis of Accorso; who observes Such vermin, might have seen that reprobate Who, by the Servant of each one who serves. Was banned from Arno to the Bacchiglion', Where he laid by his ill-excited nerves. Of more would I relate, but going on And speech can be no longer, for I see New smoke from the great sand uprising yon. A people comes with whom I may not be; My 'Treasure' be commended to thy love, - There still I live: more ask I not of thee." Then he turned back, and showed the action of Those at Verona who cross-country run To win the cloth of green, and thereabove Appeared the winning, not the losing one. Souls in Torture Concerned for Florence 63 XVI Seventh Circle: Ring 3. Three Great Citizens of Florence I was already where we heard a sound Such as the bees make in the hive, a hum Of water falling into the next round; Then did three shades together running come. Quitting a passing company that went Beneath the rain of the sharp martyrdom. Approaching, in this cry their voices blent: "Stop thou, who by thy garb appearst to be Some one from out our city pestilent." What sores flame-branded on their limbs, ah me! Still recent ones and ancient, met my view: It grieves me for them yet in memory. Their cries attention from my Teacher drew, Who turned his face to me and said: "Now stay: To such as these all courtesy is due; And if it were not for the fiery spray The nature of the place darts, I should feel That thou wert better hurry, and not they." They re-began to dance the ancient reel Soon as we paused, and, drawing near us so, All three resolved themselves into a wheel. As champions stript and oiled are wont to do, Who for their grip and for their vantage look. Before they ever bandy thrust and blow: Thus, wheeling round, not one of them forsook The sight of me, so that in counterchase The neck and feet continual journey took. "Ah! if the misery of this shifting place Make us and our desires contemptible," Began one, "and our black and blistered face. Let our renown incline thy mind to tell Who art thou that, with such security, Trailest along thy living feet through Hell.'^ 64 Inferno He treading in whose steps thou seest me, i Excoriated though he be, and nude, \ Was higher than thou thinkest in degree.; The grandson was he of Gualdrada good; His name was Guido Guerra: much he planned Astutely, and his sword was likewise shrewd. The other who behind me treads the sand, \ Tegghaio Aldobrandi is, whose fame \ Ought to be grateful in the upper land. And I, thus put upon the cross with them, j Was Jacob Rusticucci: that I grieve, '\ Truly my savage wife is most to blame.'*; If from the fire I could have had reprieve, I should have flung me down to them below, \ And think my Teacher would have given me leave. ' But since I should have parcht and burnt me so, j Terror availed to check the kindly thought J Which prompted me to their embrace to go. "Contempt," then I began, "indeed 'twas not, j That your condition thrilled me with, but rue > So deep that it will not be soon forgot, i When this my Lord spake words to me, wherethrough \ The expectation was within me stirred ' That people might be coming such as you. j I am your fellow-townsman; every word; That told your honored names and actions all, | With love I ever have rehearst and heard. I go for the sweet fruit, leaving the gall, - ] Fruit by the truthful Leader promised me:; But to the Center first I needs must fall." "So may thy limbs long while directed be j By living soul," that one thereon replied, ■ "And so may thy renown shine after thee, ] Tell whether courtesy and valor abide j Within our city as of wont, or thence • Banisht and altogether thrust aside? ] The Crimson Cataract 65 For William Borsiere, who laments Of late with us, and goes with yonder train, Speaks that which much our misery augments." "The upstart people and the sudden gain Excess in thee and arrogance have bred, O Florence, as thou findest to thy bane!" - Thus cried I out aloud with lifted head: And holding this for my reply, the three Lookt at each other, as when truth is said. "If otherwhile so little costs it thee Others to satisfy," all answered then, "Happy thou, speaking with impunity. Whence if, escapt this place of gloom, again Returned to see the starry heavens fair. Thou shalt rejoice to utter, *I have been,' Pray speak of us unto the people there." Now break they up the wheel, and as they part. Their nimble legs appear to wing the air. It is not possible "Amen" could start From tongue as quick as their evanishment: Wherefore it pleased my Master to depart. I followed, and but little way we went. Before so near us was the water's sound, That, for all speaking, scarce were hearing lent. Even as that stream which holds its proper ground The first, from Monte Viso to the sea Eastward, upon the Apennine's left bound, - Stillwater called above, before it be Precipitated to its lower bed. But of that name is vacant at Forli, - Above Saint Benedict from the mountain head Goes bellowing down a single waterfall Where for a thousand there were room instead: Thus, leaping downward from a scarped wall. We heard that tinted water make such din. That it would soon have stunned the ear withal. Monte Viso {Chaucer's ^Vestihis the colde") is at the head of the Po. The river here referred to, the Montone, was the first river north of the Apennines which had an independent course to the sea. Dante makes his geographical references an element of poetry, as after him did Milton 66 Inferno The cord is sup- posed to be the girdle of St. Francis, who intended it as an emblem of the binding of the vnld beast of ike body. The old commentator, Buti, states that Dante was once a member of that order of Fran- ciscans called from the cord. Cordeliers. So the celebrated Guido da Mon- iefeltro, who tells his dra- matic story in Canto xxvii I had a cord that girt my garment in, For with it I had once thought requisite To take the leopard of the painted skin. As soon as I had loosed it from me quite. To the commandment of my Guide submiss, I reacht it to him, coiled and wound up tight. Whereon he turned toward the right, and this, A little out beyond the verge, did fling Down into that precipitous abyss. "Now surely it must be that some new thing,^' I said within, "answer the signal new Which thus the Master's eye is following." Ah me! how cautious should men be and do Near those who witness not alone the deeds, But with their wisdom to the thoughts look through! He said to me: "What I expect must needs Come upward soon, and what thy dreams now ask Must soon be such that very eyesight heeds." - Aye to that truth concealed beneath false mask, A man should close his lips, if in him lies. Lest he, though blameless, should be brought to task; But here I cannot: by the harmonies Of this my Comedy, Reader, I swear. So may their grace be lasting, that mine eyes Saw through the gross and gloomy atmosphere A shap)e come swimming up, of such as be To every steadfast heart a thing of fear: As he returns who sometime dives, to free The anchor-fluke, lest vessel come to harm On reef, or aught else hidden in the sea. Who draws his foot in, and flings up his arm. The Monster Geryon 67 XVII Seventh Circle: Ring 3. The Wonderful Flight Downward "Behold the beast with pointed tail, whose guile Doth mountains cleave and walls and weapons rend; Behold him who doth all the world defile." So sp)oke to me my Leader and my friend; And that it come in shoreward beckoned it. Near where the trodden marbles make an end. Then forward came that filthy counterfeit Image of Fraud to land its head and bust. But drew not up its tail from out the pit. Its face was like the face of person just. So outwardly benignant was its hue. But like a serpent all the rest outthrust. Paws shaggy to the armpits it had two; And many a painted nooselet, many a quirk The back, the breast, and both the flanks bestrew. Never was cloth by Tartar woven or Turk, More variously colored, warp and woof. Nor yet such tissue did Arachne work. As along shore the wherries lie aloof At times, in water part and part on land; And as the beaver in his hunt's behoof Doth yonder 'mid the guzzling Germans stand: So lay that worst of beasts along the stone That forms the margin fencing in the sand. All quivering in the void the tail was thrown. Twisting aloft the point of it, that bare A venomed fork as in the scorpion. "Now," said my Leader, "it behooves us fare Somewhat aside, far as that maledight Wild beast which couches on the border there.** So therefore we, descending on the right. Ten steps along the outer border pace. The sand and flakes of fire avoiding quite. 68 Inferno These are the cognizances, respectively, of the Florentine families Gian- figliazzi and Ubriachi, and of the Paduan family, Scrovi- gni, oil degraded by the inordi- nate practice of usury. A draw- ing of the first of these shidds is prefixed to this Cantica As soon as ever we have reacht the place, A Uttle farther on the sand I see A f>eople sitting near the empty space. " Of this third round," the Master said to me, "That thou mayst carry full experience, Go now, consider what their manners be. Out there concise must be thy conference: I will persuade this brute his shoulders strong To lend us, against thy returning thence." Thus farther yet, and all alone, along That seventh circle's utmost head, I go Thither where sit the melancholy throng. Out of their eyes is bixrsting forth their woe: Now here, now there, with hands they agonize Against the flames, against the soil aglow. Dogs in the summer do not otherwise, Now with the paw and presently with snout, At bite of fleas, of gadflies, or of flies. When I had singled certain faces out Of those on whom the woeful fire is shed. Not one of them I knew; but slung about Each neck perceived a pouch, emblazoned With certain hue and certain cognizance. And therewithal, it seems, their eye is fed. And as, among them looking, I advance. Beheld I Azure on a wallet Or, Bearing a lion's mien and countenance. And as the sweep of vision onward bore. Another bag, blood-red, beheld I now Display a goose, as butter white, and more. Then one upon whose wallet white a sow, In brood and azure, was in blazon set. Exclaimed: "Here in this ditch what doest thou? Now get thee gone: and since thou'rt living yet, Know that my townsman, Vitaliano, here Upon my left-hand side a seat shall get. Descent astride Oeryon 69 A Paduan with these Florentines, mine ear Ofttimes they deafen, crying in each close, - *Let him come down, the sovran cavalier Who with the triple-beaked budget goes!'" Here pursing up his mouth, he made display Of tongue, like cattle when they lick the nose. And apprehensive lest my longer stay Displease him who had bid me little bide, I turned me from those weary souls away. On back of that fell beast I found my Guide Already mounted, and he said: "Take care That thou be steady and unterrified. Now must we needs descend by such a stair: Mount thou in front, for I between will sit. So that the tail do thee no harm whate'er.'^ Like one about to have the ague fit Of quartan, blue of nail, all shuddering At shadow, catching but the sight of it, - Such I became, on hearing such a thing; But his monitions wrought in me that shame Which makes brave servant before noble king. I set myself upon that monstrous frame: "Clasp me P I tried to say, but utterance Refused to come, though I believed it came. But he who otherwhile in other chance Assisted, with his arms surrounded me As soon as I had mounted. "Now advance, O Geryon! ample let thy wheelings be," He bade, "and slow be thy descending here; Remember the new load that burdens thee." - As draws a little vessel from her pier. So, backing, backing, thence did Geryon draw; And when he felt that he was wholly clear. Turned tail to where before his breast I saw. And tail outstretching, moved it like an eel. And gathered in the air with play of paw. 70 Inferno No greater fear, I ween, did any feel. When Phaeton, abandoning the rein. Branded the sky, as still the nights reveal; Nor when poor Icarus perceived each pen Fall from his flank the molten wax withal, - "Thy way is wild!" his father shouted then, - Than mine, when I beheld me to be all Adrift in air, and saw extinguisht so Every sight but of the animal. He swims along, slow undulating, slow. Wheels and descends, - this could I but surmise By wind upon my face, and from below. Already on the right I heard arise Out of the cataract a frightful roar. Whence I outstretcht my head with downward eyes. Thereon the precipice dismayed me more. For burning did I see and moaning hear. Whereat my thighs gripped closer than before. Now I discerned, what first did not appear. The sinking movement and the wheeHng, by Great woes from every quarter drawing near. Like falcon, overlong enforced to fly. That without spying either bird or bait, "Ah me, thou stoopest!" makes the falconer cry. Then settles weary whence it sped elate, AUghting, after many a circling round. Far from its lord, aloof, exasperate: So Geryon set us down upon the ground. Hard by the bottom of the cliff rough-scored. And disencumbered of our weight, did bound Off and away, like arrow from the cord. Maleholge 71 j XVIII \ Eighth Circle: Pouch 1. Panders and ' Seducers. Pouch 2. Flatterers t There is in Hell a region all of stone, '\ By name Malpouches, of an iron hue ' Like the precipitous encircling zone. j Right in the middle of the fell purlieu 1 There yawns, exceeding deep and wide, a Pit - Whose structure I shall tell in order due. \ A rounding girdle thus remains of it ] Between the Pit and the high rocky steep. And in its bed ten vales divided sit. ■ Of like configuration was that deep \ As otherwhere, for safeguard of the wall, \ Several moats begird a castle-keep: ^ Such an appearance had these valleys all; And as from thresholds of such fortalice! Run to the outer rampart bridges small, ] So from the bottom of the precipice { Struck across banks and moats bridgeways of stone, Converging and cut short at the abyss. i In this place, from the back of Geryon thrown, ■ We found ourselves: then did the Poet go i Toward the left, and I behind moved on. ^ On the right-hand discovered I new woe,; New torments and new wielders of the thong, j Full filling the first Malpouch there below. \ The sinners naked at the bottom throng: ^ This side the middle come they facing me, \ Swifter, beyond, they stride with me along. \ The Romans thus, in year of Jubilee, To make the people pass the bridge devise, ^ By reason of the countless company, | So that on one side all direct their eyes I Toward the Castle and Saint Peter's fane; j On the other toward the Hill their passage lies. • 72 Inferno Ghisola (or GhislaheUa) was his sister, whom he per- suaded to he- come the mis- tress of the Esie, the powerful lord of Ferrara "Sipa" was the Bolognese form of the present subjunctive of the verb mean- ing "to be." The modern form is said to be "sepa." Bologna lies between the two rivers Reno and Savena Hither and yon along the gloomy lane, I saw horned demons with great whips, who dealt Behindward on them furious blows amain. Ah! how these made them after the first pelt Lift up their heels! then truly waited none Until the second or the third he felt. While I was going on, mine eyes by one Encountered were; and instantly I said: "For sight of him I have not hungry gone!" Wherefore to make him out my feet I stayed; And my kind Leader, slackening his pace. Consented to some steps I backward made. And that scourged spirit, lowering his face. Bethought to hide, but with small benefit; I saying: "Thou that dost thine eyes abase. Must, if those features are not counterfeit, Venedico Caccianimico be: But what brings thee to such a smarting pit?" "Unwillingly I tell, though forced," said he, "By thy explicit speech Vhich brings the old Foregone existence back to memory. To do the Marquis pleasure, I cajoled Fair Ghisola, - in whatsoever way The shameful tale be peradventure told. No lonely Bolognese I weep here: nay. For rather do we so this region fill. That not so many tongues are taught to say Sipa 'twixt Reno and Savena; still If thou wouldst have me pledge or proof subjoin. Recall to mind our avaricious will." While he spoke thus, a demon on the loin Lasht him, exclaiming: "Pander, get thee gone! There are no women here for minting coin." I now rejoin mine Escort: whereupon With footsteps few we come where we discern A craggy bridge that from the cliff was thrown. Jason the Seducer 73 Ascending this full easily, we turn Upon its jagged ridgeway to the right. Departing from those circling walls eterne. When came we where a gap beneath the height Yawns for the sinners driven by the thong. My Leader said: "Lay hold, until the sight Strike on thee of another misbom throng. Of whom thou hast not yet beheld the face Because they still have gone with us along." From the old bridge we viewed the file, apace Who neared us on the further side below. And whom the scourges in like manner chase. Without my asking, the Good Master so Addrest me: "Yonder mighty one behold. Who seems to shed no tear for all his woe: How kingly in his bearing, as of old! 'Tis Jason, who by prowess and by guile Despoiled the Colchians of the Fleece of Gold. He skirted once the coast of Lemnos isle. After the merciless women unafraid Devoted all their males to death erewhile. There, with love-tokens and fair words, the maid Hypsipyle did he betray, that one Who first, herself, had all the rest betrayed. And there he left her, pregnant and alone: Such guilt condemns him to such martyrdom. And for Medea too is vengeance done. With him go such deceivers all and some: Of the first valley let so much suffice. And of those by its vengeance overcome.'* - Already had we reacht the place where lies The narrow path across the second dike. Which buttress for another arch supplies. Thence heard we people whimper plaintive-like In the next pocket, and with snorting roar Of muzzle, with their palms upon them strike. 74 Inferno It is hardly The banks were with a mold encrusted o'er miZTJsympa- ^Y vapors from below that on them rest, theiic reader With both the eyes and nostrils waging war. lonmlS'^be The bottom is so hollowly deprest more delicate There is no room to see, except one go mivTrthan ^P ^^ere the arching bridge is loftiest. Dante. But it is Thither We came, whence in the ditch below T^'Thronlh ^ s^^ ^^^^ weltering in excrement Hell without That out of human privies seemed to flow. m^'aldlVsccri- W^i^^ I was looking down with eye intent, ity, as here and I saw one head SO smeared with ordure all, at the close of rr i i i >x a • i . Canto xxi ^* ^^^^^ ^^ layman twas not evident. "Wherefore so greedy art thou," did he bawl, "At me more than the filthy rest to stare.^" "Because," I answered, "if I well recall, I have already seen thee with dry hair; Alessio Interminei of Lucca, late Wast thou: whence singled out from others there." And thereon he, belaboring his pate: "To this has plunged me down the sycophance Wherewith my tongue was never satiate." Hereon my Leader said to me: "Advance Thy face still further forward, till thou bring ^y \ Of that uncleanly and disheveled thing, Thine eyesight full up)on the countenance ^1 Who scratches yon with nails smeared filthily, And now is standing up, now cowering. ^^ V ^ ^ Thus is the harlot Thais seen of thee, ^ ^>^ J Who answered once her minion when he said: ^ *Dost greatly thank me.'^' - *Nay, stupendously.' And herewith let our sight be surfeited." , More Shameful Prostitution 75 XIX Eighth Circle: Pouch 3. Simoniacal Popes Simon Magus, O disciples vile! Ye who the things of God, which ought to be The brides of righteousness, lo! ye defile For silver and for gold rapaciously; Now it befits the trumpet sound your doom. Because in this third pouch of Hell are ye. Already had we on the following tomb Mounted, to that part of the bridgeway whence It doth the middle-moat quite overloom. Wisdom Supreme! of art what evidence In Heaven, Earth, and the Evil World is found. And ah! how justly doth thy power dispense! 1 saw upon the sides and on the ground. With many a hole the dark stone drilled, and all Of one dimension, and each one was round. None ampler seemed to me, nor yet more small. Than those that in my beautiful St. John Are made to the baptizers for a stall; And one of these, not many years agone, I broke for one who stifling would have died: Be this a seal to undeceive each one. Thrust forth from every opening, I descried A sinner's feet, and saw the ankles twain Far as the calf: the rest remained inside. The soles of all were both consumed amain. And so with flames the joints were quivering No ropes and withies would have stood the strain. As flame of oily things is wont to cling Alone upon the face exterior, So here from heel to point 'twas flickering. '^Master," said I, "who is that one who more Infuriate writhes than his companions there, And whom a redder flame is licking o'er.'^^* 76 Inferno One of the legal 'punishments of that implacable period was the ^planting'' thus of the perfidious murderer. Dante's simili- tudes imply, of course, familiar- ity on the part of the reader of his time with the scene referred to. The customs, habits, sports, arts, affairs of all hinds from which he draws images have grecUly changed, so that we have to use more imagination in reading him The references to the Church as the Lady, or the Bride of Christ, and by extension of the Pope as the Vicar of Christ, are so frequent that comment is, in most cases, superfluous And he to me: "K thou wilt let me bear Thee down by yonder cliff that lies more low. From him of him and of his crimes shalt hear." "Thy pleasure, lord, is mine, and thou dost know That I depart not from thy will," I said, "And knowest my unspoken thought, I trow." Thereon the fourth embankment did we tread. Turned, and descended leftward from the bank Down to the narrow, perforated bed. The Master good not yet from off his flank Deposed me, till he brought me to the hole Of him who so was weeping with his shank. "Whoe'er thou art, thus planted like a pole Top downward," then began I, "do thou strive To speak out, if thou canst, O wretched soul!" My posture was the friar's, at hand to shrive The false assassin, who, when planted, tries To call him back, still to remain alive. "Art thou already standing there.^" he cries, "Art standing there already, Boniface .?* By several seasons, then, the writing lies. And art thou glutted with that wealth apace, For sake whereof thou didst not fear betray The Lady beautiful, and then disgrace.^" - Such I became as people brought to stay Because an answer from the mark seems wide. As if bemockt, not knowing what to say. "Say to him quickly," hereon Virgil cried, " T am not he thou thinkst, I am not he!' " And as enjoined upon me, I replied. The spirit writhed his feet exceedingly; Then sighing, and with voice disconsolate. Said to me: "What then wan test thou of me? If thou desire so much to know my state. That for this cause thou hast the bank traversed, Know, I was vested with the Mantle Great. Dante to a Corrupt Pope 77 True son of the She-bear, I had such thirst Insatiate to advance the Cubs, mine own. That wealth above, and here myself, I pursed. Beneath my head the others down are thrown, Preceding me in simony, and all Flattened along the fissures of the stone. Down thither shall I likewise drop withal. When comes that other whom I thought to meet What time I let the sudden question fall. But longer now do I already heat My footpalms, standing here inverted thus. Than he shall planted stay with ruddy feet: For after him a Pastor impious Shall come from Westward, fouler in his deed, Such as befits to cover both of us. New Jason will he be, of whom we read In Maccabees: and pliant as that lord. Will he who governs France give this one heed." I know not if foolhardy was my word. But I made answer only in this key: "I pray thee tell me now how rich a hoard Saint Peter paid into the treasury. Ere gave Our Lord the keys to his control? Nothing in truth He askt save Tollow me!' Nor Peter nor the rest did levy toll Of gold or silver, nor Matthias grant. For the lost oflSce of the guilty soul. Then stay, well punisht, and be vigilant In guardianship of the ill-gotten gold That made thee against Charles so arrogant. And were I not forbid to be so bold, Because of reverence for the Keys Sublime Which in the happy life thou diddest hold. Still harsher language would befit my rime: Pastors, your greed afflicts the world; it brings Good underfoot, and it uplif teth crime! The ex-Pope Nicholas III who is speaking was an Orsini, whose cogni- zance was the "orsa" {"ursa" she-hear) Referring to Ciement V, the Frenchman, tool of Philip the Fair. See 2 Maccahees, iv and v 78 Inferno \ Of you the Evangelist had prefigurings, \ When her that sits the waters did he view Committing fornication with the kings: She with the seven heads begotten, who | From the ten horns her sign and sanction bore Long as her spouse dehght in virtue knew.! A god of gold and silver ye adore; And from the idolaters how differ ye, ^ Save where they one, a hundred ye implore? ] This donation Ah, Constantine, to what iniquity of Constantine q^^^ birth- not thy conversion- that domain ivas at a later ^ *' time proved to be Which the first wealthy Father took from thee!" \ ^^fJ^cTt And while I sang to him in such a strain, \ iorical sources Whether that frenzy or that conscience bit, Zd^'^'m- ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ footpalms struggled he amain. i tons translation I think my Leader well applauded it, th^i^Z'T He listened still with look of such content; membered To the clear accents which the truth befit. Thereon to take me up, both arms he bent, I And when he had me wholly on his breast, • Remounted by the way of his descent;; Nor did he tire of holding me thus pressed, j Till up the summit of the arch he bare, j Which crosses from the fourth to the fifth crest.; Here he laid dowTi his charge with tender care, j Tender, for rugged was the crag and steep, ? That goats had found a toilsome passage there: Thence was disclosed to me another deep. i i i Looking and Walking Backward 70 '. XX \ Eighth Circle: Pouch 4. Diviners. \ Origin of Mantua J New punishment must needs by me be dirged, j And in a twentieth lay the theme pursued 1 Of the first Song, which tells of the submerged. I now was wholly in an attitude \ To peer down into the disclosed abyss,! Which was with tears of agony bedewed, \ And through the circling vale I saw at this j A silent, weeping folk, who onward pressed As pace in this our world the litanies. \ As lower down en them my sight did rest, j Each wondrously distorted seemed between \ The chin and the beginning of the chest: ^ For every visage had been twisted clean i Round to the loins, and backward they must go, \ Since looking forward had forbidden been. ' Thus utterly distorted by some throe Of palsy, some one may have been perchance; ] I never saw, nor think it can be so.: Imagine, Reader, so God's sufferance Permit that, reading, thou be edified, \ How I could keep unwet my countenance, j When near at hand our image I descried Contorted so, the weeping eyes did wet | With tears the hinder parts where they divide, \ Truly I wept, leaned on the parapet ^ Of the hard bridge, so that mine Escort said: "Art thou among the other fools even yet.f^ \ Here piety lives on in pity dead. j Who is a greater reprobate than one • That grieves at doom divine.?* Lift up thy head, j Lift up thy head, and do thou look upon! Him earth engulfed before the Theban's sight, = Whereat all shouted: * Whither dost thou nm, j .It 80 Inferno The soothsayer Amphiardus, in the course of the expedition of the Seven against Thebes, was swallowed up by the earth. Dante gets the tale from the poet Statins, whom we shall meet in Purga- tory The Poet's visit to the beautiful Lunigiana {named from the ancient Etrus- can and Roman Luni) at the foot of the mar- ble snow of the Carrara Moun- tains, is com- memorated in the lovely eighth canto of Purga- torio This long di- gression, geo- graphically so vind and accu- rate as to the origin and situ- ation of Man- tua, is one of the few passages not vitally - at least not obvi- ously - con- nected with the scheme of the whole. No other long poem has so few such ex- crescences, whose '^ moral is in being fair'^ Amphiaraus? Why forsake the fight?' From plunging downward he was only stayed By Minos, who lays hold on every wight. Mark how his shoulders to a breast are made! Because he wished to see too far before. Forever backward doth he look and tread. Tiresias see, who altered semblance wore When from a male he was made feminine. While all his members transformation bore; And afterward he had to strike again With wand the intertwining serpents two. Ere he regained his plumage masculine. With back to this one's belly is Aruns, who In mountain land of Luni (on whose height Drudges the Carrarese who dwells below) Had once a cavern among marbles white For his abode, from which he could behold Ocean and stars with unobstructed sight. And she whose locks unfilleted enfold Her bosom from thy sight, - the hairy coat O'er all her skin on the other side unrolled, - Was Manto, who through many countries sought. And after tarried where I had my birth: Whereof to please me take a Uttle note. After her father had from life gone forth. And Bacchus' city came to slavery. This woman for a long time roamed the earth. There Ues a lake up in fair Italy, At bottom of the Alps that fence Almain, Tyrol above, - Benaco names that sea. I think a thousand founts the Pennine drain Of water which within that lake is pent, Garda and Val Camonica between. There is a middle place where he of Trent Or Brescia pastor, or the Veronese, Might give his blessing, if that way he went. Origin of Mantua 81 Peschiera, fair and mighty fortalice, Sits where lies lowest the surrounding shore. To front the Brescians and the Bergamese. There whatsoever cannot tarry more In bosom of Benaco, down must flow And make a river through green meadow floor. The waters gathering head, as Mincio, No longer called Benaco, flow apace Far as Govemo, falling into Po. Coursing not far, they find a level place Where in a wide lagoon they stagnant spread. And where in summer oft is noisomeness. Passing that way, the Virgin, never wed. Perceived a tract of land amid the fen. Wholly untilled and uninhabited; And there, to shun all intercourse with men. Stayed with her servants, arts of magic plied. Lived, and there left her empty body then. The people, who were scattered far and wide. Thereafter gathered in that place, which lay Defended by the marsh on every side. O'er those dead bones the city builded they. And, after her who first had chosen the place. Called it, without more omen, Mantua. Denser therein was once the populace. Ere ever Casalodi witlessly From Pinamonte suffered such disgrace. Hence if thou ever hear, I monish thee. My city given foundation different. Let falsehood not defraud the verity." - "Master, thy reasons are so evident. And so lay hold of my belief,'^ said I, "That others were to me but embers spent. But tell me, of the people going by. None seest thou worthy of note? for to their woe. Only to that, returns my inner eye.'' - Referring to a bloody coup (Titat in the course of which Pinamonte first duped and then expelled the lord of Mantua, Count Casalodi 82 Inferno The Man in the Moon was pop' vlarly Cain car' rying a bundle of thorns, the sorry ^ fruit of the ground^ that he harvested. The sky is of course invisible in Hell, but Dante vnll not forgo his astro- nomical allu- sion. The moon is one day past the full and sinks into the sea south of Seville {taking Jerusalem as the point of observation). Thai is, it is about 6 A.M. Whereon he answered: "He whose beard doth flow Down from his cheeks upon his shoulders dun, Was, what time Greece of males was emptied so That in the cradles tarried almost none. An augur, and with Calchas gave the sign To cut, in Aulis, the first cable, - one Eurypylus, - thus in a certain line My lofty tragedy records the name: Well knowest it thou who knowest each verse of mine. That other, in the flanks so light of frame. Was Michael Scott, and of a truth he knew Of magical deceptions well the game. Guido Bonatti view; Asdente view. Who now would wish his leather and his awl Had held him, - all too late repents he too. See wretched hags who let the needle fall. The spool and distaff, for divining fain. With herb and image working spells withal. But come, for with his thorns already Cain Doth hold of both the hemispheres the bound, And yonder under Seville touch the main, And only yesternight the moon was round: Thou shouldst recall, for she did thee no wrong One certain time within the wood profound." While thus he spake to me, we moved along. 3 1 Bosses and Grafters 83 1 XXI '\ Eighth Circle: Pouch 5. Barrators I \ Discoursing thus of matters different \ Whereto my Comedy cares not to hark, j Holding the height, from bridge to bridge we went, \ But halted other vain laments to mark ^ In Evil-pouches, other cloven den; \ And there I saw that it was weirdly dark. As in the Arsenal of Venice, men j Boil sticky pitch in winter, which they use! To make their vessels water-tight again When unsea worthy; some perhaps may choose To build anew, - some make it their concern \ To caulk ribs buffeted in many a cruise; \ Some hammer at the prow, some at the stern, Some fashion oars and others cordage twine. And some to mend the jib or mainsail turn: Thus not by fire, but by an art divine,! Boiled clammy pitch down there, which every side j Smeared over the embankments that confine. I saw it, but naught else therein descried, • Except the bubbles which the boiling raised, i As all heave up and then comprest subside. While thither downward steadfastly I gazed, ' "Beware! beware!" my Leader thus began, ' And drew me forth from where I stood amazed. j Thereat I turned, like one in haste to scan i The very thing which it behooves him flee, , And whom incontinently fears unman, , So that he puts not off his flight to see:;; And there I saw a demon, black as night, \ Run up the bridge behind my Guide and me.! Ah, how ferocious was he to my sight, \ And in his action how unpitying,;| With open wings and on his feet so light!: 84 Inferno His shoulder, which was high and tapering, A sinner with both haunches sat astride: That fiend the tendons of the feet did wring. Dante here gives "Maltalons!" pausing on OUT bridge, he cried, Lucca, as he Down with him, while I go for more beside SimaZit'' ""^ Unto that city furnisht with them so: many other Barrators all except Bonturo, - if fSrw?" You offer money, make they Yes of No." to him, Santa He flung him down, and on the flinty cliff of^tcTthe'' ^^^^ wheeled about: ne'er gave so hot a chase Holy Face is an A loosened mastiff, running down a thief. TyZ^M^' ^-^ That sinner plunged, and aired his back apace; venerated in the But demons, lurking there the bridge below, afst^uX>i Cried: "No invoking here the Holy Pace! near the city Here swim ye not as in the Serchio: "^^ep^Twho Therefore take heed, unless thou mean to try should say,- ail Our grapples, not above the pitch to show.'' Boss^Ti^&i^^ Then, pricking him with hundred prongs, did cry: "Here must thou dance about in covert guise. That, if thou can, thou swindle on the sly!" Cooks make their scullions do not otherwise. When with their hooks they plunge the carcass clean Down in the caldron, that it may not rise. Then said the Master good: "Lest it be seen That thou art with me, do thou downward cower Behind a block, that thou mayst have some screen; And what though wrong may seem to overpower. Be not afraid, for I these matters know. Having been in such wrangle once before." Beyond the bridge's head then did he go. And when he reacht the sixth embankment's crest He had full need a steadfast front to show. With such a stormy fury manifest As when dogs rush upon a beggar man, Who, where he halts, makes quickly his request: Among the Demons 85 Thus from beneath the bridge those demons ran, And turned against him every hook and rake; But, "None of you be felons!" he began: "Ere with your forks ye loose upon me break, To listen to me send ye forward one: Then as to tearing me your counsel take." All shouted out: "Be Malacoda gone!" And halted: whereupon one forward goes, Saying, "What can it skill?" as he came on. "And dost thou, Malacoda, then suppose, Thou wouldst have found me," said that Lord of mine, "Safe hitherto, however ye oppose. Without propitious fate and Will Divine? Let me pass on, for Heaven has sent behest That I show some one else this road malign." - Thereat so faUen was his haughty crest. That, letting fall the grapple at his feet, "No striking now!" he shouted to the rest. "O thou!" exclaimed my Leader, "from thy seat Where crouching on the craggy bridge dost hide. Now unto me securely make retreat." Wherefore I moved, and promptly sought his side; But all the devils sprang toward me so I trembled lest the compact were defied. Even thus I saw the soldiers long ago. By compact from Caprona issuing. Exhibit fear amid so many a foe. With all my body I drew up to cling Unto my Leader close, nor turned mine eye From off their look, which was not promising. Forks leveled, they kept saying: "Shall I try And touch him up upon the hinder side?" "Yes, nick it into him," was the reply. But that one who was talking with my Guide, Turned about quickly and commanded thus: "Bide quiet, Scarmiglione, quiet bide!" 86 Inferno The arch was shattered when Christ after the Crucifixion de- scended into Hell. It is now, therefore, mid- forenoon of the Saturday after Good Friday, 1300 These are hu- morous travesties of names of Florentine fam- ilies which Dante regarded as fair game. To this day Florence is noted for family names which seem humorous or ironical Then: "There's no thoroughfare," he said to us, "Across this bridge, because the sixth arch Hes Now on the bottom, wholly ruinous: If going forward still to you seem wise, Along the present bank ye journey may; Hard by there doth another bridgeway rise. Later by five than this hour yesterday, Twelve hundred six and sixty years their line Completed since here broken was the way. Thither I'm sending some of these of mine To see who airs him in the pitchy den: Go with them, for they will not be malign. Alichino and Calcabrina, forward then, And thou Cagnazzo," he began to add; "And Barbariccia, do thou lead the ten. Libicocco and Draghignazzo come," he bade, "Tusked Ciriatto and Graffiacane too. And Farfarello and Rubicante mad. Explore all round about the boiling blue; Let these be safe to the next bridging way Spanning the dens, a craggy avenue." - "Alas, my Lord, what see I.^*" - did I say; "Go we alone and without escort now; If thou art able, none for me, I pray! If with thy wonted heed observest thou. Dost thou the gnashing of their tusks not hear, And see them threaten mischief with their brow.''"- And he to me: "I would not have thee fear; Let them gnash with their tushes at their will. They do it for the parboiled wretches there." - Upon the left-hand margin turned they still; But each began by thrusting tongue to lump The cheek, as signal to their leader ill. Whereat he made a trumpet of his rump. Swimmers in the Pitch 87 I XXII ] i Eighth Circle: Pouch 5. Comedy of the Devils ^ I have seen horsemen into battle go. And when on dress parade, and striking tent, > And scurrying to anticipate the foe; '} And foragers who on you made descent, i O Aretines, and many a mounted scout, " Running of tilt and clash of tournament. With boom of bell and blare of trumpet shout. With castle beacons and with drums of war, ■ And instruments from home and from without: i But never yet to bugle so bizarre ] Did I see horse or foot set forward thus, \ Nor ship by any sign of land or star. \ On went we, the ten demons guiding us: j Ah, the fell company! but in the fane j With saints, in tavern with the gluttonous. Intent upon the pitch did I remain, j To see the whole condition of the moat \ And of the people in their burning pain. j Like dolphins when to sailors they denote,! With arching body bounding into sight, j That they look sharp to keep their ship afloat:! So ever and again, for easement slight. Some sinner would present his back outside I And hide it fleeter than a flash of light. ] And as at marge of flooded moat abide The frogs, and let the nose alone protrude. So that their feet and other bulk they hide: j Thus upon either hand the sinners stood; \ But fast as Barbariccia came their way, ] They disappeared beneath the boiling flood. * I saw (whereat my heart quakes to this day) 1 One lingering thus - as it will often chance j That while the frogs are diving, one will stay: 1 88 Inferno Him Graffiacane, standing near, with lance Hookt in his pitch-entangled locks, updrew. So that he seemed an otter to my glance. (The names of all and sundry of that crew, - So had I noted them when they were picked And Ustened when they called, - ^by this I knew.) "O Rubicante, see that thou inflict Thy talons on his back and soundly flay!" Shouted together all the maledict. And I: "Endeavor, Master, if thou may. To learn what luckless spirit thus doth lie To clutches of his enemies a prey." My Leader up beside him drawing nigh. Demanded whence he came, and this his word: "Born in the Kingdom of Navarre was I. My mother placed me servant to a lord. For she had borne me to a worthless blade. Destroyer of himself and of his hoard. Of good King Tybalt then retainer made. In barratry attained I mastership. Wherefore down here hot reckoning is paid." And Ciriatto, each way from whose lip A tusk, as of a boar, protruded long, Gave him to feel how one of them could rip. The mouse was fallen evil cats among. But Barbariccia locked him in embrace. Saying: "Stand off from him, while I emprong!" Then to my Master turning round the face, Added: "Ask on, if thou wouldst have him show Yet more, before the other fiends deface." "Now of the other sinners, dost thou know," My Leader said, "any Itahan here Beneath the pitch?" And he: "Short while ago I quitted one who was their neighbor near; Would I were still with him in cover laid. So neither claw nor grapple should I fear." Cruel Sport 89 "We bear too muchP then Libicocco said, As with the hook he caught his arm amain, And, rending, bore away a sinew-shred. And Draghignazzo for a grip was fain Down at the legs; whence their Decurion With grim demeanor turned and turned again. When they were somewhat pacified anon. My Guide inquired of him, without delay. Who ruefully his wound was gazing on: "Who was that soul from whom, as thou dost say, 111 parting madest thou to come abroad?" "'Twas Friar Gomita," answered he straightway, "He of Gallura, adept in every fraud. Who had in hand his master's every foe. And dealt so with them that they all applaud: Taking the cash, he suavely let them go. So says he; by no petty standard clever In office jobbery, but hugely so. Don Michael Zanche of Logodoro ever Keeps him boon compa'ny; Sardinia draws Them on to wag their tongues that weary never. But look! I fear that other fiend because His teeth are gnashing; I would add a word. But for my scurf he seems to whet his claws.'' - To Farf arello turning then, who stirred His eyes asquint as if for striking home. Their master marshal said: "Off, wicked bird!" - "If ye would see or hearken all and some," The frightened spirit re-began thereon, "Tuscans or Lombards, I will make them come. But the Maltalons must be well withdrawn Lest my companions their vendetta fear. And I, not stirring from this spot, for one That I am, will make seven more appear By whistling, which, when one of us gets out. Is customary signal with us here." Gallura and Logodoro are two of the Jour provinces into which the Pisans divided Sar- dinia. Michael Zanche was vic- tim of an atro- cious crime re- corded at the dose of Canto xxxiii. We meet a juM and gentle magis- trate of Gallura in Purg. viii 90 Inferno; ■\ '\ Cagnazzo at these words perked up his snout, i Wagging his head, exclaiming: "Hear the thing The knave to fling him down has thought about!" i Whence, fertile in device, he answering Said: "Over-knavish am I, it is true, ] When I procure my friends more suffering." \ Ahchino could not hold, but counter to \ The others, said to him: "If thou depart, I shall in no wise galloping pursue. But shall above the pitch on pinions dart: \ Leave we the ridge, a shelter be the shore, j And see what match for us alone thou art!" i Reader, new sport is presently in store! Bended their eyes the other way all these, - He foremost who had been most loath before. Selected well his time the Navarrese, 1 Planted his foot-soles firm, and in a flash Leapt, and releast him from their purposes. ■ Alichino, Whereat they all with self-reproaches gnash, j £r Zm'stion He most who made them so discomfited;: had enabled the And he leapt forward, yelling: "Not so rash!"; But little it availed: fear faster fled Than wing could follow; down he dove amain. And on, with upturned breast, the demon sped. Not other fashion is the wild duck fain Dive nimbly down, when draws too nigh the hawk, i Who, ruffled, wrathfuUy flies up again. \ But Calcabrina, furious at the mock, ] Followed behind him flying, in delight i At this escape, the scuffle not to balk. \ And when the barrator had vanished quite. His claws upon his fellow turned, - whence yond Above the moat they grappled for the fight. But the other was a sparrow-hawk full fond To claw him well, and both together went \ Plump to the middle of the boiling pond. j Navarrese to escape Demons Brought to Grief 91 The heat caused sudden disentanglement; But all the same they had no power to soar. So wholly did the pitch their wings cement. Barbariccia, woeful with the rest, made four Incontinently on their pinions glide. With hooks and all, far as the other shore; Down to their posts they dart on either side And stretch their forks toward the limed pair Who were already cookt within the hide: And thus we left them in embroilment there. 92 Inferno XXIII Eighth Circle: Pouch 6. Hypocrites under Copes of Lead Silent, alone, and uncompanioned, so Went we, the one before and one behind. As on their way the Minor Friars go. A frog, while Upon the tale of iEsop now my mind ^r::tfean.. Was to, by reason of the present fray, dives; hut seeing Where of the frog and mouse we fabled find: Hte^Z^f " " For not ««''e similar are Ay and Yea upon both Than this to that, if with attention due The outset and the end we rightly weigh. And even as thoughts on other thoughts ensue. Now out of that was bom another: thus My former terror double in me grew. For I was thinking: "These because of us Are flouted, damaged, and at naught are set. So that, methinks, they must be furious. If rancor should their evil purpose whet. They will come after us, more pitiless Than dog when snapping up the leveret." Already did I feel my every tress Stiffen with terror, while I backward peer Intently, saying: "Master mine, unless Thou quickly hide thyself and me, I fear Maltalons, for they hard up)on us tread: I so imagine them, I feel them near." "If I were fashioned out of glass and lead, I could not catch thine outward lineament More quickly than thine inward now," he said. "Even now thy thoughts among my own were blent, With similar action and with similar face. So that of both I made one sole intent. If but the dexter bank so slope to base That we may down to the next pocket go, We shall escape from the imagined chase." Escape of Virgil with Dante 93 He had not yet made end of saying so. When I beheld them come with wings spread wide, Not far away, with will to work us woe. Then caught me up full suddenly my Guide (Even as a mother wakened by a shout To see the flames enkindled close beside, Who snatching up her little son runs out, And, having less for self than him regard, Tarries not even to wrap a smock about). And from the ridge of the embankment hard Glided face upward down the rocky shore Which on that side the adjacent valley barred. So swift through sluice slipt water nevermore The wheel of any bankside mill to run, Even when nearest to the floats, as bore My Master me, that border land upon. Lying securely claspt upon his breast. Not merely as his comrade but as son. Scarce did his feet upon the bottom rest. Ere our pursuers were upon the hill Above us; but all fear was now supprest: Because the Providence Supreme, whose will To the Fifth moat their ministry ordained. Denies all power of leaving it and skill. Down here we found a painted folk, who gained Their circling ground with steps exceeding slow. Weeping, and weary in aspect, and constrained. They had on mantles with the hoods drawn low Before their eyes, and fashioned by such law That in Cologne monastics wear them so. Gilded without, they dazzled them who saw; But were within of lead, so loaded down That those of Frederick were light as straw. O everlasting mantle, heavy gown! We went along in their companionship Leftward once more, hearing their dreary moan: Geoffrey, Arch- deacon of Nor- ivich, had a cope of lead put over his head and shoulders, in which he was starved to death for whimpering the news of the excommunica- tion of King John. Evidently thai heavy pen- alty was not invented by Frederick II 94 Inferno j But with the weight forspent, that fellowship | So slowly came, that overtook we new i Pilgrims at every movement of the hip. 1 Wherefore unto my Leader I: "Now do • Find some one not unknown by name or deed ' And thus advancing, let thine eyes rove too." 1 And one who gave the Tuscan accent heed, \ Cried to us from behind: "O ye who race Thus through the dusky air, now stay your speed! \ Perchance thou 'It get from me the wished-for grace." - * Whereat my Leader turned and said: "Now stay. And then proceed according to his pace." - I stopt, and by their look saw two betray \ Great eagerness of spirit to advance; ] But the load hindered, and the crowded way. Having come up, awhile with eye askance i They gaze upon me, but their words control; ' Then say between themselves, exchanging glance: j "He seems alive by action of his jole: j And by what privilege, if they are dead, i Go they divested of the heavy stole.?" | To me then: "Tuscan, to the college led Of the sad hypocrites, do not thou scorn To tell us of thy origin," they said.! Then answered I: "In the great city bom, | I by the river of fair Arno grew. And have the body I have always worn. \ But who are ye whom I behold imbrue j With tear-distilling sorrow thus the cheek.'* And what the pain that glitters so on you?" j And one replied to me: "Of lead so thick j The orange hoods are, that without surcease j The weights thus cause their balances to creak.; Jovial Friars were we, and Bolognese, ' I Catalan, he Loderingo named, i And by thy town together for its peace Caiaphas and the Pharisees 95 Taken, where but a single man is claimed By custom; and it still may be descried Around Gardingo how we should be blamed." "O Friars, your iniquities . . /^ I cried. But went no further, for there struck my sight One on the ground with three stakes crucified. Beholding me, he writhed with all his might. Blowing into his beard with many a sigh: But Friar Catalan, who saw his plight. Said to me: "That staked felon thou dost eye. Counseled the Pharisees that it was meet That one man for the populace should die. He is laid naked and across the street. As thou beholdest, and has first to note Of all who pass, how heavy weigh their feet. His father-in-law is staked within this moat. And so the others of that Pariiament Which for the Jews was seed of evil fruit." Virgil thereafter I beheld intent With wonder on that spirit crucified So vilely in eternal banishment. Then to the Friar: "Be it not denied. So please you, if it be legitimate. To tell if He upon the right-hand side Some passage, that we may go out that gate Without constraining any angel swart To come, and from this bottom extricate." "Still nearer than thy hope," said he, "doth start A bridgeway from the belt of the abyss. Spanning the cruel valleys overthwart. All save that, broken, it bespans not this: Ye can ascend the wreck that heaps the ground. And lies aslope, flanking the precipice." With bended brow in meditation boimd, My Leader stood, then said: "In wicked wise He told the way who hooks the sinners yond!" During the year when these two were 'partners in the mayoralty of Florence the palaces of the great Ghibelline family of the Uberti were razed. The Gardingo was anciently a Longobard for- tress, standing about where now is the Palazzo Vecchio and its Square Caiaphas and Annas. Virgil, here represent- ing Rome, would not understand 96 Inferno The Friar: "At Bologna many a vice I heard laid to the Devil, there among That he's a liar and the father of lies." Then went my Guide with larger strides along, While wrath somewhat perturbed his aspect sweet: Whence I departed from the burdened throng After the prints of the beloved feet. Climbing out of the Canon 97 XXIV Eighth Circle: Pouch 7. The Robbers and THE Serpents In that young year-time when the sun his hair Tempers beneath Aquarius, and when The nights already tow*rd the southland fare, - The hoarfrost on the greensward copies then His sister's image white, but by and by Abates the dainty temper of his pen, - The husbandman, who sees starvation nigh, Rising and looking out, beholds the plain All whitened over, whence he smites his thigh: Returning in, doth to and fro complain Like one who cannot mend his wretched case; Then out he comes and picks up hope again. Beholding how the world has altered face In Httle while, and catching up his crook Drives forth his sheep to pasturage apace: Thus when I saw perturbed my Master's look Did I lose heart, and thus the balm applied Suddenly from the wound the ailment took. For when we reacht the ruined bridge, my Guide Turned round and fixt me with that kindly glance Which first I saw beneath the mountain side. He spread his arms out, and, as laying plans Within himself, first viewed the ruined fell. Then laid his hold upon me to advance. Like one who labors and considers well. Seeming forever to provide anew. My Leader, lifting me toward the swell Of one crag, had another rock in view. Saying: "Now clamber over that one, but Try first if it be firm to grapple to." No way was this for one in mantle shut, - For scarcely we, he light and I pusht on. Were able to ascend from jut to jut. This is not the only passage where Dante shows himself familiar with mountain climb-' ing. He had clambered over the weary heights between Lerid and Turbia (Purg. til), and perhaps over the Alps more than once. The allegory here is that of the dif- fictdty of re- nouncing a course of dis- simidation 98 Inferno And were it not that in that quarter, one Ascent is shorter than the other, I know Nothing of him, but I had been fordone. But since upon a slant Malpouches go All to the entrance of the lowest Pit, So must the site of every valley show One bank upreared above the opposite: We clomb, however, the last craggy stair At length, which from the ruined cliff is split. My lungs so utterly were milkt of air When I was up, no farther could I get; Nay, sat me down on first arriving there. "Thus now behooves that sloth aside be set," The Master said, "to fame we never come Sitting on down nor under coverlet. Which wanting, whoso goes to his long home Leaves of himself on earth as little trace As smoke in air or in the water foam. Up then, thy panting overcome apace. With spirit that will every battle dare Unless the heavy body deep abase. Behooves thee yet to climb a longer stair: Suffices not that forth from these we went; If thou hast understood, now forward fare." Then up I rose, and showed my breath less spent Than 'twas indeed, and said: "Go on once more,- Look, if I be not strong and confident." Upward we took our course, the bridgeway o'er, A craggy, difficult, and narrow way, And far, far steeper than the one before. Speaking I went, no faintness to betray. When out of the next moat a voice I heard 111 suited aught articulate to say. Of what it said I do not know a word. Though now atop the arch that crosses nigh; But he who spake appeared to anger stirred. Burning of Vanni Fucci 99 i I had bent downward, but no living eye Could through the darkness to the deep attain: j "Master, contrive to come,^^ said therefore I, > "To the next dike, the inner wall to gain; ' For even as hence I hear, but cannot heed, { So peering down I shape out nothing plain." 1 To this he said: "No answer is of need Except the doing, for the fit request j Should tacitly be followed by the deed." - ] The bridge we now descended from the crest 1 Where with the eighth bank it united stood. And then to me the pouch was manifest: ■ And there I saw so terrible a brood ' Of serpents, of diversity so great, > That the remembrance still freezes my blood. '■ Let Libya with her sand no longer prate: | Though Amphisboena, Cenchres, Pharese, \ Chelydri, Jaculi, she generate. So many plagues, of such malignity, i She never showed, with Ethiopia wide, l Nor with the land that borders the Red Sea. I Amid these, cruelly that multipHed, j Were running naked and affrighted folk \ Hopeless of heliotrope or place to hide. Heliotrope, ■■- Serpents the hands of these behind them yoke, tr^hh^' ^***" With head and tail transfix them through the loin, which so turned ^ And into knotted coils before them lock. ^^^ *",'*'* ^^y^ All,. 11'. 1 . if^oi the wearer And lo! at one who loitered near our coign became innviUe Of vantage, sprang a snake and pierct him through | Just where the collar and the shoulders join. Never was I so quickly written, or O, • As he took fire and burnt, and he was doomed All into ashes dropping down to go; j And then, when thus upon the ground consumed, i The dust drew of itself together there,! And suddenly that former shape resumed.! 100 Inferno And even thus, the sages great declare. The Phoenix dies and then is Hfe astir Again, on reaching her five-hundredth year; Lifelong no grain nor grasses pasture her, But tears of incense and amome alone. And her last winding-sheet is nard and myrrh. As one who falls, he knows not how, and prone Upon the ground by force of demon lies. Or other stoppage that enfetters one. Who, when he rises, looks around, with eyes Wholly bewildered by the mighty throes Which he has undergone, and looking sighs: Such was that sinner after he arose. Power of God, how just art thou to men, That showerest for vengeance down such blows! "Who mayst thou be?" my Leader askt him then; Whence he replied: "I rained from Tuscany Short while ago into this cruel glen. Life of the brute, not man, delighted me, Mule Vanni Fucci, bestially propense: Pistoia was my den, and fittingly." I to my Leader: "Let him not sHp hence. And ask what crime here thrust him down so low: 1 knew him man of blood and insolence." The sinner feigned not, hearing me speak so. But full upon me bent his face and thought. And colored with shame's melancholy glow; Then said: "It grieves me more that I am caught In misery which I must now display. Than when I from the other Hfe was brought. To thy demand I cannot say thee nay: I am put down so deep as this because I robbed the Chapel of the Fair Array, - And falsely to another imputed 'twas. But that thy joy in such a sight abate If ever thou escape these gloomy jaws. Prophecy of Woe 101 Open thine ears and listen to thy fate: Pistoia shall be thinned of Blacks at first, Then Florence men and manners renovate. Mars out of Magra's vale with thunderburst Arises, in black clouds embosomed round, And with a storm impetuous and curst, A battle shall be fought on Picene ground; Whence sudden shall the mist be riven, so That every White thereby receives a wound. And this I have foretold thee to thy woe.^ The thunder- storm of war from the Valley of the Magra (Lunigiana) is Moroello Mala- sfina, whose family received and protected Dante in 1306. There is a noble tribute to this family at the end of Purg. viii i02 Inferno An insulting gesture called by Ancient Pistol "the fig of Spain" The serpents in this and the pre- ceding canto are of course sym- bolic of the stealthy nature of the crime which they punish XXV Eighth Circle: Pouch 7. Transformations of THE Five Patrician Thieves As soon as those his words concluded were, His hands with both the figs the thief upbends, Yelling: "Have at thee, God; at thee I square!" From that time forth the serpents were my friends. For one of them did then his neck entwist, As who should say, "Herewith thy speaking ends!" Another, coiling, riveted each wrist. Clinching in front of him to such degree, He could not any longer jerk the fist. Ah, why, Pistoia, dost thou not decree To burn thyself to ashes and so fall, Since thy ill deeds outdo thine ancestry? Throughout the dark infernal circles all, I saw no spirit Godward flaunt such pride. Not him who fell at Thebes down from the wall. He fled away, all further word denied; Then saw I come a centaur, full of spleen: "Where is, where is the callous wretch.^" he cried. Harbors so many serpents not, I ween, Maremma, as he had his back along As far as where our lineaments begin. Behind the nape, upon the shoulder clung A dragon with his pinions wide outspread: On every one he meets his fire is flung. "That one is Cacus,'' then my Master said, "Who in the cavern of Mount Aventine Has made full many a time a pool blood-red. He goes not with his brothers in one line, By reason of his wily practice, when He stole the neighboring great herd of kine: Wherefore his crooked actions ended then Beneath the blows of Hercules, who plied Perhaps a hundred, - but he felt not ten." Merging of Snake and Man 103 While thus he spake, and that one past ns hied, Lo! underneath us came there spirits three Whom neither I perceived, nor yet my Guide, Until they shouted to us: "Who are ye?" Whereby our story to a stand was brought. And them alone thereafter heeded we. And now it happened (for I knew them not). As it is wont to happen, that one shade, To name another by some chance took thought. Exclaiming: "Where can Cianfa still have stayed?" Whence I, to make my Guide attentive so. Upward from chin to nose my finger laid. If thou to credit what I say art slow Now, Reader, need there be no wonderment, For I, who saw, can scarce consent thereto. The while I raised my brows on them intent. There darted a six-footed serpent out In front of one, and grappling with him blent. With middle feet it claspt his paunch about, And flimg the forward ones his arms around; Then gashed both cheeks of him the gaping snout. With hinder feet outspread the thighs it bound, Thrusting its tail between them, and behind Upward extending it, the loins enwound. So never did the barbed ivy bind A tree up, as the reptile hideous Upon another's limbs its own entwined. They clave together, - ^hot wax cleaveth thus, - And interfused their colors in such wise That neither now appeared the same to us: Just as in burning paper doth uprise Along before the flame a color brown Which is not black as yet, and the white dies. The other two each shouted, looking on, "O me, Agnello, how thou alterest! Lo, thou'rt already neither two nor one!" The manner in which Dante gradually gath- ers, by attentive listening to their talk, the names of four of the five Florentine thieves, is an ex- ample of his un- obtrusive art. The gesture with the finger beside chin and nose is frequent in Italy 104 Inferno ^Property was Already the two heads had coalesced, ThaHh^Ilfwas ^Vhe^eby two faces seemed to be compelled not the same. Into one face, wherein were two supprest. ^louhlfname ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ strips quadruple swelled; Neither two nor The thighs and legs, the chest and belly grew mlled^'^ ^^ members such as never man beheld. {"The Phoenix AH former aspect there was canceled through: mi e ur- "J^^q and yet none the shape perverted showed. And such with tardy steps away it drew. As the eye-lizard, under the great goad Of dog-day heat, from hedge to hedge again Darts like a flash of light across the road: So, tow'rd the bellies of the other twain Darting, a little fiery serpent went. Livid and tawny like a pepper-grain. And in that part whence first our nourishment We draw, it one of them transfixt, then down In front of him fell back, and lay distent. The pierct one gazed, but language uttered none: Nay, rather yawned and never stirred a limb. As if with fever or with sleep fordone. He eyed the reptile, and the reptile him: One from his wound, the other from its snout Smoked fiercely, and the smoke commingled dim. Be still now, Lucan, where thou tellst about Wretched Sabellus and Nasidius, And wait to hear what now shall be shot out! Of Arethuse be still, Ovidius! If, fabling, he converts her to a fount, Cadmus to snake, I am not envious: Because two natures never front to front Has he transmuted, so that both forms grew Each o*er the other's substance paramount. In such wise answered each to each the two. That to a fork the serpent cleft his tail. And the stricken one his feet together drew. Snake and Man Exchange Shapes 105 The legs compacted, and the thighs as well. In such a manner that in little space The juncture left no mark discernible. Now in the cloven tail the form we trace The other forfeited; the former*s skin Elastic grew, the other's hard apace. I saw the arms drawn through the armpits in. And the reptile's two short feet becoming long By so much as the arms had shortened been. Thereafter the hind feet together climg To form the member that a man conceals, And to the wretch from his, two feet were sprung. Now while the smoke with a new color veils The one and the other, causing hair to spring On one, which from the other part it peels, One rose, and fell the other groveling. Though turning not aside the cruel glare Whereunder each his face was altering. The erect one drew his where the temples were. And from stuff overmuch that thither went. Ears issued from the cheeks, hitherto bare: And what, not running back, remained unspent. Sufficed to form a nose unto the face And give the lips their fit apportionment. He that lay prone, thrust forward his grimace. And then his ears into his head are drawn As draws the snail his feelers into place. Lastly the tongue, which heretofore was one And fit for speech, is cleft, and the cloven kind In the other closes: and the smoke is gone. The soul thus with a reptile form combined. Exploding hisses fied the valley through, And the other, sputtering, remains behind: Then, turning to the snake his shoulders new. Said to the third: "As I along this way Have crawHng rim, will I have Buoso do." 106 Inferno The seventh ballast did I thus survey Shifting, reshifting: here let novelty- Excuse me, if my pen go aught astray. And notwithstanding that mine eyes might be Somewhat bewildered, and my mind the'^same. Those could not flee away so covertly But that I plainly saw Puccio the Lame: And of the three companions did he keep His form, alone of those at first who came; The other, O Gaville, thou dost weep! Note The last line refers to the only one noi; named, possibly out of con- sideration for the Cavalcanti family, to which he belonged. The spirited peasantry of the little village of Gaville had killed the scoundrel, and now weep the vendetta wreaked upon them by the family. Dante Takes to Heart the Lesson 107 > XXVI i Eighth Circle: Pouch 8. Fraudulent Coun- ] sELORs: Ulysses \ Rejoice. O Florence, since thou art so great. Thy wings are beating land and sea around, ' And even in Hell thy name is celebrate. Among the robbers five like these I found, ^ Thy citizens, - ^whereat comes shame to me, - Nor do thy honors greatly thence abound. But if near dawning dream be verity, j Within short while from now shalt thou perceive What Prato, if no other, craves for thee. ■ If it must be, let come without reprieve; ] Serene the mind when of the worst aware: ] The older I become, the more 'twill grieve.! We parted thence, and up along the stair \ The spur-stones made before for our descent, j My Guide remounted now, and drew me there. And as the soHtary way we went i Amid the crags and splinters of the span, • The foot without the hand had been forspent. Then sorrowed I, and sorrow now again. When I direct my thought to what I viewed. And curb my genius from the course it ran, • Lest it from Virtue turn to truanthood; So that if favoring star or higher grace i Have given me aught, I forfeit not that good. \ During that season when from us his face '\ He least conceals whose light the world doth fill. What time the fly unto the gnat gives place, ' The peasant who is resting on the hill '■ Sees many a firefly down along the dale. Perhaps where he doth gather grapes and till: With flames so many the eighth pit of Hell Was everywhere agleam, as I beheld On coming where I saw the bottom well. ■, 108 Inferno And even as he whom bears avenged of eld Looked on Elijah's parting chariot When straight the way to Heaven the horses held; For with the eyesight could he follow not So that aught other than the flame was seen Flitting aloft, a fading cloudy spot: Thus moved along the throat of the ravine Each flame, for none of them the theft unlock. Though every flame a sinner wraps within. I stood to look upon the bridge of rock, Erect, so that, did not a jut prevent, To make me fall had been no need of shock. And when my Leader saw me thus intent, He said: "The spirits in the fires abide, Each swathed within the burning element." "Through hearing thee, my Master," I rephed, "Am I more certain; but what thou dost say I had surmised and would have asked, O Guide, Who is within that flame which comes this way. Whose cloven top seems rising from the pyre Where once Eteocles with his brother lay?" "Ulysses pines," he said, "within that fire. And Diomed; thus neither goes alone In punishment, as neither went in ire: And in their flame together do they groan The ambush of the horse, whence was to come The noble seed by the old Romans sown; There weep the guile whereby, though dead and dumb, Deidamia still Achilles wails; And there they pay for the Palladium." It is hard not to "If they within those sparks can tell their tales," fhfZd^ry" ^^^^ ^' "^ Master, much I pray thee, pray hearing of Until my prayer a thousandfold avails, Dante, despite ji^at thou refuse not unto me to stay his yearning, . / Jrrnn direct Until the horned flame comes hither nigh: 8j>eech vnth the rj.^^^ g^^g^ ^j|.jj ^j^^^ ^ggjj,^ j ^^^^ ^YiSit way." Last Voyage of Ulysses 109 "Thy prayer deserves all praise,'' he made reply, "And therefore I accept it; none the less Take heed thou to thy tongue all speech deny: Leave me to speak, for I already guess What thou desirest. Seeing that these were Greek, Perhaps they might be shy of thine address." After the flame with the divided peak Had come where time and place to him seemed due, I heard my Leader in this manner speak: "O ye, within one fire remaining two, K I deserved of you in life, if I Or much or little merited of you When in the world I wrote the verses high, Do not move on, but one of you declare Whither, being lost, he went away to die.'' One horn, the mightier of the ancient pair. With murmuring began to quiver then, Even as a flame made weary by the air. Waving the summit back and forth again. Thereafter, like a speaking tongue, the flame Flung forth a voice and spoke as follows: "When Of Circe I had taken leave, - the same Who held me near Gaeta a year and more. Ere yet ^Eneas gave it such a name, - Nor tender love of son, nor pity for My aged father, nor affection due That should have cheered Penelope, o'erbore The ardor that was in me to pursue Experience of the world, that I might be In human vices versed and virtue too: But I put forth on the deep open sea With but one vessel, and that little train Which hitherto had not deserted me. Both of the shores I saw as far as Spain, Morocco, and Sardinia's isle, and so The other islands bathing in that main. Greeks. Like- wise Petrarch, although a half- century nearer to the Renais- sance, never mastered the language of Homer. Both looked, like Moses from Pisgah, to the land of heart's desire The noble tale of Ulysses, as well as the preceding splendid series of images, is in refreshing con- trast to the horri- ble scenes we have witnessed. Dante owes nothing to Homer, whom he could not read. It is in- teresting to con- trast Tennyson's ornate rehan- dling of this plain tale 110 Inferno I and my company were old and slow When in upon that narrow pass we bore, Where Hercules set up his bounds to show That man beyond might venture nevermore. Here left I Seville back upon the right, And had left Ceuta on the other shore. *0 brothers,' said I, *who are come despite Ten thousand perils to the West, let none, While still our senses hold the vigil slight Remaining to us ere our course is run. Be willing to forgo experience Of the unpeopled world beyond the sun. Regard your origin, - ^from whom and whence! Not to exist like brutes, but made were ye To follow virtue and intelligence.' With this brief speech I made my company So keen to go, that scarce to be denied Would they have been thereafter, even by me. And having turned the stern to morning-tide. For the mad flight we plied the winged oar, Steadily gaining on the larboard side. Night saw the constellations more and more Of the other pole, and ours at such descent That it rose not above the ocean-floor. Five times rekindled and as many spent The light beneath the moon did wane away, Since to the passage of the deep we went. The mountain is When there appeared to us a mountain, gray ^pposed to be ^-^Ij distance, and upreared a loftier brow that of Purga- t i i -i i i lory. The age of Than I had ever seen until that day. the great voyag- ^^ joyed, but joy soon turned to weeping now, ers was yet cits- i«i. tant, and any- For out of the new land a whirlmg blast thing could he p^^^^ ^^^ struck the vessel on the prow- imagined, for _,, . . , , ,1 . i • i i i i. the other side of Thrice With the waters all, it whirled her fast; the world was as rpj^^ fourth upheaved the stern and sunk amain unknown as is ^ 1*1 mi 1 the other side of The prow, as pleased Another, till at last the vwon j^^ ^^g^jj jjg^^ ^^^^^ ^g ^l^gg^j again.^* State of the Romagna 111 xxvn Eighth Circle: Pouch 8. Guido da Monte- FELTRO AND PoPE BoNIFACE VIII The flame became erect and quiet now To speak no more, and now was passing on. Nor did the gentle Poet disallow; When after it there came another one Which made us eye its summit, whence found vent A vague and indistinguishable tone. As the Sicilian bull, which with lament Of him was first to bellow ('twas his due!) Who gave it fashion with his instrument. Bellowed with voice of every victim new. So that, for all it was of brazen plate. Yet it appeared with anguish stricken through: Thus, having at their source not any gate Nor outlet from the fire, into its mode Of speech were turned the words disconsolate. But afterward, when they had found a road Up through the point, transmitting it the same Quiver in passing which the tongue bestowed. We heard it say: "O thou at whom I aim My voice, who spakst the tongue of Lombardy, Saying, - *Now go, no more I urge, O flame!* To pause and speak be irksome not to thee. What though I come a little late withal: Thou seest, although I burn, it irks not me. If from that sweet ItaKan land thou fall But now into this world of blinded souls, - For thence I came with my transgression all, - Say, have they peace or war, the Romagnoles? For I was from the mountains there between Urbino and the range whence Tiber rolls." Still was I bended down, with eager mien. When now my Leader touched me on the side. Saying: "Speak thou, - Italian he has been." The brazen bull in which were roasted alive the victims of the tyrant Phalaris, who first tested it upon its maker, - very properly, sub- joins Dante 112 Inferno The Polenta family from which had sprung Fran- cesca, and which was to be Dante's best shield Forli, where a French army had suffered Uoody defeat by the person ad- dressed The Malatesta of Rimini, the bloody, treacher- 071S tyrants to whose fangs poor Francesco had been thrown Faenza and Imola, as well as Cesena, are named by their rivers. As in the case of Forli the cognizance of the ruling family is mentioned Guido da Mon- tefeltro, the astute Christian, is contrasted to his disadvantage with the noble pagan Ulysses. There is another contrast between Ouido and his son Buonconte in Purgatory (Canto v). These are three of the longer iales in the Poem And I, well knowing what should be replied. Began to speak to him with ready mind: "O spirit, thou who there below dost hide, Never was thy Romagna uninclined Within her tyrants* hearts to battle-play; But now I left no open war behind. As many a year, Ravenna stands today: The eagle of Polenta so doth brood That with her wings she covers Cervia. The town that gave proof of long fortitude, And in a bloody heap the Frenchmen threw, Beneath the Green Paws finds herself again. Verruchio's ancient Mastiff and the new, Who ill disposal of Montagna made. Still flesh their fangs where they are wont to do. Lamone's and Santerno's towns are swayed Under the Lioncel of the white lair, From summer to winter time a renegade. And she whose flank is bathed by Savio fair. Even as she lies between the plain and mount, Lives between tyranny and freedom there. Now who thou art thyself do thou recount: Be not more stubborn than another, pray. So may thy name long in the world hold front." After the fire in its peculiar way Had roared awhile, the pointed tip was quaking Hither and thither, and the breath did say: "If I supposed myself as answer making To one who ever could return on high Into the world, this flame should stand unshaking: But since none from this yawning cavity Ever returned alive, if truth I hear, Fearless of infamy, do I reply. I was a man of arms, then Cordelier, Hoping to make amends, begirded so: And this my hope was coming true, no fear, Boniface Absolves Guido 113 j But for the Priest Supreme, betide him woe! J Who put me back into my sins of old;; And how and wherefore I would have thee know. ^ While I was yet a tenant of that mold ' Of bone and pulp my mother gave, my bent Was ever of the fox, not lion-bold. ^ I knew all wiles and ways to circumvent, { And plied the craft of them with such avail | That to the ends of earth the rumor went. ] When I began to feel the years prevail, I Arrived that time of life when one had need i To coil the tackle up and take in sail, ' What pleased before, now grieved me: so with heed To penance and confession I withdrew; Ah, hapless! and it had availed indeed. The Prince of the new Pharisees, in view Of Lateran, having a war in hand, - < And not with Saracen, and not with Jew, \ For all his enemies were Christian, and j Not one of them at Acre's fall was nigh, 1 Nor yet a trader in the Soldan's land, - Neither his Holy Orders nor his high j Office regarded, nor that cord of mine Which used to make more lean those girt thereby. But as within Soracte, Constantine; Besought Sylvester heal his leprosy. Likewise, his fevered pride to medicine, j Did this man seek out as physician me: = Counsel he craved, and I deemed silence just, ] Because his language drunken seemed to be. I At length he said: *Let not thy heart mistrust; , Henceforward I absolve thee: teach me how To level Palestrina with the dust. i I have the power to shut, as knowest thou, i And open Heaven: whence double are the keys ] Which my foregoer held not dear enow.' ] 114 Inferno So the King in Hamlet reasons: "May one be pardoned and retain the offense?" Constrained me weighty arguments like these, To such a point that silence seemed unfit: Tather, since thou assurest me release From that transgression which I must commit. Long promise with short keeping,* so I said, *Will make thee triumph in thy lofty Seat.* Saint Francis came for me, when I was dead; But shouted one of the black Cherubim: *Convey him not, nor wrong me; for instead He must go down among my minions grim. Because he gave the counsel fraudulent. From which time forth I have been dogging him. For none can be absolved but he repent. Nor can a man repent and will withal. For contradictories do not consent.* Alas for me! O how I trembled all What time he took me, saying: *Can it be Thou didst not think that I was logical?' Down unto Minos then he carried me. Who twined with eightfold tail his stubborn frame. And, after he had gnawed it furiously. Said: **Tis a sinner for the thievish flame*: Whence, where thou seest me, am I forlorn. And, going thus attired, bemoan my shame." When he had thus his testimony borne. The flame with anguisht utterance withdrew. Twisting about and tossing the sharp horn. We passed along, my Guide and I, up to The next arch of the viaduct, whence showed That moat of Hell wherein is paid their due To those who, severing, make up their load. Mohammed 115 xxvm Eighth Circle: Pouch 9. Sowers of Discord Who ever in words released from laws of rime Could fully of the blood and wounds report That now I saw, though telling many a time? Every tongue would certainly fall short, Because the heart and speech of humankind Have Httle compass to contain such hurt. Could ever all the people be combined Who in Apulia wept their blood poured out Upon the fateful land time out of mind By Trojans, and in that long war, the rout Which issued in the mighty spoil of rings, As Livy writes, whose word we cannot doubt; With those who bore the brunt of buffetings Resisting Robert Guiscard; and that horde Whose bones the plowshare to this day upflings At Ceperano, where each Apulian lord Proved faithless; and at TagUacozzo's field Where aged Erard conquered without sword: And all their mutilated Umbs revealed. It would be naught to that dismemberment In the ninth pouch obscenely unconcealed. No cask that middle board or stave forwent Was ever cleft so wide as one I saw Ript from the chin clean down to fxmdament: Between the legs hang down the viscera; The pluck appears, the wretched sack I see That turns to ordure what goes in the maw. While I am all intent upon him, he Observes me, and both hands in breast he plants. Saying: "Behold how I dismember me; How mangled is Mohammed! In advance Of me goes Ah uttering his woe. Cleft chin to forelock in the countenance. Trojans for Romans; the rings picked up on the field of CanncB; Robert Guiscard, Nor- man conqueror of Apulia; Ce- perano is per- haps a mistake of the poet, the only great hatde of the campaign referred to is Benevento (Purg. Hi), where Manfred was deserted by the Apulians; Ta^liacozzo, where young Conradin, nephew of Man- fred, was cap- tured, was gained by the prudence of the Frenchman Erard de ValSry 116 Inferno Fra Dolcino loiahed to lead men back to apostolic sim- plicity and was cruelly punished after having made a brave fight And all the rest thou se^ here did sow Scandal, while living, and schismatic feud. And therefore are they cleft asunder so. A devil is behind us, who with crude Cleavage is carving, to the edge of sword Putting each member of this multitude. When we have circled round the path abhorred; For lo! the gashes reunited are Ere we revisit that infernal lord. But who art thou who musest on the scar. Perchance because reluctant to go hence To punishment, self -sentenced at the bar?" - *^Death has not reacht him yet, nor has offense," My Master answered, "to this torment led; But to procure him full experience, It is my bounden duty, who am dead. To lead him down through Hell from round to round; As I speak with thee, this is truly said." More than a hundred, when they heard this sound, Stood still within the moat at me to peer, Forgetting in their wonder every wound. "Well then, to Fra Dolcin this message bear. Since thou, perchance, wilt shortly see the sun, That if he would not quickly join me here. Let him be armed with food, or be undone By the Novarese, because of stress of snow: Else were their victory not so lightly won." When he had lifted up one foot to go, Mohammed spoke to me such words as those. Then stretcht it to the ground, departing so. Another, who with slitted gullet goes. And who withal has but a single ear. And close beneath the eyebrows cleft the nose. Stopping for wonder with the rest to stare. Opened before that mutilated throng His gullet, which was crimson everywhere. Curio, Mosctty Bertran de Born 117 And said: "O thou by pangs of guilt unwrung, Whom up in Latin country long ago I saw, unless undue resemblance wrong, Remember, Pier da Medicina*s woe If thou retiu'n to see the lovely plain That from Vercelli slopes to Marcabo. And speaking then to Fano's worthiest twain, Ser Guido and Ser Angiolello, say That, if our foresight here be nothing vain. With sack and stone shall they be cast away Out of their ship, by a fell tyrant's guile. And perish hard by La Cattolica. From Cyprus westward to Majorca's isle. Saw never Neptune so great outrage done By pirates or Argolic folk erewhile. That traitor who sees only with the one. And lords the city, sight of which one here Would be delighted never to have known, Will summon them in parley to appear; Then so will deal that neither vow shall be Required against Focara's wind, nor prayer." And I to him: "Show and declare to me. If thou wouldst fain that word of thee be brought, Him who deplores that sight so bitterly." Therewith on a companion's jaw he caught, And with rude hand the mouth he open rent. Crying: "This is the wight, and he speaks not; This, this is he who, being in banishment, Quencht doubt in Csesar, saying: *To men prepared Delay was ever found a detriment.' " Oh, how disconsolate to me appeared. With tongue asunder in his gullet lopt. Curio, who in his speech so greatly dared! And one whose hands from both his wrists were chopt. The stumps uplifting so athwart the gloom That blood upon the face defiling dropt. This tyrant who sees but toith one eye is Mala- testino, now tyrant of Rimi- ni, where Curio had advised C(Bsar not to delay his ad- vance on Rome. Focara is a squally headland on the Adriatic near La Catto- lica, between Rimini and Fano 118 Inferno Mosca of the Lamberti clan was he who ad- vised the murder of young Buon- delmonte, to which the origin of the great feud of the Guelfs and Ghibellines was attributed by tradition. See Paradiso xvi This Provenqal poet was the friend of Henry, called the young King, eldest son of Henry II of England Cried out: "To memory let Mosca come, Who said, alas! *A thing once done is sped!* Which was to Tuscan people seed of doom." "And death to all thy kin," I adding said: Whereon he went like person crazed with rue, Heaping up sorrow upon sorrow's head. But I remained to look upon that crew. And saw a thing I should feel insecure Even to tell without assurance new. If Conscience did not wholly reassure. That good companion which emboldens man Beneath the conscious helm of being pure. I truly saw, and seem to see again A headless body going by, as passed The others of that melancholy train; And dangled by the tresses holds he fast The severed head, which like a lantern shows. And groans, "Woe me!" gazing at us aghast. Of self he made himself a lamp, - and those Were two in one, and one in two were they; How that can be. Who so ordains. He knows. Arriving just below the bridging way. The arm with head and all uphfted he. To bring the nearer what he had to say. Which was: "Now see the grievous penalty. Thou who to view the dead dost breathing go. If any be as great as this one, see! And that thou mayst bear tidings of me, know, Bertran de Born am I, who counsel fell Did craftily on the young king bestow, - Made son and father each to each rebel: Not upon Absalom and David more With wicked promptings wrought Ahithophel. Because I parted those so bound of yore. Woe worth the day, I carry now my brain Cleft from its source within my body's core. Thus retribution doth in me obtain." Vendetta 119 Eighth Circle: XXIX Pouch 10. Counterfeiters OF Metals The many people and strange wounds did steep Mine eyes with tears, and made them drunken so That they were craving, but to stay and weep. But Virgil asked me: "Whereon gazest thou? What may it be that still thy sight beguiles To rest upon sad mangled shades below? Thou wast not wont to do so otherwhiles: Consider, wouldst thou make the count complete. The valley circles two and twenty miles, An^ now the moon is underneath our feet; Brief is the time vouchsafed us for the way. And more to see than here thy glances meet." "Hadst thou but heeded," did I answering say, "The reason why my gaze was bended there, Perchance thou wouldst have granted longer stay." Already did my Leader forward fare, I following while making my reply. Subjoining then thereto: "Within that lair Whereon so steadfastly I bent mine eye. Me thinks a spirit of- my blood complains About the crime that costs down there so high." Then said the Master: "Baffle not thy brains Henceforth with anxious thought concerning this; Mind other thing, although he there remains: For him I saw beneath the pontifice Menacing thee with finger vehement; Geri del Bello named in the abyss. But thou wast at that moment all intent On him who once held Hautefort, - ^thus the name Thou heardst not, nor didst look, until he went.** "Dear Guide, the violent death that on him came. For which," said I, "unpaid remains the score, By any one a partner in the shame, The falsifiers of four different kinds {alche- mistSy impostors, debasers of coin, malicious liars) are afflicted with disguising or deforming dis- eases. As every- where, there is some congruity . of punishment and sin. Here, as at the close of the next canto, Virgil takes Dante to task for being too deeply absorbed. Dan- te's apparent adhesion to the un-Christian custom of Ike vendetta is one of the several in- consistencies be- tween creed and sentiment, with- out which he would not be like all the rest of us no Inferno Undrained vialorial regions. The Tuscan Maremma, so often referred to, is the wild moor- land country near the sea- board southwest of Siena. The river Chiana stagnated in the region between Tiber and Arno, where Lake Trasimene lies. The Arno, in- deed, once flowed into the Tiber. The region is now drained Made him indignant; whence he passed before Getting speech with me, if I guess aright, And so has made me pity him the more." Thus we conversed as far as the first height Which from the bridge the neighbor valley shows Quite to the bottom, were there but more light. When we were over the last cloister-close Of the Malpouches, so that to our view All its lay brothers could themselves disclose, Strange lamentations pierced me through and through, Which had their arrows barbed with pity all: Whence with my hands I shut mine ears thereto. If from Chiana's every hospital, 'Twixt July and September, all the sick, Maremma's and Sardinia's withal. Were in one trench together crowded thick: So woeful was it here, and such a scent As out of putrid limbs is wont to reek. Upon the final bank we made descent From the long bridge, and still did leftward fare; And then my vision, growing keener, went Down tow'rd the bottom of the pocket, where The High Lord's handmaid. Equity condign. Punishes falsifiers apportioned there. It was no greater sorrow, I opine. To see iEgina's people all infirm, - What time the atmosphere was so malign That animals, down to the httle worm. Fell stricken, and the ancient people then. As poets for a certainty affirm. Were from the seed of ants restored again, - Than now to see, throughout that dim abode. Languish in ghastly stack the souls of men. They lie across the paunch, the shoulders load, Of one another, and some creeping round Shifted their place along the dismal road. The Leprous Alcliemists 121: Step after step we went without a sound, 5 Looking, and listening to the sick ones, who | Could not lift up their persons from the ground. i I saw, on one another leaning, two (As pan is propt against a pan to dry) I All scab from head to heel: I never knew A stableboy so eagerly to ply 1 The currycomb because his master watches,; Or one who keeps awake unwillingly, As each of these incontinently scratches Himself with biting nails, for frenzy mad \ Of itching, which no other succor matches. So was the tetter which their bodies clad Flayed from them, as from bream knife scrapes the Or other fish, if any larger had. "O thou whose every finger thee dismails," So did my Guide to one of them begin, "And sometimes makest pincers of thy nails. Say if there be among those here within Any Italian, so suffice thee thus Thy nails forevermore upon thy skin/^ "Italians both, whose plight so hideous Thou seest,^' weeping, one replied; "But tell. Who art thou that dost ask concerning us?" My Leader answered, "Down from fell to fell I with this living man am traveling. And I came purposing to show him Hell." - Thereat the mutual trestle simdering. That couple turned round to me tremblingly. With others who by echo heard the thing. The gentle Master then drew close to me. Suggesting: "To thy mind expression give." - And as he willed, began I: "So may be Your fame in the first world not fugitive. Fading from human mind without a trace. But may it under many a sun still live. im Inferno Examples of fashionable, ostentatious spendthrifts. Cloves imported from the far East at enor- mous expense. Siena gay, ele- gant, rich, was the garden in which such seed took root. The club was of young men of fashion who tried to see which one could run through his fortune most swiftly and merrily. They were eminently successful and their fame is still alive in their beautiful city It is interesting to find in our Shakespeare an echo of Dante. He calls Julio Romano the ape of nature Declare me who ye are and of what race: Do not, I pray, the revelation dread Because of the foul punishment's disgrace." "I was an Aretine,'^ one answering said, "Siena's Albert cast me in the fire; But what I died for nowise hither led. 'Tis true I said, as did the whim inspire. That I could wing the air in flight: whereon He, who had little wit, but fond desire. Would fain be taught that cunning, and alone For I made him no Daedalus, made me Burn at the stake, through one who called him son But Minos damned me down for alchemy. Which in the world I practiced, to the clutch Of the tenth pouch and last, nor erreth he." Then to the Poet I: "Was ever such A foolish gentry as the Sienese? Surely not so the French, by very much!" The other leper, hearing words like these, Spoke up: "Except me Stricca, resolute For temperance in spending, if you please; And Niccolo, the first to institute The costly application of the clove Within the garden where such seed takes root; Except the club where Caccia d'Ascian strove To squander his great wood and vinery, And Abbagliato his vast wit to prove. But that thou know who thus doth second thee Against the Sienese, now sharpen so Thine eye that well my face responds, and see! I am the shadow of Capocchio Who did by alchemy false metals shape; And, if I well descry thee, thou shouldst know The curious skill that made me Nature's ape." Examples of Insanity 123 XXX Eighth Circle: Pouch 10. Master Adam of Brescia and Sinon of Troy In time when Juno had so angry grown For Semele, against the Theban strain, As she had more than once already shown, Then Athamas was stricken so insane That he, his very wife encoimtering, Burdened on either hand with children twain. Cried out: "Spread we the nets for capturing The Honess and whelps upon this ground"; Then, stretching forth his claws unpitying. He took the one Learchus named, and round Whirled him, and round, and dasht him on a stone: Herself, then, with her other charge, she drowned. Again when Fortune had so overthrown The arrogance of Trojans all too brave, That king and kingdom were alike undone. Poor Hecuba, a wretched captive slave. When she had looked on dead Polyxena, And afterward, beside the ocean wave. The body of her Polydorus saw. Barked like a dog, out of her senses then; So grief had wrung the soul of Hecuba. But never furies came to Theban ken. Or Trojan, of so much ferocity In goading brutes, much less the limbs of men. As in two pallid, naked shades saw I, Running along and biting in such kind As does the boar when loosened from the sty. One seized upon Capocchio, and behind His neck-joint fixt a fang so murderous It made the solid rock his belly grind. Said the Aretine, who stood there tremulous: "That goblin's Gianni Schicchi, and insane He goes about to mangle others thus." 124 Inferno ■ 1 "Oh!" said I, "so the other may refrain From planting fangs in thee, let me persuade \ Thee tell who *tis ere it dart hence again." j And he to me: "That is the ancient shade \ Of Myrrha, who in her abandoned mood Illicit love unto her father made. Coming to sin with him, she understood ^ To take an alien form; as who withdrew *; Yonder, to win the queen mare of the stud, Made bold Buoso Donati to indue i In counterfeit presentment, making will 5 And testament in legal order true." ' And when the rabid pair had passed, who still < Had riveted my gaze, I turning eyed ^ The other malefactors starred so ill. One fashioned like a lute I then espied,! If only at the groin were amputate i The thighs, just at the point ^here they divide.: The heavy dropsy which doth so mismate The limbs with ill-concocted humor thin, That face and loin are disproportionate. Compelled him so to hold his lips atwin I As hectics do, for out of thirst he bent , Upward the one, the other tow'rd his chin. j Casentitio, "O ye exempted from all punishment tXfof tkf ^^ *^^^ Stim world and why I do not know,"- Amo, above So he began, - ^'^Ah! look and be intent i Arezzo, shut in ^ ^^le mode of Master Adam's woe: | by two chains of *^ ^ ^ , ■ \ Apennine and Living, I had enough of what man wills, ^il^th t %onie ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^ water crave below. 1 Falterona. See The rivulets to Arno from the hills '< aZ^^^ "^ Descending through the Casentino green, i Alvernia, where Cooling and freshening their little rills, Tei.S'urZ Ever and not in vain, by me are seen. 1 mata, overlooks Because their image is more withering the Casentino rj.y^^^ ^j^^ disease that makes my visage lean.- j 'i \ Self -Pity and Unrepentant Hate 125 Rigorous Justice with its goading sting. Takes vantage of the very region where I sinned, to give my sighs a nimbler wing. There is Romena, where the coin that bare The Baptist's image did I counterfeit: For which I left my body burnt up there. But could I Alexander's wretched sprite. Or Guido's, or their brothers', down here see, For Fontebranda I would not give the sight. One is already in, if truthful be What the mad shades that circle round me say, But since my limbs are tied, what steads it me? If yet enough of nimbleness had they To carry me an inch a hundred year. Already had I started on the way To seek him 'mid this squalid rabble here. Although eleven miles the round deploy. Nor less than half a mile across appear. Through them in such a family am I: 'Twas they who instigated me to stamp The florins with three carats of alloy." "What wretched two," said I, "lie, scamp by scamp Together, hard upon thy right confine. Reeking, like to wet hand in winter's damp?" And he replied: "I found them here supine. When to this trough I rained; they've moved no more Since then, nor ever will they, I opine. She, who false witness against Joseph bore, He, Sinon the false Greek from Troy: intense The fever is that makes them reek so sore." And one of them, who seemed to take offense At being mentioned in a mode so mean. Fisted forthwith his hidebound corpulence. Which rumbled, as it were a tambourine; But Master Adam planted in his face An elbow no less vigorous, I ween. The florin liad on one side the image of John the Baptist and on the other the Florentine lily. This and the Venetian ducat were the stand- ard gold coins of those ages. As the credit of the Republic de- pended upon the faith that all the vxrrld had in its money, to tam- per vnth the coin amounted to treason Counts of Romena who, being in debt, emj^yed Mas- ter Adam, the famous Brescian expert, to debase the florin. The picturesque ruin of Romena, and the nearly dried-up Fonte- branda that sup- plied it with water, are still there. That re- gion and others, which in Dan- te's time loere well-wooded and well-watered, are now denuded of forest and relatively arid In the 9th ditch the circumfer- ence is 22 miles {beginning of Canto xxix). The Pit is 126 Inferno ^ therefore a rap- Saying to him: "Though I be held in place ^!J:"eZ!" Because of my obesity of loin, | mmisly vMe at I have a limber arm for such a case.": the top «^Vhen going to the stake," did he rejoin, \ "Thou madest not so free with it, perdj'; But so, and more, when thou wast making coin." i "Thou sayest true," the dropsied made reply,; "Thou didst not witness to the truth so well ■ When of the truth they questioned there at Troy." j "Told I false tale, false coinage didst thou tell," '\ Said Sinon, "for one fault am I undone, ^ But thou for more than other fiend of Hell." j "Bethink thee of the horse, thou perjured one," i The sinner of inflated belly cries, j "That the world knows it, be thy malison." ] "Thy malison the thirst that cracks and dries i Thy tongue," the Greek said, "and the filthy swill 3 Which makes that paunch a barrier to thine eyes." \ "Thy mouth is gaping open to thine ill \ As usual," thereon the coiner said, j "For if I thirst and flux my belly fill,; Thou hast the fever and the aching head; To lap the mirror of Narcissus, few j The words of invitation thou wouldst need." i While I was listening absorbed, - ^'^Now do i Go staring on!" the Master said to me, ] "A Httle more and we shall quarrel too." i Now when I heard him speak thus angrily, j I turned me round toward him with such shame i That still it circles through my memory. j And even as he who of his harm doth dream, 1 And, dreaming, doth to be a dreamer sigh,! Craving what is, as if it did but seem, , Such, without power of utterance, grew I: . Longing to bring, I brought excuses in, \ Yet did not think myself excused thereby. I Virgil Keeps Dante's Heart Pure 127 "Less shame would purge away a greater sin Than thine has been,^ at this the Master cried, "Therefore disburden thee of all chagrin; And count that I am ever at thy side. If it fall out again that Fortune place Thee where in such a brabble people bide: Because desire to hear the like is base." 128 Inferno XXXI Descent: The Giants Towering around the Pit One selfsame tongue first bit these cheeks of mine, ^ Suffusing both of them with bashful blood, \ And then held forth to me the medicine. \ Achilles* lance, as I have understood ] (He had it from his sire), was wonted so i To give first evil guerdon, and then good. We turn our backs upon the vale of woe, ] Up by the bank that girdles it around, i And without any speech across it go. Here less than night and less than day we found, \ Whence little way before my vision went; j But now I heard a mighty horn resound i So that it would have made all thunder faint: \ Whence, running counter to it, on one spot Mine eyes were turned, and wholly now intent. i After the dolorous defeat was wrought That lost to Charlemagne the blest array, j A blast so dreadful Roland winded not. | Not long I held my head bended that way | When many a lofty tower appeared to rise; Whence I: "What is this city. Master, say?'* J And he replied to me: "Because thine eyes Traverse the darkness through too wide a space. Befalls that fancy wanders in such wise.: Well shalt thou see, arriving at that place, How from afar the sense deceived may be: Whence somewhat forward spur thyself apace." Taking me by the hand then tenderly, \ "Ere yet," continued he, "we farther go, \ So that the truth appear less strange to thee, i Not towers are these, but giants, must thou know, i And in the Pit about the bank are they. From the navel downward, one and all below." \ The Giants around the Pit 129 As when the mist is vanishing away, Little by little through the blotted air The gaze shapes out whatever hidden lay: So, through the dense and darksome atmosphere Piercing, while ever nearer to the bound. Forsook I error to encounter fear. For, as with circling mural turrets crowned Montereggione stands, from the orifice Emerged half figures, turreting around The margin that encircles the abyss. The horrible giants whom Jove from the sky Still with his thimder threatens, not amiss. I could the face of one by now descry. Breast, shoulders, and of belly portion great, And either arm dep>ending by the thigh. Certainly Nature, ceasing to create Such Uving beings, showed exceeding sense These ministers of Mars to abrogate* And if of elephant and whale repents She nowise, he who subtly looks will find Of justice and discretion evidence: Because where the equipment of the mind Combines with force and mahce criminal. No bulwark can be made by humankind. His face appeared to me as huge and tall As is Saint Peter's Pine-cone there at Rome, With the other bones in due proportion all: So that the bank, which was an apron from His middle down, showed upward of his size So much that, boasting to his hair to come. Three Frisians would have made it good nowise: For I beheld of him thirty full palms Down from the place where man the mantle ties. "Rafel mai amech zabi almi," The mouth ferocious began bellowing, To which are not befitting sweeter psalms. Montereggione still stands, as here described, a circular iur- reted wall sur- rounding a vil- lage, a few miles north of Siena, of wJiose do- inains it was once a strategic 'point An enormous antique cone, some ten feet high, of gilded bronze, now in the Garden of the Vatican 130 Inferno To him called out my Leader: "Stupid thing! Stick to thy horn; contrive to make it serve; Thine anger, or whatever passion sting. \ Search at thy neck and there wilt thou observe \ The cord that makes it fast, O soul confused! \ And see the horn thy mighty breast becurve.'' \ And then to me: "He hath himself accused; \ This one is Nimrod, through whose evil mood J One language in the world is not still used. I Leave him, for empty speaking were not good: ^ Since every language is to him the same As his to others, of none understood.'* We therefore journeyed on, with constant aim \ Toward the left, and at a crossbow shot j We found one far more fierce and huge of frame. ] The master smith to bind him know I not. But he was holding out his left hand bound \ In front of him, the right behind drawn taut ^ By a cable chain, which held him so enwound; From the neck down, that on the part displayed i As many as five coils begirt him round. \ "This arrogant soul was bent," my Leader said, ■', "To try conclusions with almighty Jove, Whence in such fashion is his meed repaid. His name is Ephialtes; he did prove, , When giants frighted gods, his force immense: j The arms he brandisht never will he move.'* i And I to him: "I would, if naught prevents, j That of the measureless Briareus These eyes of mine might have experience." • "Antfieus shalt thou see," he answered thus, j "Hard by, articulate, unfettered, - he \ To bottom of all bad shall carry us. I *Tis a far cry to him thou wouldest see; Made fast is he, and fashioned like this one. Save that his features more ferocious be." AntoBUS Sets Them Down 131 Earthquake aforetime there was surely none Of force to rock a turret as when grim Ephialtes sudden shook himseK thereon. I feared death never as I did from him. Nor need had been of more beyond the dread, Had I not seen his gyres on every Umb. Farther along we then our footsteps sped. And reached Antseus standing forth ells five Above the rocky verge, without the head. "O thou who sawest the fateful valley give Glory to Scipio, and on that day When Hannibal and his host turned fugitive. Didst bring a thousand Uons for thy prey; And through whom, hadst thou with thy brothers been At the high battle, some still seem to say The sons of Earth had won the palm therein: Be not disdainful now to carry us Down where the winter locks Cocytus in. Make us not look to Typhon nor Tityus; This man can give what here ye are craving for: Wherefore stoop down, nor curl thy muzzle thus. He in the world can yet thy fame restore: For still he Uves and waits long life, unless Grace call him to herself his time before." The Master thus; and he in eagerness Took up my Leader in those hands outspread Whence Hercules once felt the mighty stress. And when he felt their pressure, Virgil said: "Come hither, fhat I may enclasp thee quite"; Then of himself and me one fardel made. Such as the Carisenda seems to sight Of one beneath its leaning, when a cloud Goes over, and the tower hangs opposite: Just so Antseus seemed to me who stood Watching to see him lean; and it was then I could have wished to go by other road. Carisenda {or Garisenda) is one of a pair of leaning towers standing side by side at Bologna. This is 160 feet high; the other, which slants less, 320. Per- haps the Cari- senda was once as high as its mate. Dante's choice of this, rather than of the more beau- tiful and famous tower at Pisa, is one of many reasons for thinking him to have been a stu- dent at Bologna. The writer has tested the vivid- ness of the com^ parison under the slant both 132 Inferno of this tower and But lightly down he laid us in the fen The impression That Lucifer with Judas prisons fast: is Strang tliat Nor lingered there thus leaning, but again the tower i« t> j • i • .i falling Kose up and up, as m a snip the mast. The Violent against Kindred 133 XXXII Ninth Circle: Caina; Antenora Had I such harsh and grating rimes as must Be most in keeping with the dismal Pit Where all the other crags converging thrust, I would press out the juice of my conceit More perfectly: but since 'tis otherwise Not without fear I come to speak of it: Because it is no frolic enterprise To plot the ground of all the universe, Nor for a tongue that Mama and Papa cries. But be those Ladies helpers in my verse, Who helpt Amphion Thebes to close and keep. That from the fact the word be not diverse. dwellers in the unrecorded deep, Rabble beyond all others born amiss. Better had ye on earth been goats or sheep! When we were down within the dark abyss Beneath the giant's feet, but far below. And yet I gazed at the high precipice, 1 heard it said to me: "Look how thou go: Let not thy soles betrample as they pass The heads of weary brothers full of woe." Whereat I turned, and saw there a morass Before and underfoot, and frost thereon Made semblance not of water but of glass. The Austrian Danube never laid upon Her current in the winter, veil so thick. Nor, far beneath the freezing sky, the Don, As here there was: so that if Tambernic Tall, rocky Or Pietrapana had tumbled there amain, P^"^* Not even the border would have given a creak. And even as frogs, that they may croak, remain With muzzle out of water, when in dream The peasant-maiden often gleans again: 1S4 Inferno Even so, as far up as where blushes stream. The woeful shades in the ice were pinched and blue, Setting their teeth in tune to the stork's theme. Each one of them held down the face from view. By chattering teeth their chill may be divined. And by the eyes how bitter is their rue. Now, looking round about awhile, I find Down at my feet, two forms so closely pressed The tresses of the head are intertwined. *^Tell, ye who thus together strain the breast," Said I, *Vho are ye?" And their necks they bent, And when their faces tow'rd me were addressed. Their eyes, whose humor still within was pent. Brimmed over at the lids, whereon the frost Bound fast the tears between, and lockt the vent. No clamp from board to board yet ever crossed That held so firmly: whence, like he-goats twain, Together butted they, in anger lost. One, from whom frostbite both his ears had ta*en, Exclaimed, with visage ever bended down. Sons of Count "Why SO to mirror thee in us art fain.'* mevJley^^the ^^ *^®^ wouldst have these two to thee acknown, Bisenzio near The valley whence descends Bisenzio ulk^'mJeach Their father Albert's was, and was their own. other quarreling They issucd from one body, thou mayst go ZZJ^' '''^'"" Questing Caina through, and find no shade •► Deserving more in gelatine to show: According to the Not him in breast and shadow open laid ^ncelo^^when ^y ®^^ ^^^ *^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ Arthur's hand; King Arthur's Focaccia not; nor him who with his head ^ZTlf^M^dr^ So hedges me, I can no view command, the sunlight And who was Sassol Mascheroni hight: fe!ti^u%. ^ tl^ou be Tuscan, well dost understand. as Dante puts But that no further speeches thou invite, uJtdi'^'' ""^ ^«^' I was Camicion de' Pazzi, and here Expect Carlino to excuse me quite.'* The Traitor of Montaperti 135 Then I beheld a thousand faces leer Curhke with cold: whence shudders o'er me thrill Forevermore, at every frozen mere. While we were going tow'rd the Center still. Whereto all gravity converges down. And I was trembling in the eternal chill: Whether by will, or fate, or fortune done, I know not; but among the heads somehow I struck my foot full in the face of one. Wailing he yelled at me: "Why tramplest thou? Unless to double vengeance for the day Of Montaperti, why molest me now?" And I: "Now, Master, make a little stay. That I through him may rid me of a doubt: Then shalt thou haste me as thou wilt away.** My Leader stopt; and I, now turned about To him, still bitterly blaspheming there. Said: "Whp art thou on others crying out?" "Nay, who art thou," he answered, "who dost fare Through Antenora, and dost others smite. So that, wert thou alive, 'twere ill to bear?" "Alive I am: if fame be thy delight. It may be dear to thee," did I respond, "That I with other notes thy name indite." "I crave the contrary of those beyond: Begone, and pester me no more," he whined; "Small skill hast thou to flatter on this pond." Then, laying hold upon his scalp behind, "It shall needs be thou name thyself," said I, "Or not a hair upon thee shalt thou find." "What though thou strip me bald," he made reply, "I will not tell thee who I am, nor show. Maul thou my head to all eternity." I had his hair in hand already, so That more than one tuft had been pluckt away. He yelping, with eyes riveted below. My kinsman Carlino (o Florentine Bene' diet Arnold) is so much worse thai I shall appear inno- cent. The others, - ^Ut us not speak of them" This is Bocca of \ the Abati, who, .^ at the crucial ] moment of the battle of Monta- ] perti, the most; cruel defeat j Florence suf- ' fered in the time of the Republic, cut off the hand of the Florentine standard-bearer. To this choice; example of ] traitorhood Dante devotes j m^yre than thirty ] dreadful lines i 136 Inferno \ When one cried out: "Bocca, what ails thee? nay \ Enough! let jawbones chatter till they burst, ] But must thou bark? what fiend is at thee, pray?" - ■ Whereat I said: "Thou traitor thrice accurst, \ From this time forth I want no speech of thee, 1 For to thy shame true tale shall be rehearst." "Begone, and babble what thou wilt," said he, i "But, going hence, fail not discourse to hold Of him who had the tongue just now so free. He is lamenting here the Frenchman's gold: *I saw him of Duera,' canst thou note, ] *There where the sinners he out in the cold.' \ And should they ask thee other anecdote,; Him at thy side there name in thy reports, ■ The Beccheria, - for Florence cut his throat. i Gianni de' Soldanier, I think, consorts ' With Ganelon, and Tribaldello yon ] Who while men slept unbarred Faenza's ports." I Already we away from him were gone j When, frozen in one hole, beheld I two 1 So that one head was hood to the other one: And even as people bread for hunger chew, ] The uppermost upon the one below • Set teeth where brain and neck together grew. Not otherwise once Tydeus gnawed the brow Of Menalippus, in his rage malign. Than skull and other parts gnawed this one now. "O thou who showest by so bestial sign Hatred to him whom thou devourst," said I, "Tell me the cause, upon this pledge of mine, \ If thou complainest with good reason why, \ That I, with both acquainted, and his guile, \ May yet requite thee in the world on high, \ If this my tongue be not dried up erewhile." \ The Tower of Hunger 137; XXXIII I Ugolino and His Children in the Tower That sinner lifted from the foul repast His mouth up, wiping it upon the hair Behind the head whereon I looked aghast; Then he began: "Thou wilt that I declare Desj>erate grief that wrings the heart of me. Even in the thought, before I lay it bare. But if my words a seed of infamy May sow unto the traitor whom I gnaw. Speaking and tears together shalt thou see. I know not who thou art, nor by what law Thou comest down here; but a Florentine, On hearing thee, it seemed to me I saw. Thou hast to know I was Count Ugolin, And this Archbishop Roger; why so fell A neighbor am I, let me tell his sin. That I, in his good faith confiding well. By his devices was in prison flung And done to death, there is no need to tell. But what thou hast not heard from any tongue. That is, how cruelly my life was reft. Shall hear, and know if he have done me wrong. A narrow cranny in the dungeon cleft Whereto for me the name of Famine clings. And where to languish others shall be left. Had shown me already through its openings Many a moon, when the bad dream had I, That tore away the veil of coining things. This man seemed master of the hunting cry. Hounding the wolf and wolflings tow'rd the mount That shuts out Lucca from the Pisan eye. With eager sleuthhounds gaunt and trained to hunt. Had he Gualandi on before him sent, Sismondi with Lanfranchi, to the front. 138 Inferno After brief coursing, sire and sons forspent Appeared to me, and all the while they fled I saw their flanks with whetted tushes rent. When I awoke before the dawn was red, I heard my children in their slumber cry. For they were with me there, imploring bread. Hard must thy heart be, if thou dost not sigh. Only to think of my forebodings drear; What wouldst thou weep for, if thine eyes are dry? The hour that used to bring our food drew near, And now they had awakened from their sleep, And each one from his dream was full of fear: When I heard, sounding through the horrible keep, The nailing of the doorway: all for woe I gazed into their face in silence deep. I wept not, - stony seemed my heart to grow. They wept; and Anselm said, dear little one, Tather, what ails thee? Ah, why looks t thou so?' Still shed I not a tear, made answer none Through all that day, nor all the following night. Till rose upon the world another sun. And when a feeble glimmering of light Was shed into the woeful jail, ah me! And faces four displayed my own to sight, I bit on both my hands for agony. And, thinking that I did it under stress Of ravenous hunger, rose they suddenly: 'Father,' they said, *our pain will be far less If thou wilt eat of us; thou hast begot This flesh, - relieve us of its wretchedness.' This made me calm, lest they be more distraught; That whole day and the next, none made a sign: Ah, cruel earth! why didst thou open not? And after the fourth day began to shine. My Gaddo flung him down before my knee. Crying: 'O why not help me, father mine?' Ptohmea 139 And there he died: and there I saw the three. As thou seest me, fall one by one all through The fifth and sixth days: whence betook I me. Now blind, to groping on them, and for two Whole days called to them, after they were gone: Then hunger did what sorrow could not do." Having said this, with eyes askance drawn down. That miserable skull he grappled dumb. With teeth strong as a dog's upon the bone. Ah, Pisa! of the folk opprobrium In the fair country where the si doth sound. Since neighbors lag in punishment, let come Caprara and Gorgona, shifting ground. And choke up Arno*s channel, quite across. That every living soul in thee be drowned. For if folk tax Count Ugolin with loss. By treachery to thee, of places strong, Shouldst not have put his sons on such a cross. Thou modern Thebes! their youth made free from wrong Uguccion and Brigata, and withal The two already mentioned in my song. Yet onward went we, where the icy pall. Rough swathing, doth another people keep. Not downward bended, but reverted all. The very weeping there forbids them weep. And finding on the eyes a barrier, woe Tiu-ns inward to make agony more deep: Because the first tears to a cluster grow. And, like a visor crystalline, upfiU The whole concavity beneath the brow. And though, as in a callus, through the chill . Prevailing there, all sensibility Had ceased its function in my visage, still I felt some wind, so now it seemed to me: "Master, who moveth this?" I therefore said, "Is not all vapor quencht down here?" Whence he: Italian teas Hie ''lingua di si" {language, orig- inally, of "sic" for "yes") just as Provencal was the "langue d'oc" {"hoc" for "yes"), whence the name of the great region of Languedoc Caprara and Gorgona, islands off the mouth of Arno. Looking dovm the river from the Leaning Tower on a clear day, they do seem to block the outlet 140 Inferno "Speedily art thou thither to be led Where shall thine eye to this an answer find, Seeing the cause wherefrom the blast is shed." And of the wretches of the frozen rind One shouted to us: "O ye souls so fell That the last station is to you assigned. Lift from my visage up each rigid veil. That I may vent the sorrow in a trice, Which swells my bosom, ere the tears congeal." "Tell who thou art," I said, "I ask this price: K thee therefore I do not extricate, May I go to the bottom of the ice." This gentleman And he: "Fra Alberigo I of late, to wlwm Dante « jj^ ^f ^^e fruit of the ill garden: so had, by an . Ti i ,, ambiguous oath, I here am gettmg for my fig a date." couH^ had "Akeady," said I, "art thou here below?" murdered two of And he made answer: "How my flesh may thrive filler M%he ^^^^^ ^^ *^^ ^PP^^ ^^^^^' ^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^• signal to the This Ptolomea hath such prerogative assofsins being: jj^^^ oftentimes the soul falls to this place Bring m the i . i . Jruitr Obviously Ere ever Atropos the signal give. Dants here ads j^^^ ^^isit more willingly from off my face in harmony with ° *' *' what he con- Thou now remove away the glazen tears, cnves to be the Know that as soon as any soul betrays. Divine Justice. .^i ii»i«i ni Let the betrayer As I betrayed, forthwith a fiend appears fed m his own ^j^^ takes her body, therein governing person wliat \ . - , treachery is likel Throughout the revolution of her years. Headlong to such a cistern doth she fling; And haply still above the trimk is shown Of yonder shade behind me wintering. \ To thee, if just come down, he should be known: \ Ser Branca d*Oria: and many a year \ Since he was thus lockt up, is come and gone." ] "I think," said I, "that thou deceivst me here: j For Branca d'Oria not yet is dead, \ But eats and drinks and sleeps and dons his gear." In Hell ivhile Still on Earth 141 "Into the moat of Maltalons/' he said, J "Up there where boils the sticky pitch away, \ Had Michael Zanche's spirit not yet sped, ^ When this one left a devil in full sway In his own body, and one next of blood Who served him as accomplice to betray. But now reach here thy hand, as understood, j Open mine eyes": my hand I reacht not forth, \ And courtesy it was to be thus rude. Ah, men of Genoa! with aught of worth | At variance, and full of vices all, ^ Wherefore are ye not scattered from the earth? i For with Romagna's soul most criminal I I found one such of you, that for his meed j His soul bathes in Cocytus, yet withal t His body seems alive in very deed. /ernt" 142 Inferno XXXIV Ninth Circle: Judecca. Passage from Lucifer TO THE Light "VexiUa Regis "Tow*rd US the banner of the King of Hell prodeunt m- Advances; therefore forward bend thine eyes," My Master said, "if thou discernest well." As, when thick fog upon the landscape lies. Or when the night darkens our hemisphere, A turning windmill seems afar to rise. Such edifice, methought, did now appear: Whereat, by reason of the wind, I cling Behind my Guide, - ^no other shelter near. Already (and it is with fear I sing) I found me where the shades all covered show Like straws through crystal faintly glimmering. Some stand erect, others are prone below; One here head up, soles uppermost one there; Another face to foot bent, Uke a bow. When we had made our way along to where I was to see, as pleased my Master good, The Being that once bore the semblance fair. He halted me, and from before me stood. Saying: "Behold Dis, and the place^behold Where thou must weapon thee with fortitude!" How faint I grew thereat, and icy cold. Ask me not. Reader, to declare in speech: All language would fall short if it were told. Devoid of life, yet death I did not reach: Think for thyself, if wit suffice therefor. What my condition was, bereft of each. He, of the woeful realm the Emperor, Emerged midbreast above the ice-field yon, And liker to a giant I, than bore The giants with his arms comparison: Consider, with respect to such a limb. How huge that whole which it depends upon. The Worm at the Core of the World 143 If he were fair once, as he now is grim, And raised his brow against That One who made. Well may all woe have fountainhead in him. O what a wonder, when upon his head Three faces to my sight were manifest! The one in front, and it was fiery red; The other two with this one coalesced Just o'er the middle of each shoulder, while They all conjoined together at the crest: The right-hand face appeared to reconcile With yellow, white; the left was such of hue As folk who come whence floweth down the Nile. Vast wings came forth, beneath each visage two, Such as were fitting to a bird like that: Sails of the sea so broad I never knew. They bore no feathers, but as of a bat Their fashion was; and flapping them he stood So that three winds proceeded forth thereat, Whence frozen over was Cocytus flood. The cadent tears were trickling from six eyes Over three chins, to mix with drooling blood. At every mouth his tushes heckle-wise Upon a malefactor champ and tear. So that he thus makes three to agonize. To him in front the bite could not compare Unto the clawing, for at times the hide Dilacerated, left the shoulders bare. "That soul up yon, most sorely crucified. Is Judas the Iscariot,*' said my Lord, "His head within, he plies his legs outside. Of the other two, whose heads are netherward, Brutus it is who hangs from the black jole: Look how he writhes and utters not a word! The other Cassius, stalwart-seeming soul. - But now another night is darkening; We must depart: for we have seen the whole.'* 144 Inferno Possibly some who are not dull- ards may be ivilling to be told that the Point in question was the Center of the Earth, so that we are now under the southern hemisphere. Purgatory, toward which we are climbing, be- ing opposite Jerusalem, we have gained twelve hours of time. It would now be Saturday morning again, so that twenty- four hours are allowed for the passage from the Center to the foot of the mountain of Purgatory. If we can do it at all, we ought to be able to do it in that time, for we are not, as in descending, to make a thousand st'Ops by the way About his neck I, at his bidding, ding: And he of time and place advantage takes: And soon as wing is wide apart from wing. Lays hold upon the shaggy flanks, and makes His way from shag to shag, descending by The matted hair among the frozen cakes. When we were come to that point where the thigh Revolves, exactly where the haunches swell. My Guide, with effort and distressful sigh. Turned round his head to where his footing fell. And Hke one mounting, grappled to the hair, So that, methought, we back returned to Hell. "Keep fast thy hold, because by such a stair," The Master said, panting like one forspent, "Forsaking so great evil, must we fare." Out through the crevice of a rock he went. And set me on its brink; then warily Planting his feet, his steps toward me bent. I lifted up mine eyes, thinking to see Lucifer, just as I had seen him last. And saw him with his legs upturned to me. And what perplexity now held me fast. Let dullards fancy who have notion none What point it was I had already passed. "Rise up," the Master said, "thy feet upon: The way is long, and difficult the road, And now to middle tierce returns the sun." It was no palace chamber where we stood, But lo! a natural dungeon vault was this. Wanting in light and without footing good. "Before I pluck myself from the Abyss, Master," when risen to my feet I said, "Talk with me somewhat, lest I judge amiss. Where is the ice? and how is This One stayed Thus upside down and how, in moments few. The sun from even to morning transit made?" Ascent to the Wwid of Light 145 "Thou still believest thee,'* he said thereto, "Yon-side the Center, where I gript the hair Of the fell Worm that pierces the world through. So long as I descended wast thou there: Soon as I turned, the point we overran Whereto all weights from all directions bear: Thou'rt come beneath the hemisphere whose span Is counterposed to that which doth embrace The great dry land, beneath whose cope the Man Was slain, pure born and without need of grace: Thy feet upon a little disk abide That for Judecca forms the counter face. Here it is morn when yonder eventide: And still doth This One stand as fixedly As ere he made a ladder with his hide. Down out of Heaven upon this side dropt he. And all the land that here of yore arose Was veiled, through terror of him, with the sea. And joined our hemisphere; and some suppose Perhaps that land today on this side found Fled up from him, and left this empty close.'* There is a place below, whose further bound From Beelzebub far as his tomb extends. By sight unnoted, but betrayed by sound Made by a rivulet that here descends A crannied rock, which it has gnawed away With gently sloping current, as it wends. My Guide and I upon that hidden way Entered, returning to the world of Ught: And without caring for repose to stay. He first, and I behind him, scaled the height. Till a round opening revealed afar The beauteous things wherewith the heavens are bright: Thence came we forth to re-behold each star. The land of the southern hemi- sphere shrank away from him as he fell, and, after he was planted in the Center, the ground forming the island and mountain of Purgatory fled up from him, leaving that pas- $age open Each Cantica closes with the word "stelle,^ stars. This the stubborn Eng- lish rime cannot always manage to the letter PURGATORIO The Dawn of Easter Sets sail the little vessel of my mind And henceforth better waters furrowing Leaves such a cruel ocean far behind And of that Second Kingdom will I sing Wherein the human spirit, purged of stain, Grows worthy to ascend on heavenward wing. Here let dead poesy arise again, O holy Muses, since I am your own. And here Calliope uplift her strain. Companioning my singing with that tone Whence the poor Magpies felt so stricken through That they were desperate of pardon grown. - The tender oriental sapphire hue Suffusing the calm heaven from midmost height To the first circle down, so pure and blue. Cheered up mine eyes with long-unfelt delight Soon as I issued forth from the dead blur That had afflicted both my heart and sight. The planet fair that is Love*s comforter Lit with her smiling all the eastern skies. Veiling the Fishes then escorting her. Turning toward the right, I fixed mine eyes On the other pole, thereby four stars discerning, Ne*er seen by man save first in Paradise. The heaven appeared enraptured with their burning: Clime of the northland, O how widowed thou. Since these have been withholden from thy yearning! When from their view I could avert my brow. Glancing a little toward the north, that shone Where the bright Wain had sunk from sight ere now. Scene: An island in tke Southern Ocean, at foot of a loftier Teneriffe Time: The ac- tion begins be- fore dawn Easter Sunday, A.D. 1300 Characters: All, save the pilgrim- poet, shades of the dead Virgil and Dante appear on the plain slop- ing from sea- shore to moun- tain-cliff As he is facing toward the dawn- star, the four symbolic stars are near the South Pole. These "sacred stars" which appear again in Canto xxxi probably sym- bolize ^e four Pagan or Car- dinal virtues of Prudence, Jus- tice, Fortitude, Temperance 148 Purgatorio The shade of Caio of Utica, warden of this region outside of Purgatory. Ex- amples of other just Pagans, who appear among the re- deemed, are given in Parof diso XX Near me appeared an elder all alone. Worthy of so great reverence by his mien That more to father owes not any son. Long was his beard, with grizzled streaks between, And like thereto the crown of hair he wore Fell to his breast in double tresses sheen. Beams of the holy luminaries four Adorned his face and so great luster shed, I saw him as though the sun had been before. **Who are ye, against the darkling river fled From out the eternal prison void of day.f^^ - Moving those venerable plumes, he said. "Who was your lantern or who led the way Issuing forth from the abysmal gloom That makes the infernal valley black for aye? Are broken thus below the laws of doom? Or has in Heaven gone forth some new decree That ye, being damned, to my rock-caverns come?" Straightway my Leader laid his hold on me, And what with word and hand and signal, brought To posture reverent my brow and knee; And then replied: "Of myself came I not: A Lady has descended from the sky. And I assist this man as she besought. But seeing that thy questions signify The will for further truth about us twain, I could not find it in me to deny. This man saw not his final evening wane. But by his folly was so near thereto That httle time was left to turn again. I was sent thither where he lay i>erdue In rescue, as I said, nor was there road But this which I am striving to pursue. To him all circles of the lost I showed; And now I am intending to display Those spirits who are purged beneath thy code. VirgiVs Appeal to Cato 149 How I have brought him would be long to say: Comes Virtue from aloft, enabling me To give him sight and speech of thee today. Now look upon his coming graciously; He goes in quest of freedom, boon how dear Knows that man who with life has paid her fee. Thou knowest it, for death did not appear Bitter to thee in Utica, there leaving The vesture that great day to be so clear. No law eternal by our act is cleaving, For this man lives, nor Minos is my lord; But I am of the circle where are grieving Marcia's pure eyes, as though they still implored That thou wouldst hold her thine, O holy breast: For her love, then, thy grace to us accord. Let us throughout thy seven kingdoms quest: Thee by report to her will I requite. If word of thee below thou sanctionest." - "Marcia was aye so winsome in my sight Long as I tarried yonder ,'' he repKed, "That doing all her will was my delight. Now can she, from beyond the baleful tide. Move me no more, by law which took effect When I passed over from the further side. But if a Lady of Heaven prompt and direct As thou hast said, thy bland persuasion hush. Sufficient answer for her sake expect. Go then and see that with a simple rush Thou gird this mortal, washing in such wise His face that for no soilure it may blush: For it were unbecoming that with eyes Beclouded, he appear before the Prime Angel who is of those of Paradise. This islet, ere the slope begins to cHmb, About the margin where the billow heaves. Is fringed with rushes in the oozy slime. Symbolic cleans- ing and girding of Dante. The reed is symbol of humility: Dante's beset- ting sin, as we shall see, is igride 150 Purgatorio \ . No other plant, of such as put forth leaves ' Or harden, could survive there, since not bent ) To every buffet that the stalk receives. \ Put all returning here from your intent; \ The sun, now rising, will instruct you how \ To take the Mount by easier gradient." - I So vanisht he; and I, uprising now Without a word, and firmly taking stand ^ Close to my Leader, bent on him my brow. "Follow my footsteps, son," was his command, "Let us turn backward, for from here this lea i Slopes to the lower limit of the land." - \ Now did the shadowy hour of morning flee \ Before the dawn, so that from far away; I caught the gusty ripple of the sea. i We walked the lonely plain as wander they j Who turn back to the pathway lost, and who Until they find it seem to go astray. When we had reached that region low where dew Contends with sun, nor in the chilly air Disperses while the beams are faint and few, Softly upon the tender herbage there Both of his outspread palms my Master placed; \ Whence I, who of his purpose was aware, ^ Lifted my grimy cheeks, with tear-stains laced; j There to my features he restored that hue | Which by the spume of Hell had been effaced. i Cf. the fate of Then to the lonely seashore came we two, i t%5se«. Inf. Which never yet upon its waters found | One mariner who afterward withdrew. 1 Here as that other bade, he girt me round: O miracle! that such as from the earth j He culled the humble plant, quick from the ground Wlience it was pluckt, it came again to birth. "■ < xxn Before Sunrise 151 II The Angel Pilot The sun by now to that horizon came The arc of whose meridian is at height Just at the point above Jerusalem: And, circling opposite to him, the Night Was issuing forth from Ganges with the Scales Which fail her hand when she exceeds in might; So, where I was, the cheek that glows and pales Of fair Aurora, sallowed with the ray Of orange, because age on her prevails. Beside the sea we pondered on the way Like folk who, lingering still along the shore. Hasten in heart and in the body stay; And as, a little while the dawn before, Mars reddens through the vapor baleful-bright Low in the west above the ocean-floor, I saw, - O may it bless again my sight! - A luster coming on across the main With speed unparalleled by any flight. And when I let mine eye awhile remain Detached from it, to question of my Guide, Larger and brighter now it showed again. Then there emerged to view on either side A whiteness indistinct, and down below Little by little another I descried. My Master uttered not a word, till lo! The first white spots appeared as wings to shine. Then, when he surely did the Pilot know. He cried: "Make haste, make haste, the knee incline. Fold hands, - it is God*s Angel! thou shalt use Henceforth to see such ministers divine. Look, how doth he all human means refuse. Scorning device of sail or oar, nor drew Aught but his wings npon so far a cruise; CorUrctst the opening of Inf. a The sun is rising here at Purgatory, night is falling at Jerusalem, it is midnight on the Ganges. Cf. the diagram, Terrv- fie Primer of Dante, p. 1^7, And cf. the be- ginning of Canto xxvii 152 Purgatorio Psalm lU. This passage re^ers^ says Dante, by allegory to Re~ demption, morally to Con- version, anagog- ically to the departure from earthly slavery to eternal free- dom. Cf. letter to Can Grande, §7 The Ram being wUh the Sun on the horizon, the Sky-goat vyill be in the Zenith Look, look how heavenward he holds them true, Fanning the welkin with those plumes eterne Which do not molt as mortal feathers do!^' - Then, near and nearer come, might I discern The Bird of God more dazzling than before. Until mine eyes that with the blaze now burn Fall down undone. But he drew near the shore On pinnace light and rapid, - such an one The water swallowed nothing of the prore. Astem the Pilot stood, and benison Celestial showed upon his face devout: A hundred and more spirits sat thereon. "When Israel from Egypt issued out," They chanted as with single voice the lay. With what there afterward the Psalmist wrote. When sign of holy cross he made them, they Flung themselves one and all upon the strand, And swiftly as he came he swept away. There huddled they together close at hand Gazing about, like strangers to the place Endeavoring new things to understand. The sun was shedding everywhere his rays. And with the arrows of his radiance now Did Capricorn from middle-heaven chase. When the new people Ufted up their brow Toward us, saying: "If expert ye be In faring up the Mountain, show us how." - And Virgil said: "Ye deem perchance that we Have some experience to guide us here. But we are also pilgrims as are ye. We came before you, and not long whilere. By road so rough and hard that the ascent But sport henceforward will to us appear." - The spirits, among whom the whisper went That I was still a living and breathing one. Turned deadly pale for very wonderment. Casella 153 And as, to hear good tidings, people run To reach the olive-bearing messenger. And not a man appears the throng to shun, So one and all the happy spirits there Fastened upon me hungrily their view, As if forgot the quest to make them fair. And I saw one of them who forward drew To my embrace with love so manifest That I was influenced the Hke to do. O insubstantial souls in shadowy vest! Thrice did I clasp my hands behind that shade And drew them back as often to my breast. Wonder, I think, was on my face portrayed; Whereat it only smiled and drew away While I pursued in hopes it would have stayed. In mellow tones he gently said me nay, And knowing him thereby, did I implore That he for speech a little while would stay. "As loved I in the mortal flesh of yore. So loosed I love thee still,'' he answered clear, "I stay then; but why pacest thou the shore?" - *'To this place where we are, Casella dear. Of this friend To come once more I make this pilgrimage; ^^"i!^d7!i But why is so much time bereft thee here?" - the milder And he: "No injuiy can I allege, '^/iM^l If he who takes up when and whom he please knoion nwre Somewhile denied to me the ferriage, ^^ ^^f J^ For of right will his own is made. Yet these Three months Three happy months accepts he verily *»«^ 2^^bih^ Whoever longs to enter, with all peace; Year of peace Whence I, who had just now betaken me TH^.?^^^^ ^^ Where Tiber water savors of the brine, Have been received by him benignantly. That is the goal where now his wings inchne; For at that outlet ever gathers what Falls not perdue to punishment condign.** - begun 154 Purgatorio \ And I: "If novel law abolish not >i Practice or memory of the song of love ■ That used to solace all my yearning thought, | I pray thee grace me with the comfort of ] Thy song, for in the body travehng ■ So far, my heart is weary here above." - j The first line of "Love, deep within the spirit reasoning," j ^"0^2 So sweetly he began to sing it thus | analyzes in his That still the dulcet tones within me ring. j rre^^' ^'""^^ ^y Master and I and that unanimous ] Company with him drew such rapture thence 5 As if no other care encumbered us. i Still hung we on that music in suspense. When lo! that stately elder: "Laggard crew ] Of spirits, what portends this negligence? i Think what, delaying, ye neglect to do! Speed to the Mount to slough the film," he cried, "That lets not God be manifest to you." - As pigeons that are feeding side by side And pecking at the darnel or the ear, I Quiet and strutting not with wonted pride, .\ U aught whereof they are afraid appear | All of a sudden let alone their food j Because of being assailed by greater care, j So saw I that newly-landed multitude Forsake the song and scurry tow'rd the height Like them who go but wot not where they would:; Nor any less precipitate our flight. Bodies of the Shades 155 m Antepurgatory While sudden flight was all dispersing thus That flock of spirits through the countryside Toward the Mount where reason searches us, I drew up close to my Companion tried; And how without him had I kept the course? Who up the mountain would have been my guide? He seemed to me disturbed with self -remorse: O soul of honor, tender conscience good. How little fault to have such bitter force! After his feet the hurry had subdued. That of all action mars the dignity. My mind, which hitherto in durance stood. Eagerly rendered its attention free; Then turned my sight toward the Hill, supreme Of peaks emerging skyward from the sea. Behind us flamed the Sun, whose ruddy gleam Before me broke in the configurement Formed on me by the stopping of its beam. I turned, in terror of abandonment Dante for the Sidewise and half around, become aware 'ki^sh^^^ The ground was shadowed only where I went. Then turning round to me, my Comforter Began: "Why givest thou suspicion room? Dost thou not think I, guiding, with thee fare? Already it is evening at the tomb Where lies the body of me that cast a shade: Naples received it from Brundusium. Now if no shadow is before me made, Like wonder in the heavens dost thou behold. Whose rays are not by one another stayed. The Power who will his workings not unfold Makes bodies apt to suffer, as we do, Torments arising both from heat and cold. 156 Purgatorio The Riviera from Turbia (near Nice) to the Gulf of Spezia was traversed by a mountain-path One Substance, in Three Persons, travels through Illimitable ways, where it were wild To deem that human reason might pursue. Be to the fact, O mortals, reconciled, For, had ye power to see all things and learn, No need had been for Mary to bear child. And ye have seen without fulfillment yearn Those whose desire would have been satisfied, Which now is given to them for grief eterne. Of Aristotle and Plato I speak, - beside Many another.'^ - Here his brow he bent, Deeply perturbed, and further speech denied. Meanwhile toward the mountain-foot we went: A cliff so steep that nimble legs would be Of small avail attempting such ascent. The way between Turbia and Lerici Most lonely and deserted were a stair. Compared with that, accessible and free. "Where slojjes the mountain, who can tell me where," The Master murmured, staying his advance, "So that the wingless foot may clamber there.'*" - And while he, casting down his countenance. Was questioning his mind about the way, And up along the rock I ran my glance. Behold, off to the leftward, an array Of spirits all in our direction bound. Though seeming not, so slow of pace were they. "Lift up thine eyes, good Master, and look round," - Said I, "some who may help are coming yon. If yet thy wisdom at a loss be found." - We moved along a thousand steps or so. Finding that company as far by this As a good thrower with his hand could throw. When at the foot of the high precipice Gathered they all, compact and circumspect. Gazing like men who fear to go amiss. Manfred 157 "O ye who ended well, O souls elect!^ Virgil began, "in name of that sublime Peace which, I think, ye one and all expect, Tell us if it be possible to climb The Mountain somewhere by a slope less bold: For irksome to the wise is loss of time." - As sheep are wont to issue from the fold By one and two and three, the rest pursue Meekly, and eye and muzzle downward hold. And what the first one does the others do, And if she stop all huddle at her side. Nor question why, the quiet silly crew: So moving now toward us I descried The column-leaders of that happy flock. Modest in face, in action dignified. When those in front beheld my body block By the shadow The light upon my dexter hand, whereby ^^Xtdy The shadow stretched from me toward the rock, They halted and withdrew somewhat more nigh Those following behind, and all the rest Did in like manner, without knowing why. "I frankly tell you, without your request, This is a human body that ye see. As by the broken light is manifest. Then do not wonder, but persuaded be That not by heavenly Power unwarranted To mount this barrier endeavors he." - The Master thus; and that good people said: "Then turn about and enter in before," And with the backs of hands the signal made. "Whoever thou mayst be," did one implore. The pregnani "While pressing forward, hither turn anew: ^'^U'^ Consider if thou sawst me there of yore." - deal vnth the I turned to scan him, and there met my view ^"Slit Fair features and of gentle mien and blond, fen who reigned Although one eyebrow had been cloven through. ch^UV,T 158 Purgatorio sequiotis to the conqueror. To feel its full sig- nificance the reader should know much more of the fads, both political and ecclesiasti- cal, than can he told in a note Treating the body as that of an excommunir cated nder And when I ventured humbly to respond With a denial, "Look!" - and he laid bare Above his breast a sanguinary wound. "Manfred am I," said he with smiling air, "Grandson of Empress Constance: whence I pray Thee go, returning, to my daughter fair. Mother of both the monarchs who bear sway. One in Sicilia, one in Aragon, And tell her truth, whatever else they say. When these two mortal stabs had quite undone My body, yielded I with tears contrite To Him who willingly gives benison. Horrible were my sins, but Infinite Bounty has arms of an embrace so broad That it accepts whoever turn to it. And if Cosenza*s Pastor, who at nod Of Clement went to hunt me down, had known How to peruse aright this page in God, Even now were of my body every bone At the bridgehead near Benevento trenched. Beneath the safeguard of the heavy stone. Now scattered by the wind, by the rain drenched. Beyond the kingdom hard by Verde's flow. Whither he carried them with taj>ers quenched. By curse of theirs no soul can perish so But that Eternal Love for them may bloom While hope one particle of green can show. True is that such as die beneath the doom Of Holy Church, though they at last repent, Must here outside the precipice find room. Full thirtyfold the time that they have spent In their presumption, if to briefer span Good prayers do not reduce such banishment. Hereafter pray rejoice me, if thou can. Revealing to my gracious Constance dear How thou hast seen me and alas! this ban: For much those yonder may advance us here." - A Problem in Psychology 159 IV The Ascent op the Mountain Begun When an impression of delight or dole Works on some faculty of ours, and thus Wholly that faculty absorbs the soul. It seems of other force oblivious; And this is counter to that erring thought Which would enkindle soul on soul in us. Therefore, when hearing or when seeing aught That draws the soul's attention potently. Time passes by, and one perceives it not; For that which notes it is one faculty. Another that which holds the soul intent: This is preoccupied, and that is free. Hereof I made a true experiment Listening in wonder to that spirit fair; For now the Sun had fully made ascent Fifty degrees, and I was not aware. When came we where those spirits to us cried With one accord: "Look, your desire is there!" - The hedger oft an opening more wide Blocks with a forkful of his brambles, when Toward the vintage grapes are purple-dyed. Than was the passage where ascended then My Leader and I after, we alone. While all that flock of souls were lost to ken. You mount San Leo, drop to Noli down. And of Bismantova you scale the height With only feet; but here must wings be grown, - I mean swift pinions that are fledged for flight With great desire, behind that Leader, who Was giving me hope and holding out a light. Hemmed in on either hand we mounted through The cloven rock; the ground whereon we trode Made work enough for feet and hands to do. The TimcBus of Plato expounds the theory of a mortal and an immortal soid in man So that it is now about nine o'clock So he does in Italy today 160 Purgatorio More than ^5° Looking easU ward in the southern hemisphere When at the verge of the high bank we stood Aloft upon the open mountainside, I asked: "Which way pursue we. Master good?"- "Be wary of thy foothold," he replied; "Win with me up the mountain till we find One who may prove to be a skillful guide/^ - So soared the peak, it left the sight behind. And steeper far the slope than line away From middle quadrant unto center inclined. Weary was I when I began to pray: "Dear Father, O turn hitherward and see How I am left alone unless thou stay!" - "My son, draw up as far as here," said He, Pointing me to a ledge just overhead Circling on that side all the acclivity. So sharply spurred me on the words he said. That I crept after him with might and main Until the terrace was beneath my tread. There to sit down awhile we both were fain. Facing the East whence we had made ascent; For, looking back, a man takes heart again. Mine eyes at first to the low shores were bent. Thereafter lifted to the Sun, whose glow Struck us from leftward, to my wonderment. The Poet well perceived me gazing so Upon the Car of Light with wonder, where It entered between us and Aquilo. Whence he: "If Castor and if Pollux were Companions with that mirror which sheds back The hght divine to either hemisphere. Thou wouldst behold him blaze in Zodiac, Unto the Bears revolving still more nigh. Unless the sun should quit his ancient track. If thou wouldst imderstand the reason why. With centered thought imagine Zion-hill On earth set over against this mountain high, Belacqua Chaffs Dante 161 So that they both have one horizon still And hemispheres diverse; then wilt thou see, If to take heed thine intellect have skill, How the highway that Phaeton, ah me! KJiew not to course, must pass upon that side This mountain, and this side of Zion be.^ - **Truly, my Master, never yet,'' I cried, "Saw I so clearly as I now discern. Since of the mark my wit seemed ever wide. That the mid-circle of the heaven supern. Equator in a certain science known. And which doth still 'twixt sun and winter turn. Is distant, for the reason thou hast shown. Northward from here as far as once the Jews Beheld it looking tow'rd the torrid zone. But if it please thee well, I fain would choose To know how far we clamber; for so high Rises the Hill, that sight in vain pursues " - "This mountain slope is such," he made reply, "That low beginnings ever painful seem; The toil decreases climbing tow'rd the sky. But when it comes about that thou shalt deem CUmbing as easy as to ship and crew Seems gliding with the current down the stream, Then is the end of this hard road in view; There may thy weary Umbs expect repose; More I reply not, knowing this for true." - No sooner had he said such words as those, Than sounded out a voice near by: "Perchance He'll have to sit before so far he goes!" - Both of us, turning at this utterance. Saw at the left a stone of massive size Which neither had perceived at the first glance. Thither we drew apace, till met our eyes Persons behind the rock, with shadow blent. Lying along as one in idlesse lies. Jerusalem is conceived as at the antipodes of Purgatory. The course of the sun must therefore be north of Purga- tory and south of Jerusalem. See the begin- ning of Canto ii 162 Purgatorio I And one of them, who seemed to me forspent. Was sitting, and was clasping both his knees, | Holding his face deep down between them bent. **Look, Master mine,'' said I, "if one of these ■ Seems not more overcome with lassitude: Than if his sister had been slothful Ease.'' - \ At this he bent to us, and understood. Moving his visage up along his thigh, ' ] And said: "Now up, for thou hast hardihood!" - Then showed he features that I knew him by. And my still panting breath impeded not My going to him; and as soon as I I The soul of Had reached him, he uplifted but a jot wat7r^!^andt' ^'^ ^^<^^' ^^^ murmured: "Seest thou how the Sun \ friend of O'er thy left shoulder drives his chariot?" - ^ugh'iMent ^^^ ^^^^ ^'^^ ^"^. P^^^^^ compactly spun , of temperament. Relaxed my lips to show a little glee;; ^iJ^ftr "Belacqua," I began, "from this time on i tine shrewdness I grieve no more for thee; but answer me, i ^■^ "'*' Why sitst thou here? Awaitest thou a Guide? Or has thy wonted mood recaptured thee?" - '^Brother, what use in cHmbing?" he replied; "The Bird of God, at threshold of the gate, \ Would not admit me to be purified. \ First Heaven must needs as often circulate | Round me outside, as it in life had done, I Since I delayed repentance till too late; 1 It is noon in If earlier aid me not some orison | ^herefme^ihe Breathed forth from soul with living grace at core; 1 other hemi" What boot is other prayer, unheard up yon?" - I ^^ j^ the Already went the Poet up before, \ Morocco, is in Saying: "Come on now: look, the Sun is bright j niu'^A- On the meridian, and at the shore j ning in Morocco Morocco lies beneath the foot of Night.'*- Dante's Shadow Startles the Shades 163 Tragic Deaths of Three Noble Souls Now from those shades departing, I betook Myself my Leader's footmarks to pursue, When one behind me, pointing, shouted: "Look, The sunbeam seems not to be shining through Leftward from him below; and more by token He seems to bear him as the living do!" - I turned about to look when this was spoken, And saw them gaze at me for marvel - yea At me, and at the sunbeam that was broken. "Why is thy mind diverted from the way To make thee loiter ?^^ said my Master kind; "What carest thou up here how whisper they? Come after me and let them speak their mind; Stand like a tower unwavering and stout Against whatever buffets of the wind. For he who thinks about it and about Falls short, forever thwarted of his aim. Since one thought by the next is canceled out." I said, "I come!" - how answer else for shame? And said it with that flush which may restore us To pardon, if we worthily lay claim. Behold now people who, short way before us Across the Mountain passing, as they go Sing Miserere verse about in chorus. Seeing my body interrupt the flow Of sunlight, and enshadowing the plain, They changed the singing to a long hoarse Oh! And in the form of messengers came twain Running toward us from that multitude. Desiring knowledge of om* state to gain. "Ye can go back," rephed my Master good, "To those who sent you forth, and certify That this man's body is true flesh and blood. A lower slope of the mountain. Early afternoon of the first day Implying, per- haps, that these souls had neg- lected action through "some craven scruple of thinking too pre- cisely on the evenf 164 Purgatorio And if to see his shadow made them shy As I suppose, let this reply suffice: Him let them honor, profiting thereby." - So swift-enkindled vapors to mine eyes Never the sunset clouds of August clove Nor flasht at fall of night across the skies. But these in briefer time returned above; And, there arrived, with the others tow'rd us wheeled Like squadron without rein that forward drove. "Many are these who crowd on us afield," The Poet said, "to make thee one request; Yet go right on and, going, hearing yield." - "O pilgrim soul who goest to be blest With those Hmbs fashioned in thy mother's mold. Stay but a moment!" - cried they as they pressed. "Look if thou sawest one of us of old, That thou to earth mayst tidings of him bear: Pray why dost thou go on? pray why not hold? We all were slain by violence whilere. And sinners till the final hour of grace; Then light from Heaven made us so well aware That, penitent and pardoning, apace We quitted life at peace with the Most High, Wlio heartens us with yearning for his face." - "Although I scan your lineaments," said I, "Not one do I recall; but pray ye speak. If aught to please you in my power there lie, And I will do it, happy spirits meek. By hope of peace which, following up the Hill Jacopo del Cos- Behind such Guide, from world to world I seek." - ^S^itw:: And one began: "We aU are trusting stiU man of Fano, In thy good service, nor need oath attest, 7£^b^Zas. ^ o^ly weakness do not cancel will; sins in the pay Whence I, who speak alone before the rest, - AztjoTm^oj -^ \^\oVi shalt look upon that land one day, Ferrara Between Romagna and that of Charles, - ^request Buonconte and la Pia 165 That thou of courtesy for me wilt pray- In Fano, so that there be orisons To help me purge my heavy sins away. Thence came I; but the gashes wherethrough once Issued the blood wherein I had my seat. Were dealt to me among Antenor's sons. There where I fancied safest my retreat: The Este had it done, who held me then In anger more by far than justly meet. But had I fled toward La Mira, when At Oriaco by pursuers found, Still were I yonder among breathing men. I ran to the marsh; the mud and reeds around So hampered me I fell, and there saw I My blood become a pool upon the ground." - "Ah, by that yearning,'' did another sigh, "Whereby to the High Mountain drawest thou. Do thou aid mine with pious sympathy. I was of Montefeltro, merely now Buonconte da Buonconte; heeds me none, not even Joan, Montefeltro, son . . . of the renovmed Whence among these I go with downcast brow. - captain who And I: "From Campaldino lost alone 'P^^' t!"•^• ^ xxmt. Dante By chance wast thou, or violence malign, himself fought So that thy burial place was never known?''- *> '^** ^f^^ ""f "Un," said he, "runs athwart the Casentine {1289) A stream called Archiano, rising o'er ??^ contrast . 1 (. . A r between the story Ihe Hermitage, aloft m Apennme. of the son and There where it answers to that name no more ^!^ ^^ the father • 1 T rt 1 ** marked vntn Came I with throat empierced, as I fled artistic intention On foot along the plain, marked with my gore. There eyesight failed me, and the prayer I said Paused on the name of Mary; there I fell. And there my flesh remained untenanted. The truth I speak among the living tell: God's Angel took me: * Why wilt thou be stealing Mine own, thou son of Heaven.'*' cried he of Hell; 166 Purgatorio *Witli his immortal art thou skyward wheehng; j That part I forfeit for one Uttle tear; \ But with the other use I other dealing/ - i Thou knowest how gathers in the atmosphere j That vaporous moisture, soon to water turning I By the chill pressure of the upper sphere. ' That Evil Will, for evil only yearning,; Endowed with native power intelligent, '! Joined and moved cloud and wind with fell dis- ? cerning. ^ Thereafter, when the day was fully spent, ] From Pratomagno to the Great Yoke fills With fog the valley and veils the firmament And into water the teeming air distills; Down through the gullies comes the fallen rain, - ■ All thirsty earth could drink not, - and the rills: Into great torrents gathering amain, j Headlong toward the royal river bore | With such a rush that weir and dike were vain. 1 Wild Archiano found my body frore j Hard by his outlet, sweeping it inert I Into the Arno, and from my bosom tore i The cross I made me, conquered by the hurt; j Whelmed me along by many a bank and shoal. Then with his shingle covered me and girt." - Pia, of the great "Ah, when thou turnest to an earthly goal, Tohmd flung ^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^*^^ ^^^^ *^^ ^^^^^ way,"- ] by a faithless The second ceasing, followed a third soul, - ^ Ilif'^'^tltZg "Remember me, who am Pia, when thou pray; i in the wilds of Siena made me, by Maremma undone: j ^larJ^ma ^^ knows who ringed me, ringless till that day, | Espousing me with gem and benison." - ,1 Can Prayer Alter God's Decree? 167 VI Dante the "Stormy Voice" of Italy When breaks the game of hazard, he who lost First day, mid- Remains behind in sorrow, and essays tTZZ flank The throws again, thus learning to his cost; oj the mountain With the winner all the others go their ways: One in advance, one plucks him from the rear. And for reminder one beside him stays. He hastens, - all soliciting his ear, - His hand goes out to some, who leave him free, - And from the pressure of the crowd gets clear. So I, amid that thronging company. Was turning to them here and there my face, And making promise, extricated me. The Aretine who in the grim embrace Of Ghin di Tacco perisht, with them stood. And the other who was drowned while giving chase. There prayed, with hands in suppliant attitude, Frederick Novello, and that Pisan son Who proved the good Marzucco's fortitude. I saw Count Orso, and the soul of one Bereft of life by spite, as he averred, And envy, not for any trespass done, - Pier de la Brosse, I mean: and by this word Be warned the Dame of Brabant to take heed Lest she for this consort with baser herd. As soon as I was from these shadows freed, Whose one prayer was that other prayer benign Them on the way to holiness might speed, Thus I began: "It seems, O light of mine, Mneid vi, 376 In one text thou expressly questionest That orison may bend decree divine; And yet these people only this request: Can it be possible their hope is vain? Or is to me thy word not manifest?" - Paradise 168 Purgatorio And he responded: "What I wrote is plain, And not fallacious is the hope of these K one consider it with reason sane, For Top of Judgment stoops not when the pleas Of burning love do in a moment what These do who here await the slow decrees. And in the instance where I tied that knot. Prayer did not counterbalance the defect. Since, from God disunited, prayer was not. Howbeit, waive decision in respect To doubt so deep, till she interpret this. Who shall be light 'twixt truth and intellect. ^ In the Earthly Be assured that here I speak of Beatrice: i Her shalt thou see above, upon the crown ] Of this same Mountain, smiling and in bliss." - 1 And I: "Lord, let us hasten to be gone, .\ For I am not as hitherto forspent, \ And look, the hill now casts a shadow down.'^ - **As much as possible of the ascent. Will we perform today,'' responded he, 1 "But other than thou thinkest is the event. i Ere thou canst climb up yonder, thou wilt see Return that light so hidden that its ray ] Is interrupted now no more by thee. j But see! there is a spirit making stay; All, all alone, and looking tow'rd this side; i It will point out to us the speediest way.'* - j We thither came. O Lombard soul, what pride; And lofty scorn thine attitude exprest. And thy slow-moving eyes how dignified! As we came on he proffered no request, '] But let us go our way, calmly surveying In manner of a lion when at rest. Steadily drew up Virgil tow*rd him, praying Direction where ascent might best be made; I But he, no word by way of answer saying,! '^Ahi serva Italia! " 169 News of our life and of our country prayed. And when thereto the gentle Guide began, - "Mantua - " upleaped that all-secluded shade From where before he stood: "O Mantuan, I am Sordello of thy cityP - said he. And to embrace of each the other ran. - Hostel of woe, ah, servile Italy, Vessel unpiloted in a great storm. No Lady of provinces, but harlotry! Eager that noble spirit was and warm To welcome there his own compatriot. So did the sweet name of his city charm! While now in civil tumult are distraught Thy living citizens, - at daggers drawn Those whom one wall incloses, and one moat. Make search aroimd thy seaboard, wretched one. And after in thy bosom look again. If anywhere within be unison! What boots Justinian adjust the rein If ever empty be the saddle.^ Without Such bridle not so black would be the stain. Ah, gentry, ye that ought to be devout And let but Caesar in the saddle sit. Nor leave unheeded what God pointed out, Ix)ok well to this wild beast, consider it, Ungoaded by the spur how fell it grows Since ye laid hand up)on the bridle-bit! O German Albert, who to such as those Yieldest this wild unruly animal. And oughtest to bestride her saddlebows. May from the stars upon thy issue fall Just judgment, and be it strange and manifest Such that it may thy follower appall! Thy father suffered, and thou sufferest. Held back up yonder by the greed of you. The garden of the Empire go to waste. Political chaos of that age Of what avail the Law without a 'power to en- force? The claim of the clergy to tem- jKnral power Albert, son of the Emperor Rudolph, absen- tee King of the Romans 170 Purgatorio ^ Warring f ami- Come look at Capulet and Montague, \ GMiSiS'/IS'f Monaldi and Filippeschi, careless prince,! These dreading that which those already rue. \ The counts of Come, cruel man, and see thy nobles wince j Santafiora of the tj j • ii_ • i . great Aldobran- Under oppression, cure their hurts, - nay come = desco family. See Santafiora how secure long since! • press^ by Sa ^ome hear the outcries of thy weeping Rome j (c/. Canto xi) By day and night, a widow and alone: i "My Caesar, why forsakest thou thy home?'* Come, see thy people, how their love is grown; And if for us thou have no sympathy. Come and take shame to thee for thy renown.; And if it be allowed me, Jove most High, Thou who for us on earth wast crucified, j Is otherwhere averted thy just eye? I Or is it discipline thou dost provide < In thy deep counsel, for some useful plan ^ To our perception utterly denied? ^ Swarm in Italian towns the tyrant clan, j And a Marcellus comes incipient \ In every churl who plays the partisan. \ My Florence, thou indeed mayst be content \ With this aside, - thy withers are unwrung. Thanks to thy people all so provident. i The bow of justice is but slowly strung ■ By many, who let no random arrow fly: ] Thy people have justice pat upon the tongue. i Many would put the pubhc burden by. But answers eagerly thy populace! Unbidden: "Shoulder to the wheel!^ they cry. I Good reason hast thou to take heart of grace: \ If sooth I say the facts do not conceal, '\ Thou wealthy and thou wise and thou at peace! j The Athenian and the Spartan commonweal,; Long famed for art and law, gave feeble proof \ Of civil life to what thy deeds reveal, j Fickleness of Florence 171 Who with such foresight weave in that behoof, That reach not to the middle of November The filmy threadlets of October's woof. How often hast thou changed (canst thou remember?) Law, coinage, offices, time out of mind. And usage, renovating every member. And were thy memory not so short or blind. Thou wouldst see thyself in that sick woman, fain A little rest upon her couch to find. Who would by tossing ward away her pain. 172 Purgatorio Late afternoon of the first day. Same place on the mouniain- side Cf. the eulogy upon VirgU, Inf.i VII The Negligent Princes After the courtly and glad greetings now Again a third time and a fourth began, Sordello drew back saying: "Who art thou?" - "Ere to this Mount turned any soul of man Worthy to rise with God to be enskied. My bones were buried by Octavian. Virgil am I; and for no crime beside Not having faith, went I from Heaven astray." - So forthwith made reply to him my Guide. Like one encountering upon his way Some sudden wonder which he stands before, Doubting, believing, saying yea and nay, Sordello stood; then bowed his forehead lower. Turning to greet my Leader with embrace More humble, where lays hold the inferior. "O glory," exclaimed he, "of the Latin race. Through whom our language showed its worth so well, O praise eternal of my native place. What merit shows thee or what miracle? If I be worthy held thy news to know, Say from what cloister comst thou, if from Hell?" - "Through all the circles of the world of woe Am I come hither," - so he made reply, "Moved by a power of Heaven whereby I go. Omitting, not committing, forfeit I Sight of the Dayspring where thy longings rise, And which was known by me too tardily. There is a place below not otherwise Tormented save with gloom, where the laments Are uttered not in wailing but in sighs; There I abide with little innocents Bitten by fangs of Death and all undone Ere yet exempt from man's maleficence; No Ascent by Night 173 \ i There I abide with those who put on none j Of the three holy virtues, yet who knew The others, following guiltless every one. But if thou know and can, afford some clew '. To us, whereby we may arrive apace ] Where Purgatory has beginning true.^ - He answered: "We are bound to no fixed place; i I lawfully may wander up and round, • And join you as guide for my allotted space. j But look! the day declining to the bound, ^ And we are powerless to ascend by night; I Then let us think of pleasant resting-ground. I Souls dwell secluded yonder to the right: Unto them will I lead if thou consent. Nor will acquaintance be without delight." - \ "How so.^" was askt, "if any made ascent By night, would he be then inhibited By another, or would want of power prevent.^" - "Look!" and the good Sordello's finger sped < Along the ground, - "the sun being parted hence Thou couldst not even cross this fine," - he said; ', "l^ot that there else would be impediments To going up save shades nocturnal, - they Would trammel up the will with impotence. 'I One might indeed in darkness downward stray, ^ And make the tour of the whole mountain-ring, i While the horizon prisons up the day." - i Then said my Master, as if wondering: I "Now lead us on whither, by thy report, i We may have some delight while tarrying." - < Thence on the Mountain was the distance short! When of a hollow I became aware, - | Valleys down here are hollowed in such sort. "Yonder," proposed that shade, "let us repair i Where inward-curving slopes a dell surround, j And dawning of new day await we there." - j i } 'I i 1 174 Purgatorio Now level and now steep, a pathway wound That led us to a margin where the height Half falls away before that hollow ground. Gold, silver fine, scarlet and pearly white, Clear Indian wood of azure loveliness, Or fresh-flaked emerald would be less bright Than were the grass and flowers in that recess: In color each of these would be outdone As by the greater is outdone the less. Nor yet was Nature a mere painter yon. But did from thousand odors sweet distill A subtly blended fragrance known to none. Salve Regina^ with such chanting thrill The souls on bloom and greensward there at rest. Concealed before by hollow of the hill. '^Before the faint sun settle to his nest," The Mantuan said who made us thither swerve, "Do not my guidance among these request. From vantage of this bank ye will observe The features and the acts of all and some. Better than down among them in the curve. He highest placed, to whom seems burdensome That he neglected what he ought, for song Upon the lips of others finds him dumb. Was Rudolph, Emperor, who feels the prong In unhealed wounds, fatal to Italy, While healing through another tarries long. Philip III of The next, who seems his comforter to be, Henry I of Governed the country whence the waters spring Navarre; the Moldau bears Elbe, Elbe to the sea, - France'' w ^is name was Ottocar, far better king PhUip the Fair; As babe, than bearded Wenceslaus, his child, the stalwart t i i 'ji i xi • King is Peter ^ luxury and idlesse battenmg. of Aragon, hus- That small-nosed one, with him of aspect mild band of the c i • i *i? i. Constance of ^ close m counsel, as seems manifest. Canto Hi Died fleeing and left the fleur-de-Us defiled: The Company of Princes 175 Look there, how he is beating at his breast! And yonder at his sighing partner glance Who on his palm has laid his cheek at rest. Father and father-in-law of the plague of France Are these, - they know his vicious life and lewd. And hence the grief that pierces like a lance. He who so stalwart seems, whose song in mood Accords with that of him of virile nose. Wore girt the cord of every manly good; And if the youth who yonder doth repose Behind him had long governed in his stead. Worth would have passed from vase to vase in those; This of the other heirs cannot be said: While James and Frederick the kingdoms sway. None has the better share inherited. Not often rises up through branch and spray Prowess of man; it is the Will Divine In order that from Him the gift we pray. My words apply as well to the aquiline As to his fellow-singer, Peter: this Do now Apulia and Provence repine. Matcht with the seed the scion goes amiss. By how much Constance still her spouse may praise More than can Margaret and Beatrice. Look at the monarch of the simple ways, Harry of England, sitting there alone: Better the issue that his branches raise. That one of them whose eyes are upward thrown Is Marquis William, humblest among these, For whom Alessandria and her war make moan Both Monferrato and the Canavese." - He of the virile 7iose is Charles I of Anjou, who defeated Man- fred at Bene- vento Dante rates Peter, husband of Constance, far above Charles of Anjou, husband of Margaret, and Beatrice, - whose children are mvxih worse than he. These degenerate sons of Peter and Charles are men- tioned again notably in Par. xix. Harry of England is Henry III, father of Edward I, one of the greatest of medi- eval Kings. Marquis Wil- liam is the good but unfortunate rider of Mont- ferrai {in Pied- mont) 176 Purgatorio VIII Happy Interview with Departed Shades Nightfall in the Now was the hour that melts the heart anew S'^klZ'e I"^ ^°y^g«'« with yearning for the shore wait the prince* The day beloved friends have said adieu. And the new pilgrim feels the pang once more Of love, on hearing from the far-off land Bells that belike the parting day deplore. When I began no more to understand His words, on seeing a soul among them there Uprisen, who craved a hearing with its hand. It joined both palms and lifted them in air. Fixing its eyes toward the orient, As saying to God, - "I have no other care!" - '^Before the close Te lucis ante in notes so sweetly blent kncmm'to au"^ Came from those lips devout, all my concern good Catholics, Lapsed and was lost in rapturous content. Thelast'^fof ^ ^^^ t^^t soul, the others in their turn ^he day With sweet devotion did the hymn pursue. Holding their eyes upon the wheels super n. To truth here. Reader, sharpen well thy view. For verily so thin becomes the veil That it is easy passing inward through. I saw that gentle army in the dale Silently gazing afterward on high As if in expectation, meek and pale: Then issuing and descending from the sky Two angels with two swords whence flames were gleaming, But broken and deprived of points, saw I. As green as tender leaflets freshly teeming, Their raiment, beaten and blown by pinions green. In airy wafture was behind them streaming. Above us one took post with guardian mien. The other aUghted on the further marge So that the people were contained between. Judge Nino Visconti 177 Their blond heads saw I clearly, but surcharge Of radiance concealed each glorious face Baffling my vision with a Kght so large. "From their embosoming in Mary's grace/' Sordello said, "to guard the vale these two Come, for the Serpent will arrive apace/' - Whence I, because nowise the way I knew. Strove by the trusty shoulders to remain Close sheltered, for I felt me frozen through. "Now go we down,'' Sordello said again, "And with the mighty shades exchange replies: To bid you welcome will they all be fain." - Three paces peradventure might suffice For my descent; and one did gazing pore Upon me, as in hope to recognize. Already was the air endarkened more. But not so that between his eye and mine It failed to show what it had lockt before. Tow'rd me he comes and I to him inchne: Noble Judge Nino, happy was my case When I beheld thee not of the mahgn! Silent between us was no word of grace; Whereon he askt: "How long since camest thou Through the far waters to the Mountain's base,^" "Oh!" said I, "out of dismal caves below This morning come, in the JSrst life am I, But hope to gain the other, going so." - As soon as ever heard they my reply, Sordello and that spirit backward drew Like startled folk whose impulse is to fly. One turned to Virgil, and the other to A soul there seated: "Conrad, look, the Lord Has willed through Grace a wondrous thing to do!"- Then turned to me: "By thanks thou must accord To Him for special grace, who doth so hide His own first motive that it has no ford, Jvdge Nino Visconti, Pisan governor of the Province of Gal- luroy Sardinia Sordello has been preoccu- pied vnth Virgil, and, the sun be- ing behind the Mountain, Dante's shadow was not visible 178 Purgatorio His tindow had married one of the Visconti cf Milan, whose cognizance was the Viper Symbolizing the Christian vir- tues, as the four mentioned in Canto i sym- bolize the Pagan virtues oj every- day life This incursion of the Serpent into the abode of the dead is purely allegori- cal When thou shalt be beyond the billows wide, Say to my Joan that she for me implore Where answer to the pure is not denied. I think her mother cares for me no more. Since she has laid aside her wimples white Which she, poor thing, shall yet be craving for. By her example may be seen aright How brief the fire of love in woman's breast Unless rekindled oft by touch or sight. Less fair an emblem for her burial chest The Viper leading Milan to the field. Than would have been the Cock, Gallura's crest!^'- While he was speaking thus, his face revealed That upright zeal wherewith the heart may be Aflame, and in due measure stampt and sealed. Ranging the heavens my eager eyes could see Only the place where most the stars are slow. As in a wheel nearest the axletree. "Son," said my Guide, "at what art gazing so?" "At those three starry torches," I replied, "Wherewith the hither Pole is all aglow."- *Low are the splendid stars on yonder side. Those four thou sawst at early dawn today. And in their places these are now enskied." - Sordello seized him as he thus did say. Exclaiming: "See our enemy advance!" With finger guiding him to look that way. At that part where the little valley slants Devoid of barrier, crept a Snake along, - Such offered Eve the bitter food, perchance. The evil streak the grass and flowers among. With head reversed like beast that licks its fell. Came undulating on with dartling tongue. I did not see and cannot therefore tell How the celestial hawks their stations left. But saw the motion of each sentinel. Praise of the Malaspina Family 179 Feeling the air by their green pinions cleft. The Serpent fled; both wheeling up as one The angels hghted, having barred the theft. The shade, that close beside the Judge had drawn When he exclaimed, had not removed its eyes Cleaving to me till that assault was done. "So in the taper hghting to the skies The wax of thy free will may not abate Until thou reach the flowery Paradise,^ Began he, "canst thou tidings true relate Of Valdimagra, or of region nigh. Tell it to me, for there I once was great. Conrad the Malaspina called was I; The elder not, although from him descended; My love of kindred here I purify.^ - "Oh," cried I, "through your land I never wended. But where in Europe dwells one so forlorn As never to have heard their fame commended? Renown and honor that your house adorn Proclaim the land, proclaim her every lord, So that he knows who never reacht that bourn. And by my pilgrim hope I give my word Your honored kindred do not strip away The virtue of the purse and of the sword. Chartered by custom and by nature, they Though the bad leader warp the world aside, Alone go straight, and scorn the evil way." - And he: "Now look, - ^seven times shall not abide The sun, returning back within the bed The Ram's four feet now cover and bestride. Ere this opinion, courteously said. With better nails than hearsay hammered home. Shall pierce the very middle of thy head, Unless arrested be the course of doom.^ - Dante was the honored guest of the Mala- spina in the Lunigiana in 1306 180 Purgatorio The lunar Aurora appears around the con- stellation of the Scorpion The other four, having cast off the inheritarwe from Adam, ap- parently do not sleep. Dreams just before dawn are deemed pro- phetic or in some way true The reference to the woes of the swallow recalls the tragic story of Procne {the nightingale) and Philomela {the swallow). Cf. Canto ocvii, 19-21 IX The Symbolic Gate Now did the mistress of Tithonus hoar Show at the eastern window, clad in white, Forth from the arms of her dear paramour; Her brow was ghttering with jewels bright Set in the figure of that monster cold Which strikes at people with his tail; and Night Had two already of the paces told Wherewith she rises where our steps were stayed, And the third hour began her wings to fold, When I, on whom something of Adam weighed. Conquered by slumber, sank upon the lawn Where all we five the nightly vigil made. Upon the hour when, very near to dawn, Begins the twittering swallow to repine, Perchance in memory of her woes foregone. When anxious thoughts less narrowly confine, And when the pilgrim soul, from flesh more free. Is in her visions very near divine. Then poised aloft did I apjjear to see An eagle, with gold plumage, in my dream, With open wings, intent to swoop at me; And I was in that place, or so did seem. Where Ganymede was torn from friends away. Up to the synod of the gods supreme. "Perchance this bird strikes here," I seemed to say, "Only by habit, and from otherwhere Scorns with his claws to carry up the prey." - Methought then, having wheeled a Kttle there, He, terrible as thunderbolt, descended And snatcht me upward to the fiery sphere. There he and I seemed with the burning blended. And so the imagined fire seemed scorching me That of necessity my sleep was ended. Santa Lucia Carries Dante Up 181 Even as Achilles shuddered once, when he Found himself gazing round with wakened eyes, Not knowing in what quarter he might be. What time his mother him, her sleeping prize. From Chiron in her arms to Scyros bore. Whence later the Greeks took him, - in such wise I shuddered when fled sleep away before The face of me; and palhd did I stand. Even as a man with terror stricken frore. My Comforter alone was near at hand; The sun above two hours had made ascent. And I was facing now toward the strand. "Fear nothing,'* was my Lord's admonishment, "Be reassured, for we are in good state; Relax not, but be every sinew bent. Now art thou come to Purgatory-gate: Lo there the cHff that closes round it, lo The entrance where it seems to penetrate. At dawn of day a little while ago. As slept thy soul within thee on the bed Of flowers that deck the meadow down below, A Lady came, and T am Lucy,' said; 'Let me take up this sleeper; it is meet That so he be upon his journey sped.' With the other noble forms in that retreat Sordello stayed; she took thee, and with day Came upward, and I came where fell her feet. She laid thee here; that open entrance- way With her fair eyes first having pointed out. Together then with sleep she went away." - Like one who wins assurance after doubt. And into confidence converts his fear When truth is known, so did I change about; And when my Leader saw me free from care. He started up along the cHff again Toward the height, and I pursued him there. Awakening two hours after sun- rise, Dante learns that his dream was in- deed symboli- cally true 182 Purgatorio 1 ! Reader, thou seest how I exalt my strain, \ And therefore do not hold it strange if by ' More cunning art I now the theme sustain. \ We reached a point, as we were drawing nigh, j Whence what first seemed a wall that had incurred ] A fissure, now threw open to the eye '> The Door of A door, and steps beneath, first, second, third, i Ward^aJ'the ^or access to it, all diverse of hue, | three symbolic And a gate-keeper who yet spoke no word. ■ caUy, the steps' ^^^ ^^ ^ Opened more mine eye thereto, i are Confession, I saw him sitting on the upper stair, ' Anagogically Such in the face I could not bear the view. they may repre- He held a sword whereof the blade was bare, \ white jmrity of Which shed a sheen so dazzHng to our viewing \ Christ; second. That oft in vain I raised my glances there. \ Christ breaJcing "Stand there and tell what aim ye are pursuing; \ and making con- Where is the escort!^^' - he began to say, j trite the black //t» i . • i i • .« heart; third, the Beware lest commg up be your undomg!"- j redeeming blood My Master answered him: "This very day i of Christ. The . T . CTT i.^i i Adamant: the ^ -Lady of Heaven, aware how to proceed, ] sure fouridation Bade, *Thither go, there is the entrance-way!'" - j 111). The Angel "And may she all your steps with blessing speed," ' is the priest.^ Rejoined the Gate-keeper in courteous tone, ' the mortal sins. "Come to our stair then, as it is decreed." - '■ The Keys, those Thither we Came: a great white marble stone I ^^^^" ^ * Was the first stair, so polisht and so terse I That in it was my very image shown. \ The second, tinct of deeper hue than perse, j Was rugged rock, scorcht with corrosive stain, i And cloven through both lengthwise and traverse.: The third, which from above thrusts down amain, \ Seemed to me porphyry, as luminant As red blood spirting from a master- vein. < Upon this last one both his feet did plant I Th' Angel of God, who sat the threshold warding. Which seemed to me of stone of adamant. ■ The Two Keys 183 Up the three steps, mine own good will according, Drew me my Guide, and said: "Humbly request That he unlock, admittance thus affording." - Devoutly fell I at the footpalms blest; For mercy craved the opening to me; But first I smote me thrice upon the breast. With sword-point he inscribed the letter P Sevenfold upon my forehead: "Once inside. Take heed to wash away these wounds," - said he. Ashes, or earth which has been digged and dried. Would match the hue of his habiliment, And, drawn from underneath it, I descried Two keys, one gold, one silver instrument; Now with the white, then with the yellow too. He plied the gate until I was content. "Should either key the fastening not undo, Within the wards inadequately plying," Said he to us, "blockt is the passage through. More dear is one, the other one relying. Ere it unlock, on passing craft and wit. For this one brings the knot to its untying. Peter, who gave them, said 'twere better fit. When people at my feet were prostrate lain, To err by opening than shutting it." - He pusht the portal of the holy fane: "Enter," said he, "this knowledge with you bring- ing,- Whoso looks backward goes outside again." - And when upon their sockets were set swinging The pivots of that consecrated door. Hinges of metal stout, sonorous ringing, Not so discordant seemed, nor did so roar Tarpeia, when away from her was rended The good Metellus, whence grew lean her store. I turned away, and the first note attended: Te Deum laudamus on mine ear was stealing In voices with sweet music interblended. The silver sym- bolizes the knowledge of human nature which enables the priest to judge of the genuine nature of the penitence; the golden, the power of abso- lution According to the poet Lucan, the Tarpeian rock bellowed when CoBsar put aside the Tribune and violated the treasury. The reason why the door of Purga- tory creuks is merdioned at the beginning of the next canto 184 Purgatorio Then listened I with such a raptured feeling As often overcomes the soul down here. When sing the people to the organ pealing, And now the words are muffled, now ring clear. Note to first line page 182 The sensitive reader will not fail to feel the singular loftiness o! the style. The scenery wherein the falling asleep and the awakening of the Poet are framed; the imagery of the lunar aurora in the great constellation of the Scorpion; the dim imaginations of his dream and the contrast between its seeming violence and the placid action which it shadows; then the effect of Virgil's narrative upon Dante's mind and mood, - all these circumstances form a symmetrical avenue of approach, flanked by the converging lines of the dream and its answering reality. Hitherto we have been delayed outside the Christian Acropolis, first in the plain by the seaside, then upon the lower slopes of the Mountain; now we draw near to the mystic Propylseum. Invited by the courteous Gatekeeper, we are drawn with our good will up the three symbolic steps. The first of these may be taken as an emblem of the white purity of Christ wherein we behold, as in an accusing mirror, the stains which we have come to purge away. The second step, dark and rough and scorched, of mas- sive stone cracked lengthwise and across, brings the broken and contrite heart in contact with the Cross of Christ; while perhaps the third, which seemed porphyry flaming like blood from a master vein, denotes acceptance on the part of the pilgrim of the redeeming blood of Christ. The Bird of God who sits above the threshold of adamant typifies the Priest receiving confession by authority of the Church. Here should be borne in mind the Poet's explanation in his letter to Can Grande of the various ways in which his poem may be read: it has meanings literal, moral, allegorical, anagogical, - now this meaning and now that one shining out, and sometimes two or three different meanings dazzling the reader with their iridescence. Thus here the threshold of adamant is a member of an architectm*al structure, while allegorically it refers to the .solid foundation upon which Christ built the Church, morally to the steadfastness appro- priate to the confessor, and anagogically (as Torraca suggests) to the light of Grace. The purpose of the invocation is, in the light of theseconsiderations, clear. The reader will not have failed to note how habitually Dante descends at the close of a canto to some moral exhortation, some bitter invective, some piece of satire; and the loftier the theme of the canto the more studiously homely is the phrasing of such descent to earth. There is such a descent to the language and needs of little people (mulierculse) at the close of the preceding and of the succeeding canto. Such descents are more frequent as we go up and on. But in this canto there is no descent, and the Poet challenges the reader not to wonder if he uses more art to support the exalted matter of his song. Terrace of the Proud 185 The Marvelous Carved Walls When once within the threshold of the gate, Which souls disuse through evil inclination To make the crooked pathway appear straight, I felt it closed by its reverberation: And if I had turned back mine eyes thereto, What for the fault were fitting exculpation? A fissured rock were we ascending through, Which did to this side and the other sway As waves advancing and receding do. "Now must a little skill come into play, In keeping close, now here,^^ my Leader said, "Now yonder, to the side that curves away/* - So scantily our steps were making head That the moon's waning disk had time thereby To settle down to rest within her bed. Before we issued from that needle's eye. But when we reached a free and open land Above, where gathers back the mountain, I Being weary, both uncertain on which hand The way led, stopped we, not to go amiss By roads more lonely than through desert sand. From where the void borders the precipice To base of the high cHff ascending sheer. The human form thrice told would measure this; And, as I winged my glances far and near. Now to the leftward, now toward the right, Still did this cornice such to me appear. Our feet had not yet moved upon the height. When that sheer cliff around us, there become Too steep for climbing, proved of marble white And decked with carvings past the masterdom Not only of cunning Polycletus, - nay. Nature herself had there been overcome. Second day: middle of the forenoon. On the first of the seven terraces, that where the Sin of Pride is expiated The hinges creak, therefore, because "strait is the gate, and few there be that find if; and the sym- bolism is sus- tained by the loneliness of the way upon which they enter. In the narrow pass where the waMs undulate, the poets are careful to go straight ahead. ""The evil love of souls which makes the crooked way seem straight," implies famil- iarity ivith the poets belief, to be fully devel- oped later, that cdl actions, good or bad, are prompted by love of the good 186 Purgatorio This first suh- The Angel who proclaimed on earth the sway tlhTfit'^tat Of P^"^^ '°"g ^^'^ ^'?>>«d to constitute, ter of the gospel Which swept the ancient ban of Heaven away, Itttl Before us stood with truth so absolute the time of Carved in the acting of the gracious theme, t"':uVp:t That it appeared to be no image mute. ers. Almost You'd swear that he cried "Hail!" for how misdeem TrZ TaXrT When there was imaged forth that Lady dear has made a Who turned the key to open Love supreme? ttnnum-r-^ "Behold the handmaid of the Lord is here!"- ti^n Such was the language by her mien attested. Clearly as figure stampt in wax is clear. "Attend not to one part alone," - ^requested The kindly Master who was holding me On that side where the human heart is nested; Whereat, my glance removing, did I see Next beyond Mary, and toward the Guide Who urged me on, another history Set in the rock; whence, turning to that side, I passed by Virgil and drew nigh alone. So that it might the better be descried. 2 Samuel vi. There in the living marble carved, were shown *~^ The cart and kine the holy ark that drew. Whereby we fear an oflSce not our own. People were grouped about the foreground, who. In seven choirs, made my two senses say. One, "They sing not," the other, "Yes, they do." And likewise, where the marble did portray The smoke of incense, eyes and nostrils bore Discordant witness both of yea and nay. 2 Samuel vi. The lowly Psalmist, high-girt, on before ^~ The sacred vessel, bounded in the dance. And, doing so, was less than king and more. Michal was figured, looking on askance From window of great palace opposite. Perturbed and scornful in her countenance. Visible Speech 187 !b rom there the movement of my feet was slight Till I could scan another tale anigh. Which, beyond Michal, gleamed upon me white. Herein was historied the glory high Of the princely Roman who, beneficent. Moved Gregory to his great victory: Trajan, the emperor, hereby is meant; And a poor widow to his bridle clung In attitude of grief and of lament. He seemed to ride with many a knight, among A trampling throng; eagles of golden hue Above him streaming to the wind seemed flung. "Avenge me, Sire!" - amid that retinue Appeared that wretched mother to implore, "For my slain son my heart is stricken through." "Be patient," answered her the Emperor, "Till my return." - And she, with urgent moan Replied: "How, Sire, if thou return no more?" - Then he: "Whoso shall sit upon my throne Will do it."- And she: "What boot shall be to thee Another's bounty, if thou stint thine own?" - "Now be thou comforted," consented he, "For ere I go my duty must I do. So Justice wills, pity restraining me." - That Being who can look on nothing new Produced that visible speech engraven yon. Unknown here, therefore novel to our view. While I dehghted me to look upon These portraits of humility so fair And dear, considering Who this had done, "Lo, many people, but with footsteps rare," Murmured the Poet, "on this side of us; These will direct us to the lofty stair." - Mine eyes, that were intent on gazing thus. Turned round toward him, loath to be delayed. To see new objects still solicitous. It was believed that Trajan wa^ removed from Hell and re- deemed in answer to the prayers of Gregory the Great. Cf. the great place given to the just Emperor in Paradiso xx 188 Purgatorio Dante attributes to the reader that Sin of Pride which he ac- knowledges to have been his own (as vnll appear later) I would not have thee. Reader, shrink dismayed From thy good purpose, though thou come to know How God ordains it that the debt be paid. Take heed not to the fashion of the woe; Think on what follows; at the worst take thought Beyond the Judgment Day it cannot go. "Master," began I, "what I see seems not Persons approaching us with motion slight, But sight is so at fault, I know not what.'' - And he repUed to me: "So dire a plight Doubles them down with punishment condign, That I could not at first believe my sight. But closely look till vision disentwine What yonder comes beneath those bowlders ben I: Already canst thou see how all repine.'' - O ye proud Christians, wretched and forspent. Infirm in vision of your inward eyes. Who in backshding steps are confident. Perceive ye not how we from worms arise To form the fair angelic butterfly Which unto judgment undefended flies? Why is the spirit in you puft on high. Since ye are ungrown insects at your best. Defective grubs that undeveloped die! As ceiling or roof timbers often rest On corbels, carved to indicate the strain In figure quaint, contorting knee to breast, - Whence out of the unreal, real pain Is bred in him who looks, - beneath such stress Did I see these, on giving heed again. True is it, they were bowed down more and less As more or less upon their backs they bore. And he whose look seemed most to acquiesce. Weeping, did seem to say: "I can no more!" - The Lord's Prayer 189 XI The Proud Made Humble "Our Father, Thou who dwellest high in Heaven, Not cu*cumscribed, save by the Love immense That to Thy first creation Thou hast given, Praised be Thy name and Thy onmipotence By all created beings, emulous To render thanks to Thy sweet effluence. Let peace from Thine own kingdom come to us, For with all reach of soul that in us lies We cannot win it, if it come not thus. As Thine own holy angels sacrifice Their will to Thee, while they Hosannah sing. So let men do with penitential sighs. This day to us our daily manna bring, For in this desert rough, in utter dearth. We backward go when most endeavoring. As we forgive to every one on earth The wrongs we bore, so graciously do Thou Forgive us, and look not upon our worth. Put not to proof before our ancient foe Our power of will, so easily undone. But liberate from him who spurs it so. We make, dear Lord, this final orison Not for ourselves, because there is no need, But all for dear ones left behind us yon." - Beseeching for themselves and us good speed. Those heavy-laden shades went their slow way Under such loads as oft from dreams proceed, And with unequal anguish circled they Wearily that first cornice of the Hill, Purging the soilure of the world away. If good for us be spoken yonder still. What may be done and said for them down here By those who have a good root to their will? Morning of the second day The prayer "Deliver us from the Evil One'' is no longer needed, bid is made for us who are still subject to fall. How then should we remember them when we pray! 190 Purgatorio Surely we ought to give them aid to clear The stains they carried hence, that light and chaste They issue forth upon the starry sphere. "Ah, so may justice and may pity haste To disemburden you and speed your wing Whither your heart *s desire is wholly graced, Tell us which passage to the stair may bring Us soonest, and if more than one there be, Show that where least is need of clambering: For in the flesh of Adam comes with me This person, by the burden so opprest That, although willing, he mounts charily." - The answer to these words, wherewith addrest Those weary souls my Leader and my Friend, Came back, from whom was yet not manifest; But it was said: "If to the right ye wend With us along the cliff, ye shall be shown A passage where the living could ascend. And if I were not hampered by the stone Taming my neck, erewhile imperious. So that perforce I hold my visage down. Then would I scan that one, not named to us But still alive, to see if him I knew. And make him of this burden piteous. Once one of To a great Tuscan Sire my birth is due, ih)se great William Aldobrandesco: I know not counts of banta Flora mentioned Whether his name was ever known to you. ^fhe^^M of ^y ancient blood, and prowesses that wrought hamng a casUe My forebears, so my vanity beguiled, ^ Zar ^""^ *'' '^^^*' ^^ ^^^ common mother losing thought. At all men with high arrogance I smiled. So that I died, as know the Sienese, Where he was And knows in Campagnatico each child. Humbert am I; nor harmed my haughtiness Me only, but all those my kinsmen bred Are dragged in consequence to deep distress. killed Vanity of Artistic and Literary Fame 191 And here I cannot choose but bow my head Beneath this load till satisfied be Grace, - Since not alive I did it, with the dead." - Listening to him, I bended down my face; And one of them beneath the weight they brook (Not he who spoke) twisted himself apace And saw me and recognized and called, his look. Albeit with effort, at my figure aimed Which going withal their crouching posture took. '^Art thou not Oderisi," - I exclaimed, "Glory of Gubbio for that art of thine In Paris now ^illuminating* named?" - "Brother," said he, "the leaves more smiling shine By Franco of Bologna's brush made fair: His now is all the boast, eclipsing mine. I had not been so courteous over there While Hving, for the yearning strong in me For excellence, which was my utmost care. Here of such pride is paid the penalty; And had I not, while free to sin, been fain To turn to God, even here I should not be. O glory of the human powers, how vain! Brief seasons to the summit verdure yield If no beclouded era supervene. Thought Cimabue to possess the field In painting; now is Giotto in request So that the elder glory is concealed. So did one Guido from the other wrest The palm in language; there may be, who knows? One born to drive both eagles from the nest. Worldly renown is windy breath that goes Now hither and now yon, and changes name According to the quarter whence it blows. If old thou strip thy flesh, shall then thy fame Be much more glorious than hadst thou died While pap and prattle still thy lips became. The pride of the artist Guido Guini- ceUi, whom we shall meet in Canto xxviy and Guido Cavalcantit whose father we met in Inferno x. The third poet is doubtless Dante himself. With delicate sdf-hetrayal he thv^ illustrates that he was not exempt from ""thai last in- firmity of noUe mind" 192 Purgatorio i A thousand years to come? a briefer tide; To all eternity, than wink of eye i To circle round the Heaven most slowly plied. j The lord of the With him who little road doth occupy I fi^^ "'^^ ""^ ^^fo'*^ ^^> ra^g aU Tuscany of yore, | Though few for him now in Siena sigh Where he was master once, and overbore { The rabidness of Florence, prostitute At present, even as she was proud before. i As color of the grass is your repute j Which comes and goes; He makes it yellow and sere i Who summons from the earth the greening fruit."- \ And I: "Thy truthful words make lowher ] My spirit, and abate my swelhng pride: But who is he of whom thou spokest here?'* - , "That? Provenzan Salvani," he rephed, "Put here because presumptuous to hold i All Siena underfoot. So since he died Has he been going, and ever as of old; Unresting goes; with such coin he atones) j Who in the other hfe has been too bold.^ - j And I: "K every spirit who postpones Repentance till he reach life*s utmost rim \ Cannot, unaided by good orisons, ] Ascend the Mount, but must an interim ' Equal to all his life remain below, - j How has the coming been vouchsafed to him?" - ] And he: "When living in the greatest show, j Upon the Camjx) of Siena fain j Was he to stand and all respect forgo: ^ For, wishing to dehver from the pain ^ Of Charles's prison house, a friend, he there Compelled himself to quake in every vein. Dante is also to I say no more, of darkling words aware;; '^n.tde^ B"t -I'ortly Will thy neighbors bring about! upon the charity That thou the pregnant comment canst prepare. 1 ci strangers rphis action from those limits let him out."- ' J Examples of Pride Brought Low 193 XII The Pictured Floor Abreast, like oxen going in a yoke, I with that heavy-laden soul went on. By the kind Teacher's leave. But when he spoke: **Now it behooves us leave him and be gone; To ply the bark with sail and oar is best Here, far as possible, for every one," Upright, prepared for walking, I redressed My body, howsoever inwardly My thoughts remained both lowly and depressed. I had moved on, and followed willingly The footsteps of my Master, and so fleet We went as showed us light of foot to be. When said he: "Cast thine eyes down; it is meet, In order well the pathway to beguile. To look upon the bed beneath thy feet.^ As, that their memory remain awhile. Earth-level tombs above the buried show The carven traces of their former style. Whence tears for them there often freshly flow Through pricking of remembrances, that stir Only the tender-hearted: even so Beheld I, but of semblance goodher There, in accordance with the Workman's worth. Figured the way along that mountain-spur. I saw on one side him of nobler birth Than any other creature, swift as light Fall Hke a thunderbolt from Heaven to Earth. I saw Briareus, smitten by the bright Celestial dart, with chiU of death subdued. Heavy up)on the ground there opposite. I saw Thymbraeus, Pallas, Mars, who stood In armor round their Father, and they were Gazing at members of the giants strewed. The time is near noon of the second day: the place further to the right around the Ter- race of the Proud. The symmetrical rhetoric corre- sponds with the formal arrange- ment of the pic- tures. Carven tombs in the pavement of the church are com- mon in Italy; but the most notable example of a pictured floor is in the Cathedral of Siena (the "graf- fiti"). Any reader with a Bible and a dictionary can look up the examples Series of stanzas begin- ning alike are frequent: e.g., the three begin- ning with the word ""Lovi* in FrancesccCs story (Inf. v), and the more elaborated series in Paradiso 194 Purgatorio I saw, at foot of his great labor, stare \ Bewildered Nimrod, where on Shinar plain i Lay those who with him had been haughty there. , O Niobe, with eyes how full of pain, i Portrayed upon the path I saw thee too, Between thy seven and seven children slain! j O Saul, how on your proj>er sword did you \ There Hfeless upon Mount Gilboa show,; That felt thereafter neither rain nor dew! \ O mad Arachne, I beheld thee so, I Half spider, wretched on the ruin wrought ] Upon the web thou wo vest to thy woe! i Rehoboam, here thy form does not | Appear to threaten, but fulfilled with fear, Snatcht from pursuers by a chariot! | Showed the hard pavement, too, what guerdon dear 1 Alcmseon made unto his mother once j The ill-predestined ornaments appear; Showed how upon Sennacherib the sons { Fell in the temple, where, when he was slain, ] They left him without any orisons; | Showed how great ruin and what cruel pain ) Wrought Tomyris, when she to Cyrus said: j "Thy thirst for blood with blood I slake again"; \ Showed how in panic the Assyrians fled j As soon as Holofernes was undone, i And showed the remnants of that victim dead. 1 saw in caves and ashes IHon: O Troy, thy state how low and pitiful! Showed in the sculptured imagery yon! What Master could with brush or graving-tool: Those lines and shades so deftly have bestowed, \ To make the cleverest wit cry "wonderful"? i The dead seemed dead, alive the living showed: Better than I, saw not who saw the true. All that I trod while bent above my road.; T(mch of the Angel-wing 195 Now lift your haughty looks, insolent crew Of sons of Eve, nor glance ye at the ground To see the wicked way that ye pursue! More of the mount by us was circled round. And the sun's course now far more nearly spent. Than deemed my spirit, which was not unbound, When he who ever vigilantly went Before me, "Lift thy head," began to say, "The time is past for going thus intent. Lo! yonder is an Angel in array To come toward us: lo! returning seen The sixth handmaid from service of the day. Adorn with reverence thine act and mien. That he may gladly speed our way on high: Think that this day will never dawn again." Well wonted to his monishing was I, On no account to squander time; and thus He could not on that theme speak covertly. Toward us came the being beauteous. Vested in raiment white, and in his face Such as appears the dawn -star tremulous. His wings he opened, opened his embrace. Bidding: "Approach, for hard by is the stair. And from henceforward ye ascend apace. To these glad tidings the response is rare: Born to soar up, why are ye overthrown, O human race, at every puff of air?" He led us to where cloven was the stone; Here with his wings did on my forehead smite. Then promised me secure the going on. As beyond Rubaconte, to the right. Where sits the temple built to overlook The well-directed city, the sharp flight Of that ascent less pantingly we brook By means of stairways fashioned in the days Safe for the bushel and the audit-book; The sixth hour, - so that noon is near Ruhaconie is the upper bridge at Florence. The steep flight of steps leading to San Miniato, - built before the public accounts and standards of measure were tampered loith 196 Purgatorio So here the mountainside a little stays Its dizzy drop from the succeeding round, But high rocks either side the pathway graze. As we are turning thither, voices sound, "Blessed the poor in spirit!" - sweet concent Such that to tell it words could not be found. Ah me, these entrances how diflFerent From that Infernal! for with anthems here One enters, - there below with wild lament. We were ascending now the holy stair. And now I seemed to walk with lighter spring Than even on the level plain whilere: Wherefore I questioned him: "What heavy thing Has been uplifted from me. Master, say. That now I go almost unwearying.^^" He answered: "When the other P*s that stay. Though indistinctly, on thy forehead still. Shall, like the one, be canceled quite away, Thy feet will be so subject to good will, Not only will they not be wearied out. But feel delight to be urged up the hill.** Then did I as do those who go about Hooded they know not how, till by and by The beckonings of others make them doubt; The touch of the Wherefore the hand is raised to verify, h^'l^JITLe ^^ ^^^^ *^^ *^^^S ^^ ^^^^' ^^^^ lending aid gymbolic P from To supplement the oflBce of the eye; ihe Tpoet't brow ^^ ^^^^ ^^Le fingers of my right outspread. Six only of the letters that erewhile He of the Keys had graven on my head: And this my gesture made the Leader smile. Lashes of the Scourge of the Envious 197 XIII 1 Sapia of Siena \ ■J We now were at the summit of the stair, j^^^y afternoon 1 There where the mount that heals as one ascends «/ second day. \ Is cut away the second time. - ^And there Envious ^ ' A terrace round about the hillside trends j In the same manner as the former one, \ Save that more suddenly its contour bends. j Shaded or graven form appeared there none: So bare the bank, and so the pathway showed With but the livid color of the stone. \ "If to inquire of people we abode I Still here," the Poet said, "I fear perchance i It would too much delay our choice of road." Then fixing on the sun a steady glance. And centering his movement on the right. He caused his left side round it to advance. I "O Thou, confiding in whose kindly light; I enter the new pathway, lead," he said,: **For leading here within is requisite. The world thou warmest, lamping overhead; j If other reason urge not, by thy smile .; We ought forever to be onward led." i As far as here we reckon for a mile. So far there did we on our journey move By dint of ready will, in little while; And tow'rd us were heard fiying thereabove *j Spirits invisible, with courteous I •! Persuasion, bidding to the board of Love. The first voice that went flying onward thus, 1^ With loud proclaim cried out: "No wine have they," Uary at the Repeating it long after passing us. marriage at And ere, far ofiF, it wholly died away, I heard another that was flying by, Pylades, wish- "I am Orestes," - nor did this one stay. T^ friend 198 Purgatorio "O Father mine, what voices these?" said I; And while I questioned, did a third one urge, "Love him that uses you despitefully." The Envious are And he: "This round doth castigating purge scourged by rpj^ ^^ f ^ ^ j £ L are ta'en voices of unself- •' ' ish love. The On that account the lashes of the scourge. ^nvyisfotd Another sound must have the bridle rein, voiced at the And thou wilt hear it, if I well surmise, closeof Canto xiv Qj. ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ p^^^ ^f p^^.^^^^ ^^^^^ But through the air intently fix thine eyes, And thou shalt see along this avenue People, all sitting where the rocks arise." Then opened wider than before my view, Taking in shades in front, with mantles on That did not differ from the stone in hue. And when we had a little farther gone, I heard a moaning: "Mary, for us pray!" To Michael and Peter and all the saints a moan. I cannot think there walks the earth today A man so hard as not to have been stung With pity at what I saw beside the way: For when I drew so nearly them among That all their actions became manifest. Out through mine eyes full bitter tears were wrung. In haircloth mean I seemed to see them drest; Each lent his shoulder unto him behind. And all supported by the chff did rest. Thus at indulgences the poor and blind To crave their needment by the portal wait, Each with his head upon the next reclined. That others may be made compassionate Not by the sound of words alone so soon As by their looks that no less supplicate. As profits not the blind the sun at noon. So to the shades who sat where I have said. The light of Heaven will not confer its boon; Brotherly Kindness for Envy 199 For pierces all their lids an iron thread. And sews them up, as to a savage hawk Is done, since it will not be quieted. Methought it unbecoming so to walk Beholding others while concealed from view; Whence turned I, with my counsel sage to talk. What the mute wished to utter, well he knew, Whence did he not my questioning abide. But said: "Speak to the point; let words be few." Virgil was walking with me on that side Whence one may fall, because a parapet To girdle round the terrace is denied. Upon the other side of me were set The pious shades, who through the suture dread Strained forth the tears until their cheeks were wet. To them I turned me, and, beginning, said: "O people sure to see the lofty Glow Whereto your longing thoughts are wholly led. May Grace soon loosen all the soilure so From off your conscience, that descending clear Through it the stream of memory may flow, Tell me, - for welcome will it be and dear, - If soul Italian here among you be; It might be well for him that I should hear." "Citizens all, O brother mine, are we Of one true city; but be this thy word, - One who a pilgrim dwelt in Italy." By way of answer, this, methought, I heard A little farther on than where I stood; Whence I directed me yet thitherward. Among the others there, one shadow showed A waiting look; should any ask "How so?" It lifted up its chin in blindman's mode. "O soul, subdued that thou mayst upward go," Said I, "if thou it be that answerest. Vouchsafe that I \hy name or country know." No dividing lines of race or tongue or laiid or color 200 Purgatorio Hie d^eat of theSienese Ghib- ellines under Provenzano Scd- vani {Canto xi) by the Floren- tines Peter the comb- maker, so unu- sually honest as to be still remem- bered in Siena Dante confesses that his besetting sin is pride "I was a Sienese, and with the rest," She answered, "here I cleanse my life unfit, Weeping to Him to come and make us blest. Sapient was I not, though named of it Sapia; greeting with far greater glee Another*s bane than mine own benefit. And that thou think me not deceiving thee. Hear whether I was foolish as I tell What time the years were sloping down with me. One day the men who in my country dwell Joined battle near to Colle with their foes. While I was praying God for what befell. Routed were they, and felt the bitter woes Of fugitives; beyond comparison My joy, on witnessing the chase, arose: So that, uplifting my bold face thereon, I cried to God, *Henceforth I fear Thee not!' As doth the blackbird for a little sun. Upon the utmost verge of fife I sought For peace with God; and e*en yet would I be Nowise by penitence of debt disfraught. Had it not been that, out of charity Grieving, with supphcations holiest, Pier Pettinagno still remembered me. But who art thou that comest making quest About our state, with unimpeded eye As I believe, and breathing reasonest?" "Mine eyes will be withheld," I made reply, "But briefly here, for small offense done when With Envy they were yonder turned awry. My spirit, too expectant of the pain They suffer underneath, is terrified; That load already weighs on me amain." And she to me: "Who then hath been thy guide Up here among us, if return is meet.'*" "He with me who is silent," I replied; Desire for Good Report on Earth 201 "And living am I; whence do thou entreat Of me, O chosen soul, wouldst have me yon Yet move in thy behalf my mortal feet/' "O strange is this to hearP - she said thereon, "And of God's love to thee a happy sign; Whence aid me sometime with thine orison. And I implore by most desire of thine. If thou shalt tread the Tuscan earth anew, That thou make good my fame with kindred mine. Seek them among that futile people, who Place hope in Talamone, forfeiting More hope than when the Dian they pursue; But the admirals will lose a greater thing.'' Talamone was a malarial sea- port which the Sienese tried to develop; the Dian an under- ground stream they tried to tap. The Sienese "admirals" are like those of Switzerland. For other references to this fascinaP ing city, see Cantos V and xi, and Inf. xxix 202 Purgatorio The Terrace of the Envious; mid-afternoon, second day Speakers: Guido del Duca, Rinieri da Cdboli Course of the Amo from its mountain source to the sea XIV Degeneracy of Tuscany and the Romagna "Who is this that, ere Death have given him wing. Doth circUng round about our mountain go. Shutting his eyes at will, and opening?" "I know not who he is, but he, I know. Is not alone: ask thou, who art more nigh. And greet him gently, that he answer so." Thus, leaning each to each, held colloquy Two spirits, sitting on the right hand there; Then, to address me, with the face on high. One said: "O soul, that dost already fare Tow'rd Heaven, yet planted in the body thus. For charity console us, and declare Whence and who art thou; for so marvelous This grace of thine appears unto our eyes. As must a thing yet never known to us." And I: "In Falterona there doth rise A brook, mid-Tuscany meandering. Whose course a hundred miles do not suflSce. From thereupon do I this body bring: To tell you who I am were speech in vain. Because my name does not yet widely ring." Then he who first had spoken said again: "Thou speakst of Arno, if I picture well The meaning of thy words within my brain." Whereto the other: "Why did he not tell The very word we know that river by. But keep it back as something horrible?" And the shadow that was questioned made reply: "I know not, but indeed 'tis fitting for The very name of such a vale to die. For from its fountain, - ^where the waters pour So amply from that rugged mountain chain Tom from Pelorus, seldom teeming more. Course of the Arno 203 As far as where it renders up again That which the heaven absorbs from out the flood, Wherefrom the rivers have their flowing train, - Virtue is driven Hke a serpent brood, The enemy of all, or through mischance Of place, or scourge of evil habitude. Whence so disnatured are the habitants Of that unhappy vale, it would appear That Circe had them in her maintenance. Among foul hogs, of acorns worthier Than other viands made for use of men. It first directs its puny thoroughfare; Curs it encounters, coming downward then. More snarling than their power gives warranty. And turns from them its muzzle in disdain; The more it flows on downward swellingly. The more the dogs grown wolves discovers this Accursed ditch of evil destiny; Finds then, descending many a deep abyss. Foxes so fraudulent they never fear To be entrapt by any artifice. Nor do I curb my tongue lest others hear: And good for this man to remember well The things true prophecy is making clear. I see thy grandson, who becomes a fell Hunter of those wolf-creatures, and dismays All who along the cruel river dwell. He "fends their fiesh while it is living, - slays Them afterwards, as would a wild-beast hoar; Many of life deprives, himself of praise. From the grim wood he issues red with gore. Leaving it such not thousand years will show That river-bank rewooded as before." As at announcement of impending woe. The hearer's face betrays his troubled mood. From wheresoever peril threaten; so Porciano Florence Pisa The ferocious Podesta (chief magistrate) of Florence in the first year of Dante s exUe 204 Purgatorio The Romagna, bounded by Po, Reno, Apen- nine, Adriatic I saw that other soul, in attitude To listen, grow perturbed and full of teen, When that prophetic word he understood. The language of the one, the other's mien Made me desire to know the names they bore; Whereof I made request, with prayers between. Thereat the spirit that spoke to me before. Began again: "Thou wilt not do the same Favor to me that thou art craving for; But if God will that forth in thee should flame Such grace, I will not as a niggard do: Know then, Guido del Duca is my name. So Envy did the blood of me imbue. That, had I seen a man grow joyful there, Thou wouldst have seen me tinged with livid hue. From my own sowing reap I such a tare: Why set your hearts, O human progeny, On what ye are permitted not to share? This is Rinier, of the house of Calboli The glory and the honor; from their blood Has sprung no heir of his nobility. 'Twixt Po and mountain, Reno and the flood. His family is not the only race Stript of integrity and gentlehood; For in these bounds replete is every place With poisonous scions, so that late and slow Could ever tilth eradicate their trace. Henry Mainardi and good Lizio, ♦ Pier Traversar*, Guy di Carpigna, where Be they, O Romagnoles, who bastard grow? When will Bologna now a Fabbro bear? Faenza a Bernardin di Fosco when? - Of humble family the noble heir. Tuscan, let not my tears amaze thee then, When Guy da Prata I recall to mind. With Hugh of Azzo as he lived with men. Degenerate Houses of the Romagna 205 And Frederick Tignoso and his kind. The Traversara, the Anastagi (those Two houses in their Hneage decHned!), The knights and ladies, labor and repose. That kindled in us love and coiu-tesy. Where every human heart so wicked grows. O Brettinoro, why dost thou not flee, Seeing that, not to be corrupted, go Many to exile with thy family? Well does Bagnacaval being barren so. But Castrocaro ill, and bent to spawn Such breed of counts, still worse does Conio. Will do well the Pagani, when is gone Their Demon from them; but not so that pure Can ever the report of them live on. O Hugh of Fantolini, now secure Thy name is, which no fear may entertain Of sons degenerating to obscure! Now, Tuscan, go thy way, for I am fain Rather to weep than our discourse pursue. So has it left my spirit wrung with pain." That those dear souls could hear when we withdrew, We were aware; and therefore confident Their silence made us of the avenue. When we became alone, as on we went, A voice came counter to us that did say. Even as when lightning cleaves the firmament: "Every one that findeth me, shall slay;" All of a sudden thereupon it passed. As thunder with the storm-rack rolls away. Soon as our ears had truce from such a blast. Behold another of so loud a tone. It seemed the thunderclap that follows fast: "I am Aglauros, who became a stone!" Backward instead of forward, at that sound I stepped, and pressed the Poet hard upon. The studious reader vnll look up these for- gotten great in Toynbee's en- tertaining Dante Diction- ary This Devil ought to be re- membered far his sonorous name: Ma^hi- nardo Pagani da Su^inana. He was lord of Faenza and Imola. Dante gives him three lines in Inferno xxvii (^9-51) Cain Apparently for coveting her sister's hand- some lover 206 Purgatorio ] The bridle-bit or Now was the air grown quiet all around; ^ cZt%io And he to me: "That was the galling bit; Which ought to keep a man within his bound. ] But ye accept the baited hook, and it i Draws you toward the Adversary old, j Whence curb or call doth little benefit. 1 The Heavens are calling to you, and unfold Their never-fading beauties to your view \ Which ever fixt upon the earth ye hold; j Whence the All-seeing One is scourging you."; Ascent to the Terrace where Wrath is Purged 207 XV Treasure in Heaven: Visions of Forbearance As much as shows, between the dawn of day And when the third hour closes, of the sphere That Hke a child is evermore at play. So much seemed left the sun of his career Toward the night, remaining to be run: There it was vespers, and 'twas midnight here. The rays were striking full our face upon. For so we circling round the mountain went That we were going toward the setting sun; When yet far more I felt my forehead bent Beneath the splendor that did on it smite. And the strange matters were my wonderment: Wherefore I made a visor to my sight. Lifting my hands above these brows of mine So as to temper the excess of light. As when on glass or water sunbeams shine. Then in the opposite direction dart. Ascending in a corresponding line To that of their descent, and so depart Equally from the plummet line away. As demonstrate experiment and art; So I felt smitten by a flashing ray That seemed reflected full in front of me. Wherefore mine eyes could not endure to stay. "What is it. Father dear, whence cannot be Suflicient shelter for my sight,^' said I, "And coming on toward us seemingly?" "Marvel thou not if dazzle yet thine eye The family of Heaven," he answered. "Tis A messenger inviting us on high. In short while to behold such things as this Will not be irksome to thee, but delight So deep that Nature holds no sweeter bliss." Late afternoon of second day. The sphere is surely not the Ecliptic but the visible heavens, our sky, con- ceived as always in happy, inno- cent activity Vespers is the time from 3 to 6 P.M. At 3 in Purgatory it would be mid- night in Italy ^08 Purgatorio Ascent to the Terrace of the Wraihfid Guido del Duca: lines 86, 87 of Canto xiv When we had reacht the Angel benedight, His glad voice said: "From here thou enterest A stair than others far less steep of flight/^ Departing thence, we mounted now, and Blest Are the compassionate y did it intone Behind us, and Rejoice, thou conquerest! My Master and myself, we two alone, Were going up, and, going, I took thought How from his words to gain some benison; And turned me to him, thus inquiring: "What Could he have meant, the spirit Romagnole, Speaking of sharing as permitted not?" Then he: "Of his own greatest sin, that soul Conceives the harm; whence let it not surprise If he rebuke it, that there be less dole. For inasmuch as your heart's treasure lies Where through companionship ye lose a share, Doth Envy work the bellows for your sighs. But if love for the most exalted sphere Should make your aspiration upward turn, Ye would not harbor in your breast that fear; Because the more there yonder be who yearn To murmur *Ours,' the more has each, and more Of charity doth in that cloister burn." "I am further from contentment than before I ceased from being silent," then I said, "And more of doubt within my mind I store. How can a single boon, distributed. Give many holders wealth more unconfined. Than if it be by few inherited.'^" And he: "Because thou centerest thy mind Only on earthly things, thy inward sight Is, in the plenitude of brightness, blind. That inexpressible and infinite Boon up above there, so to love outflows. As to a lucid body runs the light. Partnership in Spiritual Goods 209 Much as it finds of ardor, it bestows; So that, however spread the flame of love, j Above it the Eternal Bounty grows.; And the more people set their hearts above, ^ The more love well there, and more love is wrought, ^ And mirrors each to each the bliss thereof. ' And if my reasoning appease thee not, i Thou shalt have Beatrice to cancel through I Both this and every other craving thought. ^ Obliterated of thy wounds are two: | Only endeavor that, the same as these. The five may soon be healed by feeling rue.** ^ As I was fain to say, "Thou dost appease,":; Behold! another Circle did I gain, j And eager eyes compelled me hold my peace. There suddenly I felt me overtaken Three visions of; By an ecstatic vision, whence beguiled, kTsJ^^^to^tL I saw a crowd of people in a fane; Wrathful And at the door a Lady, with the mild The Virgin Mien of a mother, seemed to say this thing: Mother "Ah, why hast thou so dealt with us, my child? i Thy father and myself, lo! sorrowing ^ Were seeking thee.'' - ^As here she ceased to speak, \ That which had first appeared was vanishing. } Another then appeared, adown whose cheek >. Those waters coursed that grief distills, when great ■ Resentment upon others it would wreak: ' "If Master of the town that such debate ] Caused to the gods about its name,'' said she, i "And whence doth every science scintillate, Up)on that bold embrace avenge thou thee,; That clasped our daughter, O Pisistratus!" Pisistratus, Her lord benign and gentle seemed to me ^ ^-^ ^^^^ ] To answer her with temperate manner thus: j "What shall we do to them who wish us ill, j K they who love us are condemned by us?" ' 210 Purgatorio The stoning of Then I saw angry folk aflame with will St. Stephen rp^ gj^y ^ youth by stoning, raising cries Hoarsely to one another: "Kill him, kill!" And saw him bowed to earth, and now he lies Under the weight of Death, yet, thus undone. Still making gates to Heaven with his eyes; Lifting to the High Lord his orison, With look such as unlocks our sympathy, For pardon to his slayers every one. Soon as returned my spirit outwardly To things external to it, which are true. Did I my not erroneous errors see. Thereon my Leader, who could see me do Like one disputing slumber's masterdom, Exclaimed: "What ails thee? canst not stand? go to! For half a league and farther art thou come With eyes veiled over, and with legs that sway. Like one with wine or slumber overcome." Then said I: "O my gentle Father, pray Listen to me, and I will tell thee what I saw, when thus my legs were ta'en away 1" "A hundred masks upon thy face would not Avail to shut thy mind from me," he said, "However trivial might be thy thought. What thou hast seen was that thou mayst be led To ope thy heart to waters of repose That pour from the eternal fountainhead. I did not ask *What ails thee?' as do those Who only look with inattentive glance When reft of consciousness the body shows. But asked that vigorous thy foot advance: Thus it behooves to spur the laggard, slow To put to proof returning vigilance." Still forward through the vesper did we go, Straining as far as possible the eye Against the late and shining rays; and lo! Benighting Effect of Wrath 211 By slow degrees toward us coining nigh The symbolic A cloud of smoke, as gloomy as the night, *^*^ ^^ ^^'^ Nor was there any place of shelter by: This of pure air bereft us and of sight. 212 Purgatorio XVI Lawlessness of the Temporal Power of the Clergy Terrace of tlie The gloom of Hades and of shades that shroud 7^n o/S Every star beneath a barren sky, second day As much as can be overcast with cloud. Made never veil so thick unto mine eye Nor of so rough a tissue to the feeling, As did that smoke we there were covered by, From the closed eye all vision quite concealing; Whereat mine Escort sapient and tried Offered me help, his shoulder tow'rd me wheeling. Even as a bhnd man goes behind his guide. And lest he haply stumble against aught Might hurt or kill him, does not go aside. So faring through that bitter fume, I caught The accents of my Guide, who did but say: "Take care that we be separated not!" - Voices I heard, and each appeared to pray That might in peace and in compassion come The Lamb of God who takes our sins away. Just Agnus Dei was their exordium: One measure was for all, and one desire. So that in harmony seemed all and some. "Master, can what I hear," did I inquire, "Be spirits .f*" - "Thou hast said it," he replied, "And they go loosening the knot of ire." - "Now who art thou cleaving our smoke aside. Who art discoursing of us even as though Thou didst by calends still the time divide?" - Speech by a single voice was uttered so: Whereat the Master said: "Thy answer be To ask if here the pathway upward go." - And I: "O creature that art cleansing thee. To return beautiful to Him who made, Shalt hear a wonder if thou follow me." - The Good Marco Lomhardo 213 "I'll follow thee far as I may/' it said, "And if the smoke still make our seeing vain, To keep us joined shall hearing serve instead." - "Swathed in the bands that Death unbinds again," Began I, "do I go the upward road. And hither came I through the eternal pain; And since enfolds me so the grace of God, Showing His will that I behold His court By way quite other than our modern mode. What man thou wast ere death do thou report. Concealing naught, and tell me if I go Right for the pass; and let thy words escort." "Lombard was I, called Marco; and did know The world's concerning, and that virtue love Whereat each one has now unbent the bow: For mounting up do thou straight forward move." - Thus answering, "I pray thee," added he, "To pray for me when thou shalt be above." - And I to him: "I pledge my faith to thee To do that which thou era vest; but I burst With inward doubt till from it I am free. Elsewhere suggested, it was simple first. But now confirmed by words which thou hast said. Redoubled, and to know the cause I thirst. The world in very deed is forfeited To vice by virtue all, as thou dost say. And is with evil big and overspread: But put thy finger on the cause, I pray. That I, discerning it, let others know Whether the blame to heaven or earth to lay." - Voicing his deep sighs in a cry by woe Wrung from him, he began: "The world is blind. Brother, and sooth thou comst from there below. All causes are by you who live assigned To Heaven above, as if its motion still Did of necessity all natures bind. Marco Lom- bardo: a great figure in his day, I who left a repu- j tation for sagac- i iiy, vyit, brusque \ candor, liber- ality, honor. If \ he was prone to ire, he probably \ had good reason i 214 Purgatorio If this were true, your freedom of the will Would be destroyed, and it would not be right To have or joy for good, or grief for ill. The Heavens do your first impulses excite, - I say not all; but grant that this I said. For good or evil there is given you light And free volition; which to battle led Against the stars, though weary it commence. Finally conquers all, if rightly fed. Though free, ye are subject to omnipotence And better nature, which doth in you mold The mind, exempt from starry influence. Hence if the present world go uncontrolled. In you the cause, let it be sought in you: And true intelligence I now unfold. Forth from the hand of her Creator, who Loves her before she be, in maiden guise, With gleeful laughter and with tears of rue. Issues the innocent soul, in nothing wise Save that from her blithe Maker, she again BKthely turns thither where her pleasure lies. Cheated at first, she tastes the savor vain Of trivial good, and runs to that desire. Her love by guide unbended or by rein. Hence law by way of bridle we require; Require a king discerning from aloof Of the true city of God at least the spire. Chewing the cud Laws are, - but who to put them to the proof? ^^^^nm V* ^one: since the shepherd, he who goes before, the Pastor. The Can chew the cud but cleaveth not the hoof. It ^r^t'e^^^ Whence folk who see their leader striking for slip, symbolizes That having which they greedily pursue, MmoAhe ^"^g f^^ ^t^ that, hunger for nothing more. magistraie. But Well canst thou see that governance untrue tsI^tihT ^^^ ^^^^^ ^^ t^^t ^^*^ ^^^^ t^^ ^^^^^ malign, functions of the And not that nature is corrupt in you. The Church of Rome Falls in the Mire 215 Rome, that redeemed the world, once gave to shine Two suns, which both the one and the other course Made manifest, - the worldly, the divine. The one hath quencht the other; and perforce, The sword together with the crozier wed, 111 can but come of it till they divorce. Since, joined, the one doth not the other dread. Consider well, if thou beheve not so. The fruit, for every plant is known by seed. In the land laved by Adige and Po, Valor was once in vogue, and courtesy. Ere Frederick had quarreled with his foe; Now can fare through it with security Any whom sense of shame may set at strife From speaking with the good or drawing nigh. Survive still, to rebuke the manners rife, Three veterans, and long appears the road To them, till God conduct to better life: Conrad, named of Palazzo, Gerard good. And Guido of Castello, - better say The loyal Lombard, after the French mode. The Church of Rome, declare thou from this day. That would in double government engage. Falls with its burden in the miry way.'' - "O Marco mine," said I, "thy words are sage; And now I see why Levi's children should Have been excluded from the heritage. But who is Gerard, that example good. Thou sayest, of a generation spent. Who lives to upbraid our barbarous period?" - "Cheat me thy words, or make experiment. In that thou, speaking Tuscan," he replied, "Seemst of good Gerard unintelligent. I know him not by any name beside, Unless 'twere from his daughter Gaia drawn. - I come no farther; so be God your guide. This somewhat indejinite allu- sion doubtiess involves a com- jdiment to a great lady who inherited and increased the honor of a stain- less name. Any other interpre- tation is both baseless and graceless 216 Purgatorio Already through the smoke the splendor yon Is whitening, - the Angel is there, - before He has perceived me, I must needs be gone." - So he turned back, and would not hear me more. Three Lifelike Visions XVII 217 Profitable Discourse during the Second Night Recall to mind if ever shut thee in, Reader, a cloud upon the Apennine, Wherethrough thou sawest but as mole through skin; How, when the dank, dense vapors discombine. And slowly fall away, the solar sphere Comes struggling in again with feeble shine; And to thy fantasy it will be clear Immediately, how I saw once more The sun, that was already setting here. To the sure footsteps of my Counselor Matching my own, from such a cloud I thus Emerged to rays now dead on the low shore. O power of fancy, oft withdrawing us So from without, we show indifference Though a thousand trumpets round are clamorous. Who moves thee if impel thee not the sense? Moves thee a heaven-informed illumining. Led down by will or starry influence. Appeared the trace in my imagining Of her, the pitiless, who changed, some say. Into the bird that most delights to sing; And here my intellect in such a way Was lockt within, that nothing was descried Of any object that outside it lay. In my raised fantasy, one crucified Rained down thereafterward, of scornful mood And rancorous in mien, and so he died. Around him great Ahasuerus stood, Esther his wife, just Mordecai, he who In word and deed was of such rectitude. And as this image of itself withdrew. Collapsing like a bubble when it wants The film of water it was fashioned through, Sunset of secona day. Terrace of the Wrathfi.' Procne {or Progne), see Canto ix, 15. Dante follows Ovid. There is a more common version of the myth that makes Philomela the nightingale Haman (Book of Esther). TheVuU gate in one 'place terms the scaf- fold a ^cross^ 218 Purgatorio Lavinia, whose mother had kiUed herself at a false report of the death of Turnus. Mneid Ascent to the Terrace of the SloOifvl Uprose a youthful maiden in my trance. Bitterly weeping, and she cried: "O Queen, Why wouldest thou be naught in petulance? To lose Lavinia not, thyself hast slain: Now thou hast lost me; she who mourns am I, Mother, for thee, ere for another's teen.'* - And even as slumber breaks, when suddenly Upon closed eyelids strikes the morning light, And, broken, wavers ere it wholly die. So fell away from me this fancied sight. Soon as there struck upon my face a glare That, matched with what we know, seemed infinite. When I had turned to see the way to fare, I heard: "Here go ye up!" in accents blest Withdrawing me from every other care. Making my will so eager in request To know the speaker, and to look and see. That, until face to face, it cannot rest. But as before the sun, excessively Resplendent, veiling so its form from sight, Thus was the power deficient here in me. '^This is a spirit divine, who tow'rd the height. Without our prayer, points where we should be hieing. And wraps himself about with his own fight. He deals with us as self to self replying; For who awaits the prayer, and feels the need, Mafignly leans already to denying. To such inviting let our feet be sped: Now press we up ere darkness round us be, For else we cannot until dawn is red." - When so had said my Leader, I and he Together toward a stairway turned our feet; And soon as I had reacht the first degree. My face was fanned as by a pinion's beat. And I heard say: "Blest the Peacemakers are, Because by evil anger not beset." - The Seven Roots of Sin 219 Now were uplifted over us so far The parting beams whereon the night pursues. That upon every side shone forth a star. "Alas, why are my sinews grown so loose?" Within me I began to murmur, for I felt my power of limb was put in truce. Come were we where ascended now no more The stairway up, and there we fast were stayed, Even as a vessel moored upon the shore; And for a little while I gave full heed If aught were heard within the circle new; Then to my Master turned about, and said: "Inform me here, beloved Father true. What fault is in this circle purified? Though pause the feet, let not thy word so do." - And he to me: "The love of good, denied Its due activity, is here restored; Here the ill-slackened oar again is plied. Wouldst thou more clearly comprehend my word. Be but attentive and, although we wait, Thou shalt derive some profit and reward. Neither Creator, no, nor thing create. Son," he began, "was ever void of love, - Thou knowest it, - or of spirit, or innate. Innative love doth ever faultless prove; But the other, by ill aim, or little might. Or by excessive might, is prone to rove. While tends to primal goods the appetite. In secondary things self -moderator. It cannot be the cause of ill delight; But when it turns to evil, or with greater Or less than proper zeal, on good is bent. The creature works against its own Creator. As seed in you of all that's excellent. Thou mayest infer that Love must needs have served, And of each act that merits punishment. Second nightr faU ''Accidiar {cf. Inf. vii, last few lines): Spiritual indif- ference or torpor (not, of course, physical sloth) Two hinds of love: innate and self-directed When love of worldly goods is not rnoderated, or when love of spiritual good is torpid 220 Piirgatorio Pride Envy Wrath These three affections purged in the lower terraces Sloth Sensual enjoy- ment takes three forms, as will he seen later Now, since there never was a love that swerved From goods that proper to its person be. From their own hatred are all things preserved; And since no being independently Can be conceived, cut from the First away, From hating Him is all affection free. Hence if, distinguishing, I rightly say It is your neighbor's harm you love, takes root This love in triple fashion in your clay. There are who, seeing their neighbor underfoot, Hope to excel, and for this reason, down From his high pinnacle would have him put. There are who power, grace, honor, or renown Fearing to forfeit, if another rise. Crave the reverse, and on his fortune frown; Then those who seem to chafe at injuries. Greedy for vengeance, so that it behooves Them evil to another to devise. Yonder below are wept these threefold loves: Now of the other do I thee to wit. That to the good in faulty measure moves. Vaguely each one conceives a benefit Wherein the mind may rest, and yearns thereto; Whence each endeavors to attain to it. If languid be the love inciting you To look upon it, or to make pursuit. This Cornice pains you on repentance due. There's other good wherein there is no boot: It is not happiness, is not the good Essence, of every good the fruit and root. The love that yields unduly to such mood Is up above be wept in circles three; But how it were tripartite understood, I leave unspoken, to be sought by thee." - Here the Will to Sin Is Purified 221 Note The discourses of Love and Free Will explain the radical difference between the classification of sins in Hell and that which is set forth here (cf. Inferno xi). In Hell specific sinful deeds are punished; here the Will is purified. Thus the generic vice which Dante calls Avarice may be the occasion of a great variety of specific sins. To repent of a given sin is one thing; to have the crooked Will so straightened that Love is awakened for the corresponding virtue, is quite another. The avaricious, for example, desires to continue his cleansing and straight- ening process until unselfish generosity becomes a passion in him. 222 Purgatorio Second night- Terrace of the Slothful Philosophical discourse con- tinned ^Form^ - i.e., nature: fire tends to rise to the sphere of fire {cf. dose of Par. i) XVIII Love and Free Will Having made end now to his argument. Into my face the lofty Teacher flung A searching look, if I appeared content. And I, with a new thirst already stung, Was mute without, and said within: "Perchance I trouble him by questioning too long." - But that true Father, who took cognizance Of the shy wish that would no word afford. By speaking, heartened me to utterance. Whence I: "My vision is so well restored In thy light. Master, that I clearly see The whole scoi>e and the import of thy word. I pray thee, therefore, to expound to me The Love whereto thou tracest, Father kind. Every good action and its contrary." - "Direct to me the keen eyes of the mind, And the error will be manifest to thee. Of those who would be leaders, being blind. The soul, to love created prone and free, Is mobile to all objects of delight. When roused by pleasure to activity. From something real your perceptive sight Shapes forth an image and displays in you. So as to make the spirit turn to it; And if, so turning, she incline thereto. That inclination is Love, is Nature's bent Through pleasure striking root in you anew. Then, even as fire has motion of ascent, By virtue of its form which makes it wing To where it dwells more in its element: So the rapt soul doth into longing spring, A spiritual motion, never still Till she rejoice in the beloved thing. Ethics Based on Freedom of Will 223 Now may be evident how very ill They view the truth, who would aver to thee That all love in itself is laudable. Because its matter may ideally Appear good always: but not every seal Is good, however good the wax may be." - "Thy words, and my wit following, reveal Love and its nature to me,'' answered I, "But therefore all the greater doubt I feel; For if Love offer from without, and by Another foot the spirit travel not. She has no merit, go she straight or wry." - And he to me: "As far as pierces thought, Myself can tell: beyond that fix thy mind On Beatrice, that faith in thee be wrought. Every substantial form that is conjoined With matter, and yet from it cut away, Holds inward virtue of specific kind, Which, save in act, is not brought into play, By its effect alone in evidence. Like life in plant evinced by the green spray. Thus, whence originates intelligence Of first ideas, is unknown to thee. And bent of the primordial appetence. Which are in you as study in the bee To make its honey; and such primal bent Of neither praise nor blame receives the fee. Now, that with this may all desires consent. The power that counsels is innate in you, And ought to hold the threshold of assent. This is the principle wherefrom accrue The grounds of your desert, as gathering And winnowing the false loves from the true. Who to the bottom went in reasoning. Took notice of this inborn liberty. Thus morals to the world delivering. The Ejncureans ''Footr-^.e. motive Virgil stands merely for human reason Scholastic phrasing: sauly although joined with matter, is yet distinct from it Reason watches at the threshold between this in- stinct and free desires Aristotle and Plato recognized free will as the cornerstone of Ethics ^24 Purgatorio ] Assuming, then, that from necessity i All love is kindled rightly or amiss. To hinder it ye have ability. j This noble virtue is called by Beatrice | The Freedom of the Will; take heed aright If she begin to speak to thee of this." - } For this compli- The slow moon tow'rd the middle of the night, ■ cated series of Shaped like a bucket all ablaze, more wan , aUusions I must ^^-r i i n • • i ' refer the curious Now made the constellations to our sight, j reader to ^j^^j counter to the heavens that pathway ran ' Moore s 'Stud- tt , i i • i • i i p t» ies in Dante," Fired by the setting sun, which he ot Home ill, 71-73 gggg 'twixt Sardinian and Corsican; i The modem When he, that noble shade by fame of whom i U^ iLr^^^'^'^ Pietola every Mantuan town outwent, ' Had put aside my fardel burdensome: So that I, who explicit argument j And lucid to my questioning had found, j Remained like one who rambles somnolent. ^ The purgation But from this somnolence I was unbound j of the Slothful ^1 of a sudden by a multitude; Toward us from behind now coining round. Of old Ismenus and Asopus viewed Such hurrying throng at night their banks beside. Their patron god If Thebans but in need of Bacchus stood, 1 As these who round that Cornice curve their stride. From what I saw of those approaching me, j On whom good will and right affection ride. | The voices in the They were soon upon us, for that great company airthat^scourge" ^^^ coming at a run; and with lament; the indifferent rr» . i • i i i ' Two in advance cried out alternately: - "Mary with haste to the hill country went," j And "Caesar, that he might Ilerda gain, \ Struck at Marseilles, then sweeping Spainward bent."- ^ "Quick, quickly, lest the time be spent in vain \ Through little love!" - then cried the others, - "So Well-doing zeal may make grace green again." -; Scourges of the Slothful 225 "O people, in whom keen zeal redeemeth now. Perchance, delay and negligence in you By lukewarmth in well-doing shown below, This man who Hves (I surely tell you true!) Would fain go up, if shine again the sun; So tell us where is nearest passage through." - These words were spoken by my Guide; and one Among those spirits answered: "Follow us. And thou shalt find the opening anon. We are so full of zeal for running thus. We cannot stay; pardon, we therefore cry. If this our duty seem discourteous. San Zeno's abbot at Verona I, Beneath good Barbarossa's empire, whom Yet Milan cannot name without a sigh. And one has foot already in the tomb Who shall erelong that monastery rue. And rue the having had there masterdom. Because his son, in body lame, thereto Mind lamer still, and who was born amiss, He put in office of its pastor true." - I know not whether yet he held his peace, So far beyond us he was hurrying. But gladly I remember hearing this. And he who was my help in everything Now said: "Turn hitherward and look, - ^two more Are coming onward, giving sloth a sting." ^'Dead were the folk whom ocean op>ened for," They, bringing up the rear, were crying thus, "Ere Jordan lookt on its inheritor," - And, - ^^Those who found it too laborious To bide the issue with Anchises' son. Gave themselves up to life inglorious." - Then, when so distant were those shades that none Could more be seen of all that multitude. My mind began upon new thoughts to run. Albert, lord of Verona^ had made the prior- ate a berth for his lame natural Those lukewarm Children of Israel who were left in the urU- demess, and those followers of Mneas wlio chose to stay in Sicily 226 Purgatorio The medley of Whence many more were born, a motley brood; ^Iti^rean, ^nd so did one upon another teem, I lapsed with closed eyes into drowsihood. Transmuting meditation into dream. Dream of the Siren %ermutation is this place; In what from Heaven back to itself doth flow, And naught beside, may we causation trace: Because not any rain, nor hail, nor snow. Nor dew, nor frost can fall, or do offense, Above the little triple stairway; no Clouds there appear, or rarefied or dense. No lightning, nor the daughter of Thaumas fleet. Who often, yonder, changes residence; Parcht vapor does not rise aloft one whit Beyond the aforesaid triple stairway forth. Whereon the Vicar of Peter hath his feet. More or less quaking may perchance have birth Down yonder; but up here it never could By wind, I know not how, enwombed in earth. It quakes when any spirit feels its mood Made pure for setting forward, or aloof Moves to ascend, by such a cry pursued. Of purity the will alone gives proof; Quite free for change of cloister, this intent Takes by surprise the soul to her behoof. She first wills well, but divine government Sets will against desire, which, as before It craved for sinning, craves for punishment. And I, who have five hundred years and more Beneath this torment lain, but now could trace Free will for threshold of a better door. Three Laving Poets 239 Hence didst thou feel the quake, and spirits of grace Didst hear along the Mountain celebrate The Lord, - ah! may He send them up apace." - He said; and since joy is proportionate In drinking, with the thirst to be allayed. My gain by him I could not say how great. "I see the net now," my wise Leader said, "That snares you here, and how ye are set free. Wherefore it quakes, and whereat glad ye are made. Now tell me who thou wast, I beg of thee. And in thy words I pray thee be it told Why thou layest here so many a century." - "When the good Titus in the time of old, Paradiso vi, Helpt by the King Supreme, avenged each wound ?^rf* ^^' Whence issued forth the blood by Judas sold. With name most durable and most renowned The name of I yonder lived," that spirit answering said, ^^^ "And passing fame, but not yet faith had found. So sweet a music from my soul was shed That from Toulouse Rome beckoned me away. Where I deserved brows myrtle-garlanded. There people call me Statins to this day: The Poem about Of Thebes I sang, and great Achilles' might, ^s^rSloa£^^ But with my second load fell by the way. The seeds that raised my genius to its height Were sparks from that celestial flame shot forth, Whence more than a thousand have been set alight: The iEneid, I mean, that mothered me from birth. The nurse that suckled me in poesy; Without it were I not a drachma worth. To have lived when Virgil Hved, would I agree To penance of one sun more than I owe. Ere from my place of banishment set free." - Turned Virgil to me, he discoursing so. With "Be thou silent," in his tacit glance; But there are hmits to what will can do: 240 Purgatorio ^ The sweet and For tears and laughter are such pursuivants ] "t^ZZZee' Upon the passions out of which they rise, Poets That truest will has weakest vigilance. < I could but smile, with meaning in mine eyes; ^ Whereat the shadow paused, and lookt me straight j Into the eye, where most expression lies. \ "So mayst thou well such labor consummate,^' > It said, "tell wherefore I but now descried A laughter-flash thy face irradiate?" -: Now am I caught on this and the other side: One bids "Be still," and the other "Speak to me!" I Whence I was comprehended when I sighed. • "Thou needst," my Master said, "not fearful be To speak, but tell, and let thy words attest ^ What he besought with such anxiety." - j "O ancient soul," said I, "thou marvelest; Perchance, because my smile thou sawest shine; But I will move more wonder in thy breast! I This one who guides on high these eyes of mme, * That very Virgil is, from whom you drew j The power to sing of men and the divine.: If else thou thoughtest of my smiling, eschew That thought as false; those words thou spakst j but now! Of him, believe me, were the reason true." - j To kiss my Teacher *s feet he bent his brow; ] "Brother," the Master urged with tenderness,; "Do not; thou seest me shadow, even as thou." - • Then Statins rising said: "Now canst thou guess The sum of love that burns in me for thee, i AVhen I can so forget our emptiness. Treating a shadow as reality." - Sin of Statins the Reverse of Avarice 241 XXII The Three Poets Converse as They Walk Behind us had we left the Angel now Third day, late Who up to the sixth round had turned our quest, ^ntl^ihe *" \ Having erased a stigma from my brow; ^^\ Terrace: \ And had announced to us that they are Blest Staiius^wiih I Who long for righteousness in all they do, - ^«w'« But saying it with "thirst" without the rest. P^ '^ j;f < qf- And, lighter than at other passes through, xxiv '< Following those swift spirits up above, ] I went without fatigue. Then did renew | Virgil his speaking: "Worth-enkindled love i Can kindle in us love reciprocal. Its ardor being revealed. In proof w^hereof, Among us when descended Juvenal \ Down into the Infernal Limbo, where ] He made thy feeling known to me withal, \ Never did man to unseen person bear \ More love than did my heart toward thee bend, ] So that now short to me will seem the stair. i But tell me, and forgive me as a friend i If I give rein to overconfidence, j And talk we heart to heart now to the end; Oh, how could Avarice find residence ■ Possibly, in a bosom such as thine, \ Replete with wisdom through thy diligence?" - j These words made Statins at first incline j To smile a little; then replied he thus: | "Each word of thine to me is Love's dear sign. | Often indeed do things appear to us: That offer for suspicion grounds deceiving, Since their real causes are not obvious. \ Thy question proves it to be thy believing \ That Greed in th'other life had been my curse, \ Perchance because of the round where I was griev-; ing.; 242 Purgatorio Among the prodigals; Inf. Canto vii; also for their sym- bolic short hair St. Peter, as at end of Par. xviii Know, then, that my offense was the reverse Of Avarice; my prodigality Thousands of courses of the moon amerce. And if I had not, pondering upon thee, Set right my conduct, misdirected first. Where thou exclaimst against humanity Almost in wrath: *To what, accursed thirst For gold, dost thou not mortal longing guide?' I should be rolling in the tilts accurst. Then saw I that the hands might be too wide Of wing in spending, and repented thence Of that and of my every sin beside. Because of ignorance of this offense. How many shall arise devoid of hair. In life and death bereft of p)enitence! And know that sin, in opposition square Rebutting other sin, dries up its green Together with the opposing trespass there. Wherefore if I, to purge myself, have been With those who weep their Avarice in throngs, I suffered it for contradictory sin." - "Now when thou sangest of the cruel wrongs Of war that wrought Jocasta's double woe," The Singer said of the Bucolic Songs, "The chords there toucht with Clio do not show Thee yet as of that Faith a devotee. For want whereof good works are not enow. What candles or what sim, if so it be, So pierced thy darkness that thy sails were spread After the Fisher of the eternal sea.'^" - "Thou first directedst me," he answering said, "Parnassus-ward, to drink upon its height. Then on my way to God thy light was shed Thou diddest like to him who walks by night. Bearing the torch, not for his proper good, But to the after-comers giving light. Virgil the Cause of Salvation of Statins 243; I When saidest thou: *The world is all renewed; The Cumcean ^ Justice returns, and man's primeval spring, E^gne v> ^ And out of Heaven descends another brood.' • Poet was I, then Christian, following Thy guidance; but that thou the better view My sketch, I set my hand at coloring. The world by now was teeming with the true ReHgion, by the sowers of the Lord j Eternal, scattered every country through; « And thy words, toucht upon above, concurred < With the new gospelers in such a wise ' That I became a hearer of the Word. They came to seem so holy in mine eyes Then, when Domitian persecuted sore, i That tears of mine accompanied their cries; ] And while I lingered upon yonder shore ' I succored them, whose upright manners made All other sects seem worthless; and before j I, poetizing, yet the Greeks had led i Far as the Theban streams, baptized was I; But hid my Christian faith, because afraid, ,' Long while appearing Pagan outwardly; ,! And for that lukewarmth did I circling fare ' The fourth round more than the fourth century. Do therefore thou, who unto me laid bare ' That good wherein, I say, is great reward, ] While for ascending time is yet to spare. Tell me where Terence is, our elder bard, Cecilius, Plautus, Varro, if thou know: ■ Tell if they are condemned, and in what ward." - j "These, Persius, and I, and many moe," My Leader said, "are with that Greek confined, Prime nursling of the Muses, there below In the first girdle of the prison blind. { Still oftentimes do we discourse upon 1 The mountain, haunt of nurses of our mind. S44 Purgatorio The fifth Hour is now driving the chariot of the Sun: it is about 11 o'clock The emblematic fruitr-tree which the gluttons can- not climb Euripides is ours there, Antiphon, And Agathon, Simonides, and more Of Greeks whose foreheads once the laurel won. There see we people sung by thee of yore, Antigone, Deiphile, Argeia, And there Ismene, mournful evermore. There see we her who pointed out Langeia; There is Tiresias' daughter, Thetis there. And with her sisters there Deidameia." - By this time silent both the poets were. Eager to gaze about them far and wide. From the walls liberated, and the stair; And four of the Day's handmaids now abide Behind, the fifth still pointing up the bright Horn of the chariot-pole; whereon my Guide: "Methinks it now behooves us turn the right Shoulder toward the outer verge, intent To round, as we are wont to do, the height." - By custom in such manner led, we went Our way with the less fear of going wrong. Because that noble spirit gave assent. In front they, and alone went I along Behind, hearing their words, which gave to me Intelligence about the craft of song. But their kind talk was broken by a tree That midway in the road we encountered now. With fruitage smelling sweet and gratefully. As fir-tree tapers upward, bough on bough. So this one appeared downward tapering, Methinks that none thereon might climbing go. There where our way was closed, a water spring Down from the lofty cHff was falling clear. And on the upper foliage scattering. The poets twain unto the tree drew near, \Miereon a voice cried out the branches through: "Dearth of this viand ye shall have to bear." - Examples of Abstemious Living 245 "Mary was more concerned," it said anew, "To grace the wedding feast with plenitude, Than for her mouth which now entreats for you. Of water the old Roman womanhood Were satisfied to drink; and Daniel nurst Wisdom within him by despising food. Golden in beauty was the world at first; To appetite it made the acorn sweet. And every brook like nectar to the thirst. Honey and locusts were the only meat That John the Baptist in the desert knew; Whence now he is in glory, and so great As by the Gospel is revealed to you." - U6 Purgatorio Terrace of the gluttonous: about noon of the third day This phrase of the Miserere (Psalm li, 15) is appropriate to those whose sin has been in- temperance in food and drink The dreadful tale is told by Josephus The Latin for man is printed on the human XXIII Dante Meets an Old Boon Companion Because these eyes of mine yet never stirred From the green foHage, Hke such an one As wastes his Hfe to hunt the Httle bird, My more than Father said to me: "My son. Come on now; for the time assigned had need To be allotted for more benison." - Then turned I face and foot with equal speed After those speakers sage, so eloquent As made it cost me nothing to proceed. And hark! now singing heard, with weeping blent: "Lord, open thou my lips!" - Such intonation As must beget both rapture and lament. "What hear I, Father?" was my exclamation; And he: "Shades who are hastening, perchance. So as to cancel out their obligation." - As pilgrims rapt in thought, by travel-chance Meeting an unknown face along their ways, Cast, without lingering, a backward glance, So came behind us at a swifter pace And passed, a crowd of souls as if in flight. Devout and tacit and of eager gaze. The cavern of the eye disclosed no light, Pallid each visage, and so hunger-pined Over the bone the skin was fashioned tight. I cannot think that such an utter rind Was dried on Erisichthon's skeleton By fasting, when it most appalled his mind. "Behold!" my thoughts within were running on, "This is the folk who lost Jerusalem, When Mary struck her beak into her son." - Each eyepit seemed a ring without the gem: Who OMO reads in face of man, might well Here in each countenance make out the M. Forese Donati 247 Who ever could believe that from the smell Of apples or of water there could grow Such craving, knowing not how this befell? I still was wondering what pined them so. The cause that rendered them so scurvily Withered and meager being yet to know. When, look now, from its deep skull cavity A spirit made its eye upon me keen. Then cried aloud: "What grace is this to me!" Never should I have known him by his mien. But something lingered in his utterance That in his lineament had canceled been. This spark enkindled to my inward glance Something familiar in his altered look. And I recalled Foresees countenance. "Ah, do not mind," he prayed, "the scurf that took The fresh complexion of my skin away. Nor yet the lack of flesh I have to brook. But tell me truth of thee, and who are they. Yon spirits twain by whom thou'rt hither led? Ah, tarry not, speak, speak to me, I pray!" - "Thy face, bewept by me when thou wast dead, Gives me for weeping now no lesser rue Beholding it disfigured so," I said. "By hope of Heaven, then tell what withers you: Bid me not speak while marveHng, for ill One speaks, by other craving stricken through!" - And he to me: "By the Eternal Will Falls virtue to the water and the plant Behind us, that emaciates me still. All of these people who lamenting chant. For being out of measure gluttonous. Grow holy here through thirst and hunger gaunt. Craving for food and drink is stirred in us By fragrance from the fruit, and from the spray That sprinkles over all the verdure thus. face. The limbs of the M are clearer for the disappearance of the eyes (cf. Par. xviii) Cf. Virgil's reference to this shadovyy "Jlesh" of the spirits. Canto Hi, 31- 33. Also the recognition of Ser BrunettOf Inf. XV 248 Purgatorio And not once, as we circle round this way, But many times our penance is renewed. Penance I say, who solace ought to say: For to the tree that same solicitude Leads us, that prompted the glad Christ to cry *Eli,' when he redeemed us with His blood." - "Not yet five years from that day forth," said I, "When for a better world thou tookest flight, Forese mine, have imtil now rolled by. If you repented If sooner ended were in thee the might only when too qj ginning, than the hour had supervened weak to sin . . more. See That weds again to God the heart contrite, f/Sto. ^^^ *^^^ ^^* ^^^^ arrived up hither, friend? Canto to I thought to find thee on the slope below. Where time doth dissipated time amend." - "My Nella, with her tears that overflow. Hath brought me," he repUed, "so speedily To drink of the sweet wormwood of this woe. The stormy voice With pious prayers and tears withdrawing me ^^ o^hJ^s^eaks ^P ^^^^ ^^^ hillside where the people wait, through Forese And from the other circles setting free. Dearer to Grod, and of more estimate. My widow whom so well I loved, as there She more alone to good is dedicate. More modest in its dames beyond compare Is the Barbagia of Sardinia, Than the Barbagia where I left her. O brother dear, what wilt thou have me say? My foresight by a future is possest, When not yet very old shall be this day, When warning from the pulpit is addrest To the unblushing women Florentine, Who go about displaying paps and breast. What Pagan women, aye, or Saracen, Have stood in need, to make them covered go, Of spiritual or other discipline? The Mount That Straightens Crooked Sticks 249 But if these unabashed ones did but know What holds in store for them the hastening sky. For howling would their jaws be open now; For if herein my foresight do not lie. They will be sad ere yet his cheek have down Who now is quieted with lullaby. Now brother, pray, be more concealment none: Look, not I only, but these people all Are gazing there where veilest thou the sun." - Whence I to him: "If thou to mind recall What once to one another were we two. The present memory will yet appall. That one who goes in front of me withdrew Me from that life the other day, when round The sister of him yonder appeared to you (I pointed to the sun). Through the profound Midnight he led me from the dead apart. With this real flesh that after him is bound. Thence having drawn me, comforts he my heart To circle up the Mountain, that again Straightens you whom the world had wrencht athwart. He speaks of going with me until when I shall be there where will be Beatrice; Without him there must I perforce remain. He Virgil is who sayeth to me this (And him I showed); that other shadow, know. Is he for whom shook every precipice Recently, when your Kingdom let him go.'' - 250 Purgatorio XXIV 1 Cheerful Abstainers from Good Cheer ^ I Third day: Neither for talking did we lag behind, i T^LfTthT Nor lagged our talk, but stoutly on we went, | Intemperate Like vessel urged along by favoring wind. ] And shades that seemed by double death forspent,; Beholding me alive, were all betraying Deep in their eyepits their astonishment. \ We shall nwet j^ going on with what I had been saying, ] en of the Moon Said: "Perad venture he doth upward go, ', (Par, ttt) Pqj. jgake of some one else, with more delaying. But tell, where is Piccarda, if thou know; And mention any in this multitude ] Of note, among those gazing at me so.^' - '^^^J^^Jd "^^ sister, - if most beautiful or good • Longfellow's I know not, - in her crown is triumphing i notes on this On high Olympus in beatitude." - ] lovely canto ^ • i ^ n ^ «-».t I. 1 • 1 1 1 . DO said he first, then: "No forbidden thing; Is giving names here, so obliterate Is our resemblance by the dieting. ^ This," pointed he, "is Bonagiunta, late j Bonagiunta of Lucca; and farther out, i That face more than the rest emaciate, 1 Once put his arms the Holy Church about; i He was from Tours, and atones the Vernage wine And Lake Bolsena's eels, by doing without."! And many another name did he assign;! And all seemed pleased, for not one somber look, Despite the naming, saw these eyes of mine.: ^L • u -r There saw I bite the void and hunger brook \ This Boniface tti i t <» t t»m i t» •«. was an arch- Ubaldm of La Pila, and Boniface \ bishop of Ra- ^yYho shepherded much people with his crook. i venna, - not, of t. ^ e ^ ^ \ course, to he con- I saw Lord Marquess who of old had space \ ^Po^ r^o/erfect place whence p)ours its influence, passive Begins to operate when joined thereto, I Coagulating, quickening the whole I That it for shaping to consistence drew. \ The vegetative This active principle, become a soul Ti^Xltt As of a plant (but so far different i only an incident That it halfway and that is at the goal), tJ^^'"'"^ Begins to move and to be sentient ' embryo Like the sea fungus, then to organize The powers whereof it is the rudiment, [ Dilates, my son, and spreads the force that lies! Within the heart of the begetter now, Wliere Nature would the organs all devise. But how grow child from animal .^^ - ^That 'How'; Seest thou not yet; that is the problem great! Which once misled a wiser man than thou, ^ Averroes Who by his teaching thought to separate Soul from potential intellect, for no < Organ he saw thereto appropriate. The Prime Open thy breast to coming truth, and know; Mover (God) That when the organizing of the brain i breaihes a sotu tx i i i • i i ' into the embryo Has been completed m the embryo, \ The Shade an Emanation from the Will 257 ^ I Toward it turns the Primal Motor then, ^ By Nature's so great art made debonair, i Breathing new spirit full of power to drain I Whatever virtue it finds active there! Into its substance, and one soul there grows. Living, and feeUng, and of itself aware. \ To make less marvelous what I disclose, ^ Consider how the Sun*s heat becomes wine,; Joined to the juice that from the vine outflows. This soul from out the flesh doth disentwine Whenever Lachesis hath thread no more, \ And latent bears the human and divine: \ So voiceless each and every other power. The faculties of But will and memory and intelligence '^^ ^"^ i Far keener in their working than before. i Incontinent the spirit falls propense! To one or the other shore in wondrous wise, j And first takes knowledge of its pathway thence. ] Soon as the region round about it lies. Virtue informative beams round it there. As in the Uving limbs in shape and size. i And as, when saturate with rain, the air By the refraction of the solar rays i Is deckt with variegated colors fair, \ Even so upon the circumjacent haze A wraithlike form is printed by control j Of shaping soul that in the region stays; ' And as the flamelet*s little aureole i Follows the fire upon its shifting flight, \ So its new form accompanies the soul. ^ Because thus rendered visible, the sprite ^ Is called a shade; and organs of each sense ] Fashions thereafter, even to that of sight. \ So thence proceed our words, our laughter thence. Thence do we fashion forth the tears and sighs j Whereof the Mount may give thee evidence. \ 258 Purgatorio First iDorda of a hymn contain- ing a prayer for purity Words of Mary to the Angel, Luke i, 3Ik Ovid, Met. ii. Cf. Par. xxxi, 32-33 According as desires within us rise Or feeling, takes the shade configurement: And this is what occasions thy surprise." - Now were we come to the last punishment, And now toward the right-hand were we starting. And were upon another care intent. There from the cliffside arrowy flames are darting. And from the shelf breathes up a blast thereon, Hurling them back, a pathway thus disparting; Whence it was needful to go one by one On the open side, so that I felt dismay Of burning there, and here of falling down. "To rein the eyes tight up, along this way," My Leader said, "must now be our concern, Because for little one might go astray." - Then from among those flames that hotly burn. Came singing: "God of clemency supreme!" - Which filled me with no less desire to turn; Then saw I spirits walking through the flame: Wherefore apportioning my sight I go, Now looking to my steps, and now at them. They cried aloud: "A man I do not know!" - As soon as they had to the end pursued That hymn; then recommenced, with voices low. This done, anew they shouted: "In the wood Diana stayed and banished Helice, For Venus had deflowered her maidenhood." - Then recommenced the song; then would it be The praise of wives and husbands who were pure. As virtue bids, and married chastity. And in like mode, methinks, they must endure The while they burn within the fiery blast: With diet such as this, with such a cure. The wound of sin must be healed up at last. Dante's Shadow Amazes the Shades 259 j XXVI Dante Meets Two Modern Predecessors J While, one before the other, thus we paced Terrace of the The border, often the good Master said: ^^^^ \ "Take heed; let not my warning go to wasted - afternoon l Smote me the Sun on the right shoulder-blade, \ Now gUttering throughout the Occident And whitening the azure; and I made , The flame seem ruddier where with it blent My shadow; and of such a token I Saw many a shade take notice, as they went. Such an occasion did they profit by Not the mere 1 For speech of me; and they began to say: tcZ^'Z'^ i "His body seems the fiction to belie." - ' Then certain of them, far as in them lay, • Were making tow*rd me, always with concern • Never to issue from the fiery way. "O pilgrim, who no less, perchance, dost yearn 'I To go, though reverent the rest behind, { Answer me, for in thirst and fire I burn: Nor but to me be thy reply confined; j For greater thirst for it must these beset, \ Than for cold water Ethiope or Ind. 1 Tell us how formest thou a barrier yet i Against the Sun, as if thou haddest not . There entered where the toils of Death benet?** - i So hailed me one of them; and I, no doubt, . Had made me known, but that I was intent | Upon a novel thing that came about: ] For, midway through the burning element. Facing this company, a people hied; Who made me stop to gaze for wonderment. \ I saw there hasten up from either side \ Each shade to kiss a shade, for dalliance ] Unresting, with brief greeting satisfied. 260 Purgatorio \ So pausing, as their dusky troops advance, j Emmet encounters emmet, nose to nose, \ Their road and fortune to espy, perchance. No sooner does the friendly greeting close, Or ever the first footstep passes by, ] Strive these to lift up louder cries than those: « "Sodom and Gomorrah!" the newcomers cry;; Thejalsavacca" The rest: "Pasiphae enters the cow, j of Inf. xii, 13 g^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^ j^gj. i^g^. j^^y \,{Qr- \ As cranes to the Riphaean mountain brow! Might fly in part, part to the sandy plain, ] These shunning frost and those the sun, so now \ One people goes and one comes on amain, ] And weeping they return to their first chants ' And to their more appropriate refrain;; And close about me as before advance The very same who had entreated me, ■ With will to listen in their countenance. j I, who now twice had seen their urgency, \ Began to speak: "O spirit brotherhood | Secure of peace, whenever it may be, , These limbs of mine, neither mature nor crude, Left I down yonder on the earth behind, 1 But bring them here with all their joints and blood. I go hence up to be no longer bhnd: 1 A Lady is on high who wins us grace ' Whence through your world I bring my mortal rind. \ But so may be your fond desire apace; Fulfilled, so harbor you the heavenly height Most ample, which is Love's full dwelling place, i Tell me, that yet on paper I may write, | Who may ye be and what that multitude Behind your backs, and going opposite?" - \ More stupefied, of more bewildered mood, \ Is never the hill peasant, if perchance He enter town in rustic garb and rude. Cleansing from Secret Sin 261 Than every shade became in countenance; But when they did their wonder well restrain (Which in high heart has brief predominance). That one who questioned first, began again: "Blest thou who, that the better thou mayst die, Winnest exi>erience of our domain! That people who went hence, offended by That wherefore Caesar suffered once the blame When *Queen!' amidst his triumph rose the cry; Whence in their parting from us, they exclaim *Sodom!* as thou hast heard, in self -despite. And make the burning hotter with their shame. Our own transgression was hermaphrodite; But since we heeded not the human code. Following like the brutes our appetite. Departing, we, in self -reproachful mode. Ourselves pronounce the name of her who so Did bestialize herself in beastlike wood. Our deeds now, how far guilty, knowest thou: Wouldst thou, perchance, by name know who we be. There is no time to tell, nor should I know. I grant, indeed, thy wish concerning me: I'm Guido Guinizelli, purged by fire Through penitence before th* extremity.'* - As, in the frenzy of Lycurgus' ire Against their mother, the two sons became. Such became I (but do not so aspire). When I had heard himself the father name Of me, and other better men than I, Who sweet and gracious love-rimes used to frame: And reft of hearing I went thoughtfully. Long while agaze at him, and nothing said. Nor for the fire did I approach more nigh. As soon as of beholding I was fed, I offered myself all to do him grace, With such a vow as makes one credited. Taunted by his ribald soldiery I.e., immoderate but not unnatu- ral self-indul- gence Cf. zt, 97-99 He felt as the sons felt on recognizing their mother, but re- strained him- self more 262 Purgatorio And he to me: "Thy words have left a trace Upon my spirit charactered so clear ] That Lethe cannot dim it nor efface. But if it be a true avouch I hear, \ What is the cause of thy avowal, pray, ] By word and look that thou dost hold me dear?" - j And I to him: "Your every dulcet lay. Which, if our modern use endure so long. Will render dear their very ink for aye." - "He yonder, brother," back to me he flung i With finger pointing to a spirit before, ^ "Was a better shaper of his mother tongue. ' In love-rimes and romantic tales of yore l Surpassed he all, and let fools prate who view ^ Him of Limoges as the superior. They hold by rumor more than by the true, j And in that way their fixt opinion mold, j Ere art or reason have been listened to.; Thus with Guittone many did of old, i Basing his praise upon they say, they say, j Until at length with most the truth controlled. - Now if thou have such charter that the way * Lito that cloister is vouchsafed to thee j Where Christ is abbot of the college, pray ' A Paternoster unto him for me, j As far as here may boot the utterance, \ Where will to sin remains no longer free." - 1 Then to give place to others who perchance Fast followed him, he vanisht in the fire, i As fishes bottomward through water glance. Thereafter I drew forward somewhat nigher i To him who had been pointed out, to pray; That he vouchsafe his name to my desire. j And thus he graciously began to say: | "Your courteous request delights me so, 1 I cannot from you, will not, hide away. ] A Sweet Strain of Provence 263 I am Arnaut who weep and singing go; Arnaut Daniel, Contritely for past folly I repine. o/n&u, And blithely see the hoped-for morning glow. by Dante, who I pray you now by Influence Divine tZ%Z^al That guides you to the summit of the stair, tongue, preserv- Be timely mindful of this pain of mine."- ^ tftt^wt Then hid he in the fire that makes them fair. and cadence 264 Purgatorio XXVII The Will of the Pilgrim of Eternity Is Purified Third and lad As when the earliest rays of dawning quiver 7ounZn%. Where shed His blood the Maker of the light, beginning of High Libra lamping over Ebro-river, an M) ^^^ Ganges-wave at noontide burning bright, So hung the sun; and day being nearly o'er, Appeared to us God's Angel benedight. Standing without the flame upon the shore, He sang: "Blest they who pure in heart abide!"- In voice melodious, than ours far more. Then: "No one farther goes, souls sanctified, Unbitten by the fire; be thither sped, Not deaf to chanting from the farther side." - As we drew nearer to him, this he said: And, listening, I such became in mien As he who in the burial pit is laid. Up started I, with clasping hands, and keen Glance at the fire, and vivid memory Of burning human bodies erewhile seen. My kindly Escorts turned about to me. And Virgil thus addrest me: "Son of mine, Here is no death, though well may torment be. Recall, recall! when layest thou supine On Geryon's shoulders, still I safely led; And how then now, less far from the Divine.^ What though a thousand years within the bed Of this same fire thou didst abide, believe It could not hurt a hair upon thy head. And if perchance thou deem that I deceive, Draw nigh it, and with proper hands assay Upon the border of thy garments. Give Fear to the wind, - ^put every doubt away; Turn and come hither with security .** - Yet against conscience did I rooted stay. Dante Passes through the Purging Fire 265 Seeing me stand yet rooted stubbornly, "Now look, my son,'' exclaimed he with a sigh, "There is this wall 'twixt Beatrice and thee.'' - As opened Pyramus his dying eye At name of Thisbe, and gazed at her, while flew Over the mulberry the purple dye; So turned I, when my stubbornness withdrew. To my wise Leader, by the name beguiled That ever wells in memory anew. Whereon he shook his head at me, and smiled: "What, would we tarry here?" - as when we win With proffered apple an unwilling child. Then in advance of me he entered in The fire, entreating Statins to come last. Who for a long way back had been between. When I was in, I would have gladly cast Myself in molten glass for solacement. So beyond measure was the burning blast. To comfort me, my kindly Father went Ever discoursing but of Beatrice, Saying: "Her eyes seem now upon us bent.** - Beyond, a voice was singing, and by this Conducted, and to this attentive quite. We issued forth where mounts the precipice. "Come, all ye of my Father benedight!" - Rang from within a light there manifest So that I could not look, it was so bright. "Night comes," it added, "and goes the sun to rest; Then quicken up your pace and do not stay, While yet not wholly darkened is the west." - Straight upward through the rock mounted the way. Directed so that I, before me there. Cut off the sinking sim's last level ray. And both I and my Sages grew aware Of sunset, by my shadow vanisht thence. When we had made brief trial of the stair. 266 Purgatorio And ere within one dim circumference The wide horizon mingled sea and shore, And Night held sway with all her influence. Each of us on a stair was bedded; for The mountain-law deprived us of the will And of the power of there ascending more. Just as, while ruminating, goats grow still. However bold and nimble they had run Over the heights before they browsed their fill, Husht in the shade while blazes hot the sun, Watcht by the herdsman leaning on his rod. Who, leaning thus, attends them every one; And as the shepherd, stretcht upon the sod. Watches by night his quiet flock beside. That no wild beast may scatter it abroad: Even so did we at such an hour abide, I like the goat, they shepherdUke, all three Hemmed in by lofty rock on either side. Little without could there be seen by me; But in that little saw I more intense The stars, and larger than their wont to be. So musing and so gazing, somnolence Fell on me, such as oftentimes before They come about, gives tidings of events. That hour, I think, when through the eastern door First on the mountain Cytherea beams, - Who fired with love seems burning evermore,- Dante's third A Lady young and fair I saw, in dreams, ^''Tl.eL^ai^ ^^^ through a meadow land appeared to go Rachd, - the Gathering flowers, and singing said, meseems: fffc(J^pl^ "If any ask my name, then let him know tive That I am Leah, and I move alway Fair hands to wreathe myself a garland so. Here at my glass I joy in my array; But never does my sister Rachel rise Up from her mirror where she sits all day. Lcyrd of Thyself! 267 \ % She yearns to look in her own lovely eyes,; As I to deck me with my hands am yearning; Her, seeing, and me, doing satisfies." - \ Through splendors of the dawn already burning < (That rise to pilgrim hearts so much more sweet As less remote their hostel, home returning), 1 The shades of night were now departing fleet; \ And slumber having with them fled away, a I rose, seeing my great Masters on their feet. i "That sweet fruit which, through many a branching spray, \ Ye mortals go seeking with little ease, j Shall set at peace thy hungerings today." - Virgil began to me in words like these, \ And never were there guerdons that could cope With suchlike rapture-giving largesses. Such longing up)on longing for the slope l Came over me, at every step I could 1 Perceive my wings becoming fledged with hope. j When all the stairs were traversed, and we stood • Upon the uppermost, did Virgil turn His eyes on me with wistful fatherhood; "Son, thou hast lookt upon the fire eteme ■ And temporal, and comest to a place \ Where, of myself, no further I discern. s I brought thee here by intellect and grace; j Henceforth let thy good pleasure guide thy going: Thou art beyond the steep, the narrow ways. h Look how the sun is on thy forehead glowing, i Look at the grass, the tender shrubs, the bloom \ That here the soil is willingly bestowing. ^ Until the lovely eyes rejoicing come. Which weeping made me come to lead thee thence,:\ Here canst thou sit and canst among them roam. j Await no more my word or influence: = Upright is now thy will, and sound, and free. And wrong to disobey its bidding: whence \ Lord of thyself I crown and miter thee." - \ 268 Purgatorio Soon after sun- rise on the fourth day. Dante, no longer guided but fid- lowed by the tux) great Masters, is walking on the level wpland Now Classe, from the Roman name of the -port of Ravenna (Classis) XXVIII The Earthly Paradise Crowning the Mountain Now eager for exploring the divine Evergreen forest dense, that screened the day, So newly-risen, for these eyes of mine, I leave the mountain-brow without more stay. And slowly, slowly through the plain advance, That everywhere breathes fragrance of the May. A soft air, subject to no variance. Continually stroked me on the brow As lightly as when gentle zephyr fans; And tremblingly responsive, every bough Was bending all its foliage what way The Holy Moimt cast the first shadow now; Yet did they not so violently sway That any little bird on topmost limb Was fain forsake the practice of his lay. But might, while chanting the full joy in him. Welcome the breath of morn the leaves among» That ever bore a burden to his hymn: From bough to bough goes gathering such song Through the pine forest on Chiassi's shore. When forth by ^Eolus Scirocco is flung. So far already through the woodland hoar My lingering feet had borne me, that I knew Where I had entered into it, no more; When lo! a brooklet cut my pathway through. Rippling along toward my left, and bending The grasses that along the margin grew. All waters here in purity transcending. Would seem commingled in comparison With this whose limpid wave conceals no blending, Although it darkly, very darkly run Beneath perpetual shade, unpenetrated Ever by radiance of moon or sun. Matilda Gathering Flowers 269 My footsteps tarried, but mine eyes elated Passed to alight beyond the rivulet On the fresh May profusely variegated; And there appeared (as when a thing is met The Lady All of a sudden, leading thought to stray presaged by the For the great wonder, and all else forget) as Rachd prea- A Lady, who went her solitary way *^^^ Beatrice Singing and cuUing flower from flower, whereof The coloring made all her pathway gay. I said: "Pray, Lady fair, in rays of love Basking, if I may trust thy countenance. Which mirror of the heart is wont to prove. Now be it thy good pleasure to advance Toward the margin of this brook, and sing. So that I better understand thy chants. In place and mode thou dost to memory bring Proserpina, that time when forfeited Her mother her, and she herself, the spring.^ - As turns upon the floor with even tread A lady in the dance who hardly sets Foot before foot, even so above the bed Of scarlet and of yellow flowerets. She turned to me with maidhke innocence And drooping eyes, and to the rivulet's Border approaching, did so recompense My praying, that the dulcet melody Was borne to me, together with the sense. When she was where the grass begins to be Bathed by the ripples of the beauteous river. She raised the guerdon of her eyes on me. I think there glowed so bright a luster never Beneath the lids of Venus, by her son Empierct with dart from his unwilling quiver. She smiled, erect upon the margin yon. Trailing manifold colors with her hands Of flowers upon the highland never sown. 270 Purgatorio Three steps of river hindered more advance; But Hellespont, where Xerxes passed of yore (A bridle still to all human arrogance). Was never by Leander hated more Because *twixt Sestos and Abydos swelling, Than that by me for barring passage o'er. "Ye are newcomers," she began her teUing, "And so my smihng in this place elect For human nature as a native dwelling. Psalm xcii, 4, Perchance awakens in you some suspect; Domine infac- "^^^ *^® Psalm Delectosti sheds a ray turaTuaP {Thou, Of Hght that may discloud your intellect. ^%^1k!^h And thou in front, who didst entreat me, say, Thy work) Wouldst thou hear more? - By thy solicitude Prompted, I came to do it quite away." - See the long note "The water," said I, "and the murmuring wood at end of canto Impugn within me new belief, thereto In contradiction, as I understood." - Whence she: "How from their proper cause ensue The things occasioning thy wonderment. Will I declare and purge thy inward view. The Good Supreme, sole in itself content. Created man for good, and peace eteme Pledged him by giving him this tenement. Here, by his fault, short while did he sojourn; By his own fault, to travail and to woe Did innocent joy and pleasant pastime turn. That the disturbances produced below By exhalations of the land and sea (That after heat, as far as may be, go) Might wage no war upon humanity. Rose heavenward up so high this mountain here, And is above the guarded gateway free. Now since, in circuit with the primal sphere. The universal air is rolling round. While it remains unbroken anywhere. Streams of Oblivion and Remembrance 271 This motion strikes the summit, disembound In living ether all, and makes the dense Forest, being a thicket, to resound. Within the smitten plant has residence Power to impregn the breeze, and this henceforth. In whirling, sheds abroad that influence. Conceived and childed so on yonder earth Are various trees of virtue various. According as its clime and soil have worth. Rightly considering the matter thus. That without visible seed some plants take root In yonder earth, should not seem marvelous. And thou must know that where thou setst thy foot The holy upland every seed contains. And never yonder can ye pluck such fruit. The water that thou seest wells not from veins Which vapors, by the cold condensed, restore. Like river that now loses breath, now gains, But from a fountain constant evermore; And will divine replenishes that source By all that forth its double rivers pour. On this side, it flows downward with the force That takes man*s memory of sin away; The other, that of all good done, restores. It is called Lethe here, as Eunoe On the other side, nor doth the working speed Till of the taste of both ye make assay. This every other savor doth exceed. Now, though thy thirst may be so satisfied That of more telling there be little need, A corollary will I grant beside. Nor deem I the less dear to thee my granting. If it beyond the pact be amplified. Who anciently the golden age were chanting. And its fehcity, about this place Dreamt peradventure, while Parnassus haunting. The Poet must sometime have dwelt by a torrent near its source in the mmintain snow, which, melting in the sun and freezing at night, keeps the breast of the stream summer-long swelling and subsiding 272 Purgatorio Here without guile took root the human race; Here is all fruitage, here the prime unbroken; This is the nectar they unite to praise." - Then looking to my Poets for a token, I noted how with smiling mien they brooked The parable that lastly had been spoken; Then to the Lady fair again I looked. Note This is one of the many cantos wherein Dante tries to rib his poetry with positive science, - unscientific as much of it proves to be. In Canto xxi, 11. 40-57, Statius had explained to Dante that above the Gateway of Purgatorio proper, - the uppermost of the three mystic steps whereon the Vicar of Peter has his feet, - there is no earthquake, nor rain nor hail nor mist, in short, no climatic alter- ation or meteorological change, such as the lower parts of the moun- tain, being purely natural, are subject to. Here, however, Dante sees a running stream, feels a breeze upon his brow, hears a soughing in the forest whose leaves and sprays are all bent toward the west under the steady stress of the eastern tradewind. AU this appears to contradict what Statius had told him, so that he is full of doubt and wonder. Accordingly when the beautiful Lady (Matilda, Canto xxxiii, 1. 119) invites him to ask questions, he begs her to ex- plain this contradiction. - ^The substance of her explanation is as follows: "My smiling is explained by the Ninety-second Psalm, 'For Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through Thy work.' " As to the wind (11. 97-99), "this passage," says Moore, "describes the exemption of the Earthly Paradise from the storms generated on the lower earth by the exhalations which, proceeding from the water and the earth, rise as far as they can, following the heat by which such exhalations are drawn up." (Studies in Dante, I, 131.) Here, as everywhere, Dante followed the science of hb time, which itself followed Aristotle's Meteorologica. But the wind here on the upper mountain is due to a very different cause: the revolution of the Primum Mobile (Milton's "that first moved," Par. Lost, B. iii, 483), la prima volta, or first moving sphere. It is this that, carrying with it the upper air from east to west around the stationary earth, causes the steady current or tradewind which bends the leaves all one way and makes the forest murmur like that on Classe's shore (la Pineta di Ravenna). As to the water: - In many places (e.g., Purg. Canto v, 11. 109-123; Canto xiv, 11. 31-36) Dante deals with the action of the moisture in the air, forever replenishing the rivers at their sources in the mountains. But here the two streams, Lethe and Eunoe, issue at two sides from a fountain, steady and sure, that is constantly fed by direct inter- position of the Will of God. Thus Dante's doubts are solved, but the Lady volunteers a "corollary," identifying the Earthly Paradise with the Age of Gold of the Poets, two of whom are present and are pleased. The Forest Full of Light and Melody 273 ^ XXIX I The Mystic Procession of the Church ^ Triumphant The Lady, in the manner of a lover, Vulgate Psalm Resumed her singing, when her words were done: f^' ^quorum j «-r»i 111* 1 M tecta sunt « "Blessed are they whose sms are covered over." - peccata" i And as the nymphs were wont to go alone \ Among the woodland shadows, with endeavor Some to behold, some to avoid the sun. She then, against the current of the river, \ Followed the bank, and I with her abreast. Brief paces with brief paces matching ever. j Between us not a hundred steps were paced, j When both alike the margins made a bend, ■ So that toward the East again I faced. { Nor yet, so going, had we far to wend ^ Before the Lady fully turned about I Toward me, saying: "Look, brother, and attend." - I And lo! a sudden luster ran throughout i Every quarter of the forest vast, i So that of hghtning I was put in doubt. But since the lightning, as it comes, is past. And this still brightened more and more the wood, ] "What thing is this?" - within my thought I cast. j Then did a melody delightful flood zi The illumined air, whence holy ardor made '[ Me fain to reprobate Eve's hardihood; For there, where both the Earth and Heaven obeyed. The woman only, and but just created, ' Would underneath not any veil be stayed; 5 Whereunder, had she but devoutly waited, ■ So should I that ineffable content 1 Have sooner had, and had it unabated. i While I amid so many first-fruits went, j Of the eternal joy, and all upstrung, ] And evermore on greater joyance bent, ^ 274 Purgatorio ^ 4 In front of us, the verdant boughs among,: The air as if by fire enkindled grew. And the sweet sound was now perceived as song. j O holy Virgins! now did I for you \ Hunger or cold or vigils never shun, ] Need goads me to implore the guerdon due. * Pour forth for me thy waters, Helicon, I Urania sustain me with thy chorus. To put in rime things hard to think upon! | The wide tract of the middle distance bore us i The show of seven trees of gold, not far ' Beyond, in false presentment there before us; But when so near approacht to them we are, That common traits which lead the senses wrong Forfeit by distance no particular, i The force that makes discourse of reason strong \ Perceived at length that candlesticks were they, ■ And heard "Hosannah" in voices of the song. Aloft was flaming now the fair array. Far brighter than the Moon who lamps the skies ^ At midnight in her monthly course midway. i Thereon I turned about with wild surmise \ To the good Virgil, who thereto replied With like amazement in his startled eyes. I Thence turning back my vision, I descried j Those high things moving on to us so slow ] They would have been outstript by the new bride. The Lady chided me: "Why yearning so! Only to gaze upon each Hving light, i That what comes after them thou dost forgo?": Then, as behind their leaders, came to sight j A people in white raiment, - ^never seen ] Was here up)on the earth so pure a white. \ The water on my left was full of sheen, j Reflecting back the left-hand side of me j As in a mirror, when I lookt therein. j Pageant of the Sacred Books 275 When I had gained such place upon the lea That separated me the brook alone, I stayed my steps, the better thus to see. And saw the flamelets forward move, a zone Of painted air behind them leaving, so That they appeared like painters' brushes drawn; And thus the air above remained aglow With seven stripes, containing every hue Of DeHa's girdle and Apollo's bow. These pennons farther than my range of view Were streaming rearward; by my estimate Ten steps asunder were the outer two. Under so fair a sky as I relate, By two and two came Elders twenty-four. Their brows with flower-de-luce incoronate. They all were singing: "Blessed thou before The daughters all of Adam; blessed be Thy loveliness forever and evermore." - Now when no more the chosen company Footed the flowers and tender herbage seen Upon the margin opposite to me. As follows hght on Hght in the serene Heaven, came after them four hving things. Each one incoronate with frondage green. Every one was feathered with six wings Studded with eyes; the eyes of Argus thus, If living, might be full of visionings. I lavish no more verses to discuss Their form, O Reader! other charges bind So, that perforce I am penurious. But read Ezekiel, and call to mind How he beheld them from the quarter cold With cloud approaching, and with fire and wind; As thou shalt find it in his pages told. Such were they, - save as to their pinions, John Varies from him, and with the saint I hold. The lunar and solar spectrum Books of the Old Testament The Gospels 276 Purgatorio The Gryphon who draws the Car of the Church typifies the union of the Divine and the human in the Saviour. The middle stripe of the seven colors is between his wings Love Hope Faith Guided by Pru- dence, who sees past, present, future The beloved physician, St. Luke St. Paul Within the space among those four came on, Triumphal, roUing on two wheels, a Wain That forward by a Gryphon's neck was drawn. Up he extended both his wings between The middle striping and the three and three, That none took hurt from being cleft amain. How high they rose no human eye could see; Where he is bird his limbs of gold are wrought, The others white, but mingled ruddily. With car so beautiful Rome honored not Or Scipio or even Augustus, - ^nay. Poor were the Sun's to such a chariot. The chariot of the Sun which, driven astray. Was burnt at Earth's devoted orison. When Jove was just in his mysterious way. At the right wheel, in dance came whirling on Three ladies: one of such a ruddy glow As haply in the fire were seen of none; Such flesh and frame the second one did show As out of emerald she had been made; The third appeared like freshly fallen snow. Now by the white appeared they to be led. Now by the ruddy lady, by whose lay The others timed their swift or tardy tread. Beside the left wheel four made holiday In purple raiment, following as guide One in whose head three eyes lookt every way. Behind all those described thus, I descried Two aged men clad with a difference. But like in bearing grave and dignified. One seemed adept in the experiments Of high Hippocrates, whom Nature made For th' animals she holds in preference; The other, who was carrying a blade Gleaming and sharp, showed care so opposite That, though this side the stream, I was afraid. Crowned with Crimson and Rose ^11 Thereafter saw I four of humble plight; And behind all an aged man alone Walking in trance, but yet acute of sight. These seven, like the company first shown. Were habited in white; yet not Kke those Around the forehead wore a Uly crown. But rather flowers of crimson, and the rose: Onlooker would have sworn, if near them not. That they were all aflame above their brows. When over against me was the Chariot, Thunder was heard; whereby that worthy band Was interdicted further march, methought. There with the vanward ensigns brought to stand. Minor Epistles and Apoca- lypse {Revelor tion of St. John the Divine) 278 Purgatorio See the long note at the end of this canto The symbolical Seven Candle- sticks guided as Charles's Wain here guides the mariner XXX The Reproaches of Beatrice When the Septentrion of highest Heaven That set or rising never knew, nor pall Of any cloud save that of sin, had given To every creature there processional Such due direction as is ever sought From that below by homing pilots all, - When that stood still, the people true of thought First come *twixt Gryphon and Septentrion, As to their peace turned to the Chariot. "Come with me, with me. Bride, from Lebanon," Cried one like Messenger from Heaven, in song Thrice over, and so the others every one. And as the blest, when the last trump has rung. Shall each rise lightly from the funeral urn With Hallelujah on requickened tongue. So on the Car Divine did I discern A hundred at such Elder's call upstand. Angels and ministers of Hfe eterne. **Blessed be thou that comest!" cried that band, FilUng the air with flowers along the way, "O give ye lihes all with Hberal hand!" - How often have I seen at break of day The region of the East all roseate. And else the limpid sky in fair array. While overshadowing mists so mitigate The rising splendor that these eyes of ours Encounter it awhile with gaze sedate, - So in the bosom of a cloud of flowers Flung in the air and drifting to the ground From the angehc hands in blossom showers. In veil of white, with olive fillet crowned, Appeared to me a Lady in mantle green. With color of living flame invested roimd. Vanishing of Virgil 279 ] And to my spirit that so long had been ] Out of her presence, which did ever move j Me to stand trembling and abasht of mien,; Virtue descending through her from above } Attested, without witness of the eye. The great tenacity of early love. ] No sooner smote my sight the virtue high; Which had already pierct me through the breast; Before my early boyhood had gone by, i Than to the left as trustfully I pressed; As to the mother does the child, distraught j By terror or by grief, to manifest j To Virgil: "In my pulses beats no jot i Of blood that does not quiver; I perceive The early flame beneath the ashes hot/^ - ] But gone was Virgil, leaving me to grieve, ' Virgil, to me a father passing dear, i Virgil from whom salvation I retrieve, ■ Nor all that lost our ancient mother here \ Availed to keep my cheeks, though cleansed with dew, \ From being stained again with many a tear. ■. ^'Dante, because Virgilius withdrew, | Do not weep yet, not yet a-weeping fall:; Another sword has yet to pierce thee through." - \ As stands at stern or prow an admiral *: To inspect the service, and to cheer the men i Upon the other ships to prowess all, ] At the left margin of the chariot, - when ( I turned about on hearing mine own name Which here indeed I cannot choose but pen, - I saw the Lady, she before who came \ Veiled underneath the angelic festival, i Direct her eyes to me across the stream. i Though, circled with Minerva's coronal. The ample veil descending from her head ] Gave forth but faint glimpse of her form, withal -j 280 Purgatorio Austerely, and with queenly bearing dread \ Continued she, as who in saying this Still left the hottest utterance unsaid: \ ''Look at us well, we are, we are Beatrice; i How didst thou deign to come unto the Mount? Knewest thou not that man is here in bliss?" - j Mine eyes fell down into the limpid fount, j But seeing myself reflected, did I turn \ Back to the lawn again with bashful front. \ As to the child appears the mother stern, So she appeared to me; for bitter food . Is pity, and tart in flavor, though it yearn. - She held her peace, and the angel multitude j Pmlm XXX, 1-8^^ >- Chanted: "In Thee, Lord, do I put my trust,"* i But beyond "set my feet" did not conclude. | As, on the back of Italy, the gust \ Slavonic doth the living rafters sheathe i With drifted snow soon frozen to a crust, j Which melts and trickles down if only breathe 1 The land where shrink the shadows, and ap(>ears j Like wax that liquefies the flame beneath, - So I remained with neither sighs nor tears Before the song of them who chanting go After the notes of the eternal spheres. \ But when I heard their timeful pity flow \ More sweetly than as if it were exprest: "Lady, why dost thou break his spirit so?" - I 7 y- The ice that was about my heart comprest, To breath and water changing, gusht forth hot Through lips and eyes with anguish from my breast. \ Still from the same side of the Chariot,; Turned she to that compassionate array Her words, her attitude yet moving not: "Ye keep your watch through the eternal day ■ So that nor night nor slumber robs from you | One step the world may walk along its way; \ Dante Accused before Angels 281 Thus to my answer greater heed is due That yonder weeper understand me, whence Of equal measure may be guilt and rue. By work not only of the wheels immense Guiding all seeds toward their destined places According as the stars rain influence, But by the guerdon of celestial graces. Which have so lofty vapors for their showers That nevermore our sight their fountain traces. Such, virtually, was this friend of ours In his new life, that issue marvelous Was to be lookt for from his native powers. But all the wilder and more mischievous Is an unweeded garden grown to seed. The more the soil is rank and vigorous. Whiles I sustained him with my face indeed. The hght of my young eyes upon him turning; And tow'rd right issues followed he my lead. ?v5 .^(Vhen I had crossed my second threshold, spurning That earthly life, the heavenly to inherit. Then he forsook me for another yearning^ So, when arisen out of flesh to spirit. Waxing in beauty and in worth, I grew Less precious to his mind, and of less merit; And his feet wandered by a way not true After false images of good, pursuing Promises unredeemed with payment due. To summon him away from his undoing. The invocation of no dream or vision Availed to me, - so little was he ruing. He fell so low, no means for the remission Of sin in him yet in my power was lying. Save showing him the people of perdition. For this I gained the portal of the dying. And to that one who led him here were spoken My supplications mingled with my sighing. 282 Purgatorio High j&at of the Almighty would be broken Were he to traverse Lethe without scoring Due payment of such viand, certain token Of deep repentance with hot tears outpouring."- Note No sooner has the divine Chariot come to a standstill, than there arise upon it a hundred ministers and messengers of eternal life, singing and flinging up a cloud of flowers, in the midst of which appears to the poet a Lady clad in the tricolor of the Christian virtues. Her robe is of the hue of living flame, and her mantle green, but of these the poet seems only to have a glimpse, for she is all shrouded in a white veil flowing down from the head where it is filleted with the" frond of Minerva, - the olive garland, symbol of wisdom and peace. His pulses all astir with the tokens of the old^ame (veteris vesti^a flammae), the poet turns to share the transport with his wise guide, his beloved father; but Virgil, who has never failed him in distress, is not permitted to be a partaker of his joy. With a subtle suggestion of man's first forfeiture of Paradise, the poet betrays a pathetic weakness, making us aware that even in this supreme moment of revelation and attainment, his strongest sentiment is that of regret for his lost master. A great flood of human feehng rolls over him, the "light of higher eyes" is darkened, and he yearns backward even as Orpheus did after the vanishing shade of his Eurydice. This is the most humanly significant moment in the poem. Virgil signifies for him all grace of art, all serenity of reason, all human amenity, - all that the Parthenon typifies in contradistinction from the Cathedral of the Christian. It is not without a pang that the poet can give up all this, even at the moment of the fulfillment of his unexampled quest, even now when he stands at last in the presence of Beatrice. Probably many readers will share Dante's sense of bereavement in the loss of the gentlie Pagan Sage. At this moment when his face is darkened with tears of vain regret, in the hush of song, in the lull of the angelic festival, a woman's voice, terrible in its sweetness, stabs him with his name, as with premonitory sting of the sword by which his tears are yet to flow: "Dante, because Virgilius withdrew. Do not weep yet, not yet a-weeping fall: Another sword has yet to pierce thee through."- Henceforth, in this and the following canto, images of war pre- dominate. The Lady's attitude is one of command, - like an admiral she stands on the left or Old-Testament side of the Chariot. The, warm color of her inner vestment is now wholly shrouded by the long flowing white veil, through which he can divine her form as through a glass darkly. There is some cheer in the touch of green (fior del verde) in the olive garland; love being hidden, he must make the best of faith and hope. With queenly sternness, like one who Structural Imagery of Poem 283 keeps back her hottest words, she bids him look well at her as she declares herself by name: ' "I am indeed Beatrice!" Dante! Beatrice! It was not thus he had dreamed in the New Life that her name should be linked with his!-:- With superb irony, referring to his besetting sin of pride, she demands: "How didst thou deign to come imto the Mount ?^ Instead of looking at her as she bids, he lets fall his eyes, but seeing his shamefast features reflected in the clear brook, he is fain to turn them to the grassy margin, where they rest upon the color of Hope. Taking advantage of a pause, the Angels now intone the Psalm, "In Te, Domine, speravi," - "In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust" (Ps. xxxi), or in the Catholic version of^he Vulgate (Ps. xxx), "In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped." The divine compassion of the angel voices melts all the ice which had congealed about the heart of Dante, who is seized with an agony of contrite tears. This passion of tears is emphasized by the sublime similitude of the freshet from the snowy Apennines. It is a narrow criticism which has pronounced this similitude to be "too elaborate." Its elaboration is calculated, likd everything else in this poem, to support the design. Perhaps this is the only long poem in literature in which all the decoration subserves a structural purpose. The mMter is so important that it must here be dwelt upon for a moment. v-'^Dante, Virgil, Beatrice^ each one alongside of the personal and the '"'^ human, symbolizes a whole system of ideas. Virgil represents that partial vision of truth which it may be given to human philosophy to attain. Beatrice represents that seeing of God face to face, that perfect revelation of truth, which to the thought of the poet is summed up in tfie word Theology. The nebula of ideas of which the man Dante is the type is nothing less than the whole sinful but aspir- ing nature of man stumbling on the altar steps that lead frond Nature up to the highest possible knowledge. From his brow the seven P's, each emblematic of a whole category of sins, have been erased one by one by the angels who guard the successive cornices by which he has climbed the mountain that straightens those whom the world made crooked (Canto xxiii, 1. 126). But the merely formal cancellation of sin typified by this action does not satisfy the conscience. Divine Justice requires a deeper participation, - a breaking up of the ice about the heart, - ^what Protestant Theology was afterward to emphasize as Conversion. Hence before the final rite of immersion in Lethe, which is to blot out, not sin merely, but the very remem- brance of sin, Beatrice must sharply recall to Dante's mind his offenses against her, in order that he may make confession before men and angels with every evidence of contrition. The confession which Dante so solemnly makes is by no means merely symbolic, but truly personal: hence the necessity of recording his own name. He is about to partake of that "sweet oblivious antidote" which shall "Purge the stufft bosom of that perilous stuff Which weighs upon the heart," 284 Purgatorio and in making this pathetic confession he is performing the most spiritually consoling act of his life. The importance then of the inward breaking up as preliminary to all outward, formal absolution cannot be too strongly emphasized. It was Dante's purpose, as is shown by his letter to Can Grande, to blend in his poem the personal and human experience with the universal. Nowhere more than in this canto is the allegory fused with the personal fact. All is personal and all is symbol. This canto and the next form together a personal record of thrilling spiritual significance. Here the allegorical mode in art reaches its utmost height. One may perhaps feel that the delineation of Virgil is on the whole more sympathetic than his delineation, after this point and throughout the Paradiso, of Beatrice. So one may prefer the marble splendor and pure symmetry of the Parthenon to the pinnacles and dim religious light of the Cathedral. A liberal criticism will recognize in each an ultimate outreach of human faculty. Dante's art is incomparably more ample than that of the Cathedral builders, who render perfectly the terrors and mysteries of religion, but in the matter of human interest fall into the grotesque. Dante's classic taste keeps the grotesque within bounds, so that he is able more than they, and more than any other artist, to render the beauty of holiness, whUe never getting away too far-^rom human nature and experience, necessarily the subjects of all acceptable art. The Poet Humble and Contrite 285 XXXI Dante's Bitter Confession "O thou who art yon side the sacred river/' Aiming her speech at me by thrust, that through The cutting edge alone had made me quiver, Pursuing without truce began she anew, - "To such a heavy charge is requisite Thine own confession: speak, speak, is it true?" - So great the p)erturbation of my wit. Though my tongue moved, it was with such delay That first my voice had died away on it. Granting short shrift, she urged: "What dost thou say? Answer me, for the memories that gnaw Are not yet by the water purged away.**- Together intermingled sham^e and awe Constrained my Hps to shape forth such a " Yes^ As could be heard only by her who saw. As crossbow, tightened up with too great stress. Is shattered when the arrow forth is flung. Which strengthless from the target falls, no less Was I- beneath this heavy charge unstrung. Pouring forth tears and sighs, and so undone The faltering voice was slow upon my tongue. "In thy desires of me that led thee on To love the Good Supreme,'^ then did she say, "Beyond which aspiration there is none, What thwarting trenches or what cables lay Across the avenue of thy advance. That thou hadst need to strip thy hope away? And what allurements in the countenance Of others, or what advantage didst thou spy That thou shouldst linger for their dalliance ?** - After the heaving of a bitter sigh My lips for utterance were almost sealed And with great effort shaped out a reply. The cutting edge thai made Dante quiver is the intolerably sweet and unsparing review of his life in the fore- going address of Beatrice to the angels y2- V 286 Purgatorio Weeping I murmured: "Present things that yield Fallacious joy, allured my steps aside ^ (0 - Soon as your countenance became concealed." - And she: "Hadst thou been silent, or denied What is confest, the record would allege Thy guilt no less, by such a Judge descried. But when the sinner's scarlet cheeks are pledge Of self -accusal, in our Court and Fane The grindstone is whirled back to blunt the edge. Howbeit, in order that thou now sustain Shame for thy fault, and be of stouter soul When thou shalt hear the Sirens sing again, Awhile the sowing of thy tears control. And hearken how my flesh when laid away Ho '^ -Ought to have led thee to the counter-goal. Never did Nature, never Art convey Such rapture to thee as those features fair That held me, and are scattered in decay. And if my dying left thy soul so bare Of joy supreme, what mortal hankerings Ought ever have allured to baser care? At the first shaft of perishable things Thou oughtest truly to have soared aloof With me from such concern; nor should thy wings Have been weighed downward to abide the proof Of further strokes, whether of dainty maid (ff O Or other vanity of brief behoof. For two or three the fledgling may be stayed. But in the sight of the full-plumaged bird Vainly the bolt is sp)ed or net is laid." - As children stand abasht without a word. But Hstening with eyes upon the ground. Conscious and sorry for the fault incurred, So stood I; and she said: "Since thou hast found Pain in the hearing, lift thy beard, - ^thou must Receive, by looking, yet more grievous wound." - 72^ Drinks Forgetfulness of Fault 287 With less reluctance is an oak robust Wrencht up by gale that scours across the sprays From Libia, or stricken by our Alpine gust. Than did I at her word my chin upraise; And when by "beard'' invited to the viewing. Full well I felt the venom of the phrase. And my uplifted eyes, their gaze renewing, Plainly distinguisht those primordial creatures How they were pausing from their blossom-strewing; And these mine eyes, as yet uncertain teachers. Showed Beatrice turned to the Animal That is one single Person in two natures. Beneath her veil, beyond the stream withal. She seemed beyond her ancient seK to go More than outwent she here the others all. The nettle of remorse there prickt me so That what once most with love seductive drew Now most of all things seemed to be my foe. Such self -conviction gnawed my conscience through, I fell undone; what then upon me passed. That knows she best who gave me cause thereto. When heart revived my outward sense at last, Appeared the Lady whom I had found alone, Matilda draws Above me, saying: "Hold fast to me, hold fast!"- fZVwMct Me throat-high in the river had she drawn, takes away And, haling me behind her, was she light ^rZZb^ln^of As any shuttle o'er the water gone. personal sin When I drew nigh the margin benedight, "Purge me," so sweetly did I hear the soimd. Remember it I cannot, much less write. The Lady fair then put her arms around My head, and plunged me under, so embraced. Till fain to drink the water; then she crowned The whole by leading me, thus rendered chaste, Within the measure of the lovely Four, Who each with guarding arm my shoulder graced. 288 Purgatorio "Here we are nymphs, and stars in Heaven; before Beatrice down to life on earth had gone, We were ordained each one her servitor. /XO We lead thee to her eyes; but those three yon, Whose vision searches with profounder quest. Will sharpen to their jocund light thine own." - So first they sang; then to the Gryphon's breast Led me along with them; and at that spot Toward us turned, was Beatrice at rest. Dante sees the **Take heed," said they, "to spare thy gazing not; Z^r.fl!.''' Thou art before the emeralds at last, union of the ' human with the ^ Whence Love of yore his arrows at thee shot/'- reflected in the Held mine eyes fixed upon the eyes ashine S^/^^' ""^ ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^ *"^^ "P^^ ^^^ Gryphon cast. The Animal wherein two natures twine Was gleaming there, - so in mirror gleams the sun,- Now in the human, now in the divine. Think, Reader, how I marveled, seeing yon The Creature standing, as if inanimate, . Yet being transmuted in its eidolon! / tO While yet both full of wonder and elate. My soul was breaking fast upon the food That quenching causes thirst insatiate, The other Three came forth, their attitude In dancing their angelic roundelay Approving them to be of nobler brood. "Turn, Beatrice, O turn," so ran their lay, "Thy holy eyes upon thy servant leal Who moved his steps to thee from far away. lb uOf thy grace to us, graciously reveal Thy smile to him, so that he may discern The second beauty which thou dost conceal." - O splendor of the living light eterne. What dreaming poet ever has so paled In shadow of Parnassus, or at its urn Revelation of Heavenly Beauty 289 So drunken, that his heart would not have failed Endeavoring to render thee, how fair. Beneath the harmony of heaven unveiled /^O When opening thy beauty to the air? £90 Purgatorio Vision seen in the Earthly Paradise on the morning of the fourth day Too intense personal vision reproved by the Church. Possi- ble reference to the traces of the early jlame (xxx, U8) Behind the right wheel of the Car XXXII Allegory of the Evil Days of the Church So steadfast and attentive was my eye To satisfy my thirst decennial. All other sense did in abeyance lie; And so her holy smiling made me fall In the old toils, that my indifference Inclosed me on every side as with a wall; When force perforce my sight was shifted thence Tow*rd my left hand by those Divinities, Because I heard from them a "Too intense!" - And that condition of the sight, which is In eyes but lately smitten by the sun. Canceled awhile my vision after this. But when my sight was for the less re won (The less compared with that superior Splendor from which perforce I had withdrawn). Turned on the right flank face about, once more The glorious army stood to me revealed With sun and with the seven flames before. As changes front, 'neath cover of the shield, A squadron with the standard, while yet not The body of the army can have wheeled, The knighthood of the heavenly realm that brought The van up, all had wheeled and passed us by Ere the front beam had turned the Chariot. Back to the wheels did then the damsels hie. Whereat the Gryphon moved his blessed charge So that no feather of him shook thereby, ' The Lady fair who drew me to the marge. And Statins and I fell in withal Behind the wheel that curved with arc less large; And thus, while passing through the forest tall. Void by her fault who pledged the Snake amiss, Our feet to angel music timed their fall. Car of Church Bound to Tree of Empire 291 Three flights might carry along as far as this An arrow, haply, loosened from the string: At such remove alighted Beatrice. I heard them one and all there murmuring "Adam ^P - ^then circled they about a tree Bare on each bough of bloom and burgeoning. Its fohage, which spreads accordingly As it is towering upward, would for height To Indians in their woods a marvel be. ''Blest art thou Gryphon, that thou dost not smite With beak this tree that to the taste is sweet. For anguish follows on such appetite.^' - So round the sturdy tree the rest repeat; Whereat the Animal of natures two: "Thus to fulfill all justice it is meet.'* - And, turning to the wagon-pole, he drew It up beneath the widowed trunk, - ^whereon That which came from it left he bound thereto. Even as, when falls the great light of the sun Downward, commingled with that radiance far Which beams behind the heavenly Carp, anon Burgeon our trees, and each its singular Color renews, before the sun has set Yoke on his coursers under other star: So did the tree, of fronds so naked yet. Revive and open out into a hue Less than of rose and more than violet. What hynm that throng then sang, I never knew, - A matter not intoned in human chants, - Nor could I bear the melody all through. O could I picture sinking into trance Those cruel eyes, of Syrinx hearing tell. Those eyes that paid so dear long vigilance. Into what drowsihood hereon I fell. Like painter from the life would I portray: Who would, must know to image slumber well. Tree of Knowl- edge. The cross, whereof the wain-pole is symbol, was fabled to be of the wood of this tree This tree, grafted with the cross, blossoms anew, as in spririg when the sun is in the Ram just be- hind the sign of the Fishes, our trees renew verdure and bloom The tale with which Hermes lulled Argua 292 Purgatorio Matilda Theology left to guard the Church, sur- rounded by the Seven Virtues Whence pass I to my waking, and I say A dazzling splendor rent the veil from me Of slumber, and a calling: "Rise, why stay?" - As, to see blossoms of the apple tree That makes the angels eager to be fed, And marriage feasts in Heaven eternally, Peter and James and John were upward led. And, overcome, recovered at the word Of Him who broke the slumbers of the dead. And saw their band to what it was restored By loss of Moses and EHas too, And changed again the raiment of the Lord; So I recovered, and so did I view Above me standing that compassionate Guide, Who my first steps along the river drew. "And where is Beatrice?'' - ^perplext I cried; "Sitting beneath the foliage freshly sprung, Upon its root behold her," she replied. "Behold around her the companion throng; The others with the Gryphon upward speeding, Singing a sweeter and a deeper song." - And if she spoke more words than the preceding I know not, so mine eyes were fixt upon Her who had shut me off from other heeding. Alone upon the bare earth sat she down. Left there as warder of the Chariot I saw made fast by Creature two-in-one. The seven nymphs a ring around her wrought. And in their hands the seven lampads lay That Aquilo and Auster extinguish not. "Here art thou forester but a brief day, And of that Rome where Christ is Roman, then Shalt thou a burgess with me be for aye. Whence, for the benefit of erring men, Observe the Car, and what thou canst descry, Having returned to earth, take heed to pen." - Vidssitvdes of the Church 293 So Beatrice commanded, and so I, Allegorical view \ To very foot of her commands devote, t^h^dP^ "^ \ Whither she willed gave all my mind and eye. Never with fall so swift the Hghtning smote \ Out of a heavy cloud-bank, when it showers • Down from that bourn which stretches most re- \ mote, i As now beheld I through the leafy bowers \ Swoop down the bird of Jupiter amain, The Roman ' Rending the bark and the fresh leaves and flowers, °^ \ Thereon with all his might smiting the Wain; J Whereat it reeled, Uke ship storm-buffeted, I Wave-tost to starboard and to port again. I saw a she-fox glide with stealthy tread Heresy Quite into the triumphal Car thereon, j And she appeared with wholesome food unfed. \ But for so foul a fault, with malison. My Lady put her to such flight as bore j The fleshless framework of her skeleton. Then, by the course that he had come before, ] I saw the eagle swoop into the ark Donation of Of the Chariot, and leave it feathered o'er. ^^T^ns- ^ And out of Heaven a voice of sighing, hark! us ' 1 Such sighs as from a grieving bosom steal: \ "How badly art thou fraught, my Kttle bark!" - \ Thereon the earth seemed cleft twixt wheel and wheel, \ And thence I saw a dragon issuing. The schism he- ' That upward through the Chariot thrust his tail; ^^^churdt And like the wasp withdrawing forth the sting, or perhaps I He with mahgnant tail drew forth amain Idamism \ Part of the floor, and went off wandering. i As fertile soil takes grass, the rest again Corrupting; Took on the plumage, given to satisfy ^•' \ Intent perchance benevolent and sane, \ And both the wheels were overrun thereby So quickly, and the chariot-pole overrun. The lips are longer parted with a sigh. \ ^94 Purgatorio Corrupt rela- tions of Papacy and French Monarchy. The scourging of the whore doubtless refers to the outrage upon the person of Pope Boniface {Canto XX, 85- 90). Dante per- haps here per- sonifies in him- self the enemies of Philip the Fair Removal of Papal See to Avignon. The strange animal must be the Car bestialized by the heads, representing the mortal sin* The holy structure, thus transformed, anon Heads over all its different portions bore. Three on the pole, at every corner one. The three were horned Uke bullocks, but the four With single horn had each the forehead crowned: Monster like this was never seen before. Secure as citadel on lofty mound, Sitting up)on the Car appeared to me A wanton whore, darting her oglings round. And, as her warder, lest she taken be, Was standing at her side a giant brute. And now and then their kissing did I see. But since her roving eye and dissolute Was turned on me, that savage paramour Did scourge her from her head unto her foot. Then jealously and fierce with anger, tore The Monster loose, and dragged so far withal That with the forest shielded he the whore From me, and shielded the strange Animal. Beatrice Prophesies a Better Day 295 xxxin The Poet Made Pure for the Ascent to the Stars "O God, the heathen are come into Thine own!" So did the weeping maids, now three, now four Alternately, sweet psalmody intone; And heavily sighed Beatrice, and wore A listening look of such a plaintive grace That Mary at the Cross changed little more. But when the other virgins had given place For her to speak, now upright on her feet. She made reply to them with blazing face: "A little while and me ye shall not meet; And yet a little while," again she said, "And ye shall look upon me, sisters sweet." - Then sent she all the seven on, and made To follow after, merely by a sign. Me and the Lady and the Sage who stayed. So went she, and had taken, I opine. Scarcely ten paces, through the woodland faring. When with her piercing eyes she smote on mine: "Approach," commanded she, sedate of bearing, "In order that, if I discourse with thee. Thou mayst remain within an easy hearing." - When I was with her, as I ought to be, "Brother," said she, "why art thou diffident To question, seeing that thou walkst with me?" - As befalls people over-reverent In speaking in the presence of the great. Whose chattering teeth the living voice prevent. So I, inapt for sound articulate. Began: "You know, my Lady, what beseems To me, because you know my poor estate." - "I would not have thee henceforth by extremes Of fear and shame," she answered, "made to quail. Nor would I have thee speak like one in dreams. Seventy-ninth Psalm Gospel of John xvi, 16. AUe- gorically, the restoration of the Church The Lady Matilda; the sage Statins Dante addresses her as if she were a royal personage: Canto XXX, 70, Par. xvi, be- ginning 296 Purgatorio {Following the reading of Torraca) So the ardent prayer of Canto vi shall he answered; the Hound of Inf. i shall come. The DXV, whatever be the date foretold, may be an ana- gram for DUX, leader, or it may be the emblem of Christ Do not let the fear of the mighty hinder thee from telling men that the deed of Philip the Fair is such another cnme as that of the dis- obedience of our first parents First by the Devil, now by Philip the Fair {the giant) Worldly joys stain, a^ did the blood of Pyramus the mulberry Know that the vessel rent by dragon-tail. Was and is not: but be the guilty aware That Divine Vengeance fears no coat of mail. Not always shall remain without an heir The Eagle that emplumed the Chariot, whence It grew a monster and then a prey: I bear Sure witness, and foretell an influence Of stars already close at hand to give An era free from all impediments. Wherein One, a Five-hundred Ten and Five, God-sent, shall with the harlot do to death That giant who doth now with her connive. Perchance in cloudy talk I waste my breath. Like Sphynx and Themis, unpersuasive thus. Since in their mode the mind it darkeneth; But fact erelong will be the (Edipus Of this enigma, the hard knot untying. Nor be to fold or field injurious. Mark thou: and even as I am prophesying, So do thou teach to those who run the race Of life, which is a hastening to dying; And bear in mind, when thou the writing trace. Not to conceal how thou hast seen undone The Plant, that twice was pillaged in this place. Whoever robs or rends it, malison Of very deed upon High God is casting, Who hallowed it to purpose of His own. For tasting it, in pain and longing wasting Five thousand years and more, the first soul sighed For Him who punisht on Himself that tasting. Thy wit must slumber, having not descried How for a special reason passing high Rises the Tree, and has the top so wide. And did thy vain conceits not petrify Like Elsa water round thy mind, were not Their joy a Pyramus to the mulberry. Dante Has Forgotten His Estrangement 297 So many circumstances would have taught The justice of the interdict Divine Upon the Tree, symboUcally wrought. But though I see that intellect of thine Grown stony, and so windowless and bUnd To radiance wherewith my teachings shine. Yet, if unwritten, painted on the mind. Pray bear them, by what token palmers do Their staves with frondage of the palm en- twined/' - And I: "As to the seal the wax is true, Holding the form and pressure evermore. So is my memory now stampt by you. But why do your desired words outsoar The utmost pinion of my sight, that so I fail of them, the more I strive therefor?" - "It is," she said, "to enable thee to know The school that thou hast followed, - to display How lamely it can follow where I go; And that thou mayst perceive your human way As far from the Divine, as is remote From Earth the Heaven that highest speeds away." - Whereat I answered her: "I have forgot That ever I estranged myself from you; And qualms of conscience for it have I not.** - "And if it has been blotted from thy view. Now recollect," her smiling answer went, "How thou hast drunk of Lethe but anew; So that, if smoke of fire is argument. Thus to forget affords clear evidence Of error in thy will elsewhere intent. Be that as may, my oracles from hence Shall be unveiled, far as to lay them bare May be not unbefitting thy rude sense." - Par. xxvi, 115-123 In remembrance of the pil- grimage The penetrating intellect of Dante must have more than dis- trusted the jejune scholas- tic philosophy 298 Purgatorio With slower paces and with greater glare The sun in the meridian circle glowed, That with the point of view shifts here and there. When, - as is wont to halt upon his road Whoever as a Leader goes before. Finding strange thing or vestige, - so abode The seven ladies by a shadowy shore: Green foliage and glooming branches throw Such shadow over mountain torrents frore. In front, methought I saw Euphrates flow And Tigris, from a single starting-place. And separate, like friends at parting slow. "O Ught, O glory of the human race! What flood is this that gushes here away Out of one fount, and separates apace?" - To such a prayer reply was made me: "Pray Matilda that she tell." - As one who scatters Suspicion of some fault imputed: "Nay," Canto xxviii. Said the fair Lady, - ^'^this and other matters ing lines ^ Were told him by myseK, and sure am I That they were not concealed by Lethe waters " - And Beatrice:* "Perchance some care more high, Which often renders inward vision dim. May have bereft him of his memory. But lo! where Eunoe doth overbrim; Lead thither, and with wonted aid of thine, Let fainting virtue be revived in him." - Like gentle spirit that would not decline. But willingly makes other will her care. Whenever that is manifest by sign. So, laying hold on me, the Lady fair Evidentiy the Moved forward, and with grace all womanly fhrfe'Puotihe ^o Statius said: "Do thou come with him there."- Poem to be of Were ampler space, O Reader, left to me ZfJ^dighay Fo"- siting, I would sing in partial strain gone beyond the Sweet draughts whereof I ne'er would sated be; Dante Drinks Remembrance of Good 299 But since all sheets are full that I ordain HmU set by the This Second Canticle of mine unto, incomparably mi 1. • 1- I. 1 1 . terse Inferno The discipline of art now draws the rem. From that most holy water I withdrew Reanimated, like new plants that are Renewed again with leafage ever new. Pure and prepared to mount from star to star. - PARADISO Ascent of Dante with Beatrice Pervades the universe the glory of Him Prologue, \ Who moveth all, and shineth more intense '*"''* ^*^^^ \ In one part, in another region dim. \ Within the Heaven that of his effluence Partaketh most, I found myself, discerning: Things which no tongue can tell, descending thence; \ Because the mind, approaching its own yearning. Plunges engulfed in so profound a sea, ] That for the memory is no returning. \ Nathless, whatever in my memory The maMer of \ I could entreasure of the Kingdom blest, ^^ '^ \ Henceforth the matter of my song shall be. i O good Apollo! for the final quest Invocation to \ Inform me with thy power, till I be found ^ ' Fit for the laurel which thou lovest best. ^ So far one summit of Parnassus bound! All my desire, but now the twain beneath. Needs must I enter the last wrestling-ground.; Into my bosom enter thou, and breathe ■ As when thou didst pluck Marsyas amain i And from the scabbard of his limbs unsheathe. 1 O Power Divine, if thou wilt lend me a strain - Such as may body forth the Realm above ] Whose shadowy vestige lingers in my brain, Shalt see me to the laurel of thy love j To crown me with those leaves, a pilgrim come, Wreath which thy theme shall make me worthy of. j So seldom. Father, do we gather some For triumph or of bard or emperor, - Of human wills fault and opprobrium, -; 301 302 Paradiso Influence of the sun at the Vernal Equi- nox, when the circles of the Equator, the Zodiac, the Equinoctial Colure cross the circle of the Horizon "Here^ refers to Italy: "yonder'^ to the Summit of Purgatory Earthly Paradise Ascent through the Sphere of Fire That the Peneian frond should all the more In the glad Delphic God enkindle joy. When it sets any one athirst therefor. From little spark beacons great flame on high: Perchance for me with voices more elate Shall prayer arise, that Cyrrha may reply. - Rises to mortals up through many a gate The lantern of the world; but from that line Wherein four circles with three crosses meet, With better course and in a better sign It issues forth, and stamps with imprint clear And tempers the world's wax to its design. Almost this gate had made it evening here And morning yonder; there was all aglow And darkness covered this our hemisphere. When, turned about toward the left-hand, lo! Beatrice who was gazing on the sun: Never did eagle fasten on it so. And just as ever from the former one Issues a second ray and upward flies. Like pilgrim turning homeward, journey done. So did her act, informing through the eyes Mine own imagination, give me grace To fix the sun beyond our wonted wise. Much is permitted yonder, in this place Debarred our powers, thanks to the spot, of yore Fashioned and fitted for the human race. This not so long nor little yet I bore, But that I saw it sparkling round me nigh As iron pours molten from the furnace door; And of a sudden day to day thereby Seemed to be added, as if He who can Had with another sun adorned the sky. Fixed where the everlasting circles ran Were the rapt eyes of Beatrice, and mine Withdrawn from Heaven were turned her own to scan. Music in Sphere of Fire 303 •i Gazing at her, I grew within divine Like Glaucus, tasting of the herb and thence ^ Peer of the other gods beneath the brine. < No word transhumanizing represents: ] The example then to him sufficient be Whom Grace reserves for hke experience. If I was merely what Thou recently \ Createdst, Love, who governest the skies, ' Thou knowest, who with Thy light upliftedst me! ] Now when the wheel Thou dost eternalize J By being desired, made me on it intent t By music Thou dost tune and harmonize. So kindled then appeared the firmament The Spheral By the sun*s flame, that never rain nor stream ^usic Flowed over into a lake of such extent. j The newness of the sound and the great gleam ^ Kindled my wish their causes to assign ] To poignant longing, never so extreme. , Whence she, who could my question well divine. The perturbation of my mind to lull. Parted her lips and took the words from mine, i Beginning thus: "How dost thou make thee dull First words • With false imagination, not perceiving ^■' ^^'^^ j What would be clear wert thou less fanciful. j No longer art thou on earth, though so believing, J But lightning from its region never flew ] Such flight as thou, thy proper home retrieving." - i If disencumbered of my first doubt through ] Such little words as these, more smiled than phrased, 1 I was the more benetted with a new, I And said: "I almost ceased to be amazed; ^ But now is wonder upon wonder piled! How through these lightsome bodies I am raised." - \ Then she began, with sigh of pity mild, I Bending her eyes upon me with such glance j As mother casts on her delirious child: 304 Paradiso The harmony of the universe '^Descent and fall to lis is adverse" "All things whatever observe ordinance Among themselves; here doth that form prevail Which keeps the world with God in consonance. Here creatures high are hot upon the trail Of the Eternal Worth, which is the goal Whereto the rule fore-mentioned doth impel. The ordinance in question doth control All natures, which through fates of different sorts Neighbor, both near and far, their Primal Soul; Wherefore they shape their course to different ports Of the vast sea of being, - each with boon Of instinct that informs it and supports. This bears away the fire toward the moon. This force doth mortal hearts forever move. This bind the earth together and attune. Not merely things created empty of Intelligence, this mighty crossbow hurls. But those endowed with intellect and love. The Providence that shapes all ends, enfurls That Heaven in dateless quiet with its light, Wherein that sphere which is most speedy, whirls. And thither now, as to appointed site. Bears us along the vigor of that cord Which aims at happy mark its arrow-flight. As character does not indeed accord At all times with the artisan's intent, The stuff being deaf to the creative word. So may the creature from the course he went. Though thus impelled, as free will may inspire, IncUne sometimes to follow other bent (In the same manner as we see the fire Fall from the cloud), if down to earth amiss Be wrenched the primal thrust through false desire. Thou shouldst not wonder, judge I well of this. At thy ascending, more than at a rill Plunging to foot of lofty precipice. All Natures Tend Godward 305 A marvel it would be if with thy will Unclogged, thou wert to settle to the base, As if on earth a living fire were still." - Thereon tow'rd heaven she turned again her face. 306 Paradiso The warning The promise Order of verbs reversed to suggest instantaneous action Heaven of the Moon II Heaven of the Moon ye who in your little bark till now, Eager for listening, have made your way Behind my vessel with the singing prow. Turn to your native shore while yet ye may: Do not put out to sea, lest haply there By losing me, ye should remain astray. None ever coursed the water where I fare: Minerva breathes, Apollo pilots me. And all nine Muses point me to the Bear. Ye other few, with neck stretcht yearningly For bread of angels whereon ye are fain To live while here, nor ever sated be, - Your ship may well put out upon the main, Following close upon my wake before The salt-sea water returns smooth again. Those glorious ones at Colchis who of yore Saw Jason made a plowman, no such burning Amazement felt, that ye shall not feel more. The concreate and everlasting yearning For the Realm Deiform bore us well-nigh As swiftly as moves heaven to your discerning. 1 gazed on Beatrice, and she on high: And in such time perchance as crossbow shot Alights and is unloosened and let fly, I found myself arrived where sight was caught Compulsively by something marvelous: Whence, since my doing could be hidden not From her, she faced me, blithe as beauteous: "Lift up thy grateful mind to God!" she said, "Who with the prime star has united us." - Around us there appeared to me to spread A cloud smooth, dense, consolidate, and bright Like diamond whereon the sun is shed. S^ots in the Moon 307 Into the pearl of everlasting white We glided, even as water though unstirred Is penetrated by a ray of light. If I was body (and here it seems absurd That one bulk brookt another, as must be If body into body glide!) more spurred Should be the longing of our hearts to see That Essence where we shall behold the plan Of our own nature blent with Deity. There shall be seen what now by faith we scan. Not proved, but primal truth self-evident And by direct cognition held by man. I answered: "Lady, with devout intent I render thanks to Him who did ordain That from the mortal world I should be sent. But tell me, what those dusky marks which stain This body, whereby on earth below the while People are prone to fable about Cain?" - "And if," she answered with a little smile, "Where key of sense effects no opening Mortal opinion may so far beguile. Surely the shafts of wonder should not sting Thee longer, since even following the sense Thou seest that reason has too short a wing. But tell me, what is thine own inference?" - And I: "Me thinks what here seems different Is brought about by bodies rare and dense." - "Well shalt thou see what credence thou hast lent To error," she answered, "giving heed unto What I adduce in counter-argument. The Eighth sphere shows forth many a Kght to you Which in their quantity and in their kind May be observed from different points of view. If only rare and dense herein combined. One single virtue in all were absolute. Now more, now less, now equally assigned. Mystery of the union of the human with the Divine Spots in the Moon The smile of Beatrice Dante's former ojnnion The correct view \ {scholastic rea- j soning) \ For the argu- \ ment here see \ note at end of this canto \ 308 Paradiso But Virtue different must needs be fruit Of fundamental forms, and these, save one, Thy reasoning would pluck up by the root. Besides, if rarity produced that dun Thou mootest, or this planet through and through Is perforated, leaving matter none. Or otherwise, as fleshly bodies do The fat and lean apportion, so would this Alternate leaves within its book renew. Supposing true the first hypothesis. The sunlight in eclipse would be descried Right through, as through whatever orifice. This false, consider we the other side. And if I chance to find an error there Then thy opinion will be falsified. Now if this rareness find no thoroughfare. There needs must be some limit hindering The counter-penetration of the rare; Thence will the ray of other body spring Reverberated backward, in such kind As back from leaded glass comes coloring. But thou wilt say that here appears more blind The radiance than in regions othersome. From being reflected further from behind. The Experi- Such an objection may be overcome ZdJtmeihod) ExperimentaUy, if thou wouldst try That fountain of all human masterdom. Take mirrors three, and two of them set by At equal distance, and between the twain The other further off, before thine eye. Turning toward them, let a light remain Behind thy back, kindling the mirrors three And smitten by them all to thee again. Whereas the further light will seem to thee Less ample as to size, yet will it show An equal luster, of necessity. Heavenly Influences Modified 309 Now, even as the ground beneath the snow Is stript of previous color and of cold Beneath the beating of the warm rays, so Thy mind, being stript of error fold on fold. Influences of < Will I inform with light so crystalline ^^« *P^^«*; That it shall quiver now thou canst behold. j Within the Heaven that harbors Peace Divine Primum mobile ] Circles a body in whose virtue lies j The being of whatever it enshrine. i The following heaven, which has so many eyes. Fixed stars I Imparts that being through various types, and these ] Distinct from it, which yet it doth comprise. \ The other spheres in different degrees ] Dispose of their distinctive elements j According to their seeds and purposes. Thou seest these universal instruments Thus drawing from above, while raining down i From grade to lower grade their influence. '< Look at me finding pathway for thine own; Arrival at the truth thou art fain to scan, ^ And know henceforth to keep the ford alone! ' The breath of blessed Movers needs must fan Celestial in- j Motion and influence of holy sphere, telhgences ^ As craft of hammer moves by artisan. > And that same Heaven the many Ughts make fair, j From the Deep Mind that?gives it whirl and thrust '^ So takes the image and so seals it there. j And as the soul within your human dust - Makes different members work in unison, \ Distributed through each in measure just, So doth the Mind deploy its benison j Multiplied through the starry firmament, - But turns upon Itself, remaining One. Each different power makes mixture different -^ With precious body rendered quick thereby, 1 Wherewith, like life within you, it is blent. j 310 Paradiso By glad endowment of the Nature High, This mingled virtue through the body glows, As gladness Hghts the pupil of the eye. From this proceeds whatever difference shows 'Twixt light and light, and not from rare and dense; This is the intrinsic principle whence flows The dark and bright, as by its excellence." - Note The astrological theory of the time was that the starry heavens, although of one substance, vary in quantity and kind, and to these differences correspond the diverse influences they are supposed to exercise on the earth and on human affairs. The same principle, it is argued, must apply to the spots in the moon. These appear- ances proceed from causes much deeper than mere rarity and density. Glimmering Faces 311 III Spirits of Women in the Lunar Heaven The sun that erst with love had warmed my breast Had now the fair sweet face of truth, by proof And refutation, rendered manifest; And to confess, so far as was behoof, Myself corrected thus and confident. My head for speech was lifted more aloof. But something gleamed on me, whence so intent To gaze thereon my baffled vision grew, That my confession out of memory went. As through transparent polisht glass, or through Still and pellucid waters, of too mean A depth to have the bottom lost to view. Come back the contours of our faces, seen So pallidly that pearl on forehead white Is caught as quickly if the eye is keen, - Such faces, fain for speaking, came to sight; Whence I in counter-error fell thereby To what befell the fount-enamored wight. The instant that aware of them was I, - Reflected images by my surmise, - To see of whom they were, I turned mine eye; But, seeing nothing, went with my surprise Straight to the light of her, my Leader sweet. Whence smiling kindled in her holy eyes. She said: "No wonder if with smiles I meet This exhibition of thy childish mind Unwilling yet to truth to trust its feet. But turns thee back in vain, after its kind. True substances are what thou dost perceive. Here for some forfeiture of vows assigned. WTience talk with them, and listen, and believe; For that which gives them peace, the one true Fire, Suffers their feet its purlieu not to leave." Heaven of the Moon Marvelous vision: Dante mistakes spirits for reflected images The smile of Beatrice 312 Paradiso Dante addresses the spirit Piccarda Donati {see Purgatorio xxiv, near the beginning; also the prediction of the fate of Corso Donati in same canto) Remiss in exe- cution of vows Degrees of beatitude And to that shade who seemed most to require Question with me, began I, tow*rd it bended Like one bewildered by too great desire: "O spirit born to bUss, with radiance blended Of life eterne in sweet felicity That, tasted not, is never comprehended, Thou wilt be gracious to content in me The craving for thy name, and for your lot." - Whereon with smiling eyes and promptly, she: "To just desire our charity doth not Deny the door, more than His love doth so Who wills His Court all in His image wrought. I was a virgin sister there below; And if thou recollect, it will appear That greater beauty doth not hide me: know I am Piccarda, relegated here Together with these others who are blest, And myself blessed in the slowest sphere. All our affections, kindled as may best Conform to pleasure of the Holy Spirit, Rejoice being fashioned after His behest. And this low-seeming lot that we inherit, Is given to us because we did our vow Make in some manner void, or did defer it." - "Your wondrous faces shine, I know not how," Was my reply, "with some diviner grace. Transmuting them from what we knew ere now; Whence was my memory of laggard pace; But what thou tellest helps me to make clear Thy features which now better I retrace. But tell me, ye whose blessedness is here. Do ye desire a loftier place above To grow in vision or become more dear?" - Her flitting smile lit up the faces of Those others; then she spoke so blithesomely She seemed to kindle with first fire of love: Piccarda 313 "Brother, the influence of charity- Contents our will, alone solicitous For what we have, - ^no craving else have we. Did we desire a place more glorious. Then our desires would be at variance With will of Him who here assigneth us; These circles have no room for dissonance. As thou shalt see, for herein love is fate. If thou behold its nature not askance. Nay, 'tis the essence of this blessed state To dwell within the Will Divine alone. Whereby our wills with His participate. So that throughout this realm, from zone to zone. We pleasure the whole realm without surcease. And please the King who in wills us with His Own; His will is consummation of our peace; And everything is moving to that sea, - All it creates as nature gives increase.'' - Then only was the truth made clear to me That everywhere in Heaven is Paradise Where Grace Supreme rains not in one degree. But, as will happen, should one food entice. Other than that wherewith we have been fed. Returning thanks for that, we crave for this. Such was my case in what I did and said Seeking to learn what web it was whereof She had not drawn the shuttle to the head. "Life perfect and high worth enheaven above," She said thereto, "a Lady among the blest. Under whose rule in your world women love To robe and veil, till death to watch and rest Beside that Spouse, accepter and rewarder Of vows which love conforms to His request. To follow her, of maiden weeds discarder. Fleeing the world and in her habit dressing, I pledged me to the pathway of her Order. "La sua volon- fate e nostra Santa Clara qf Assisi 314 Paradiso Violence done to Thereafter men more used to ban than blessing ctl7%nlti Ravisht me from the cloister sweet: God knoweth What my life then, without mine own confessing. This other splendor on my right who showeth Her beauty to thee, luminously burning With all the hght that in our circle gloweth. The great Con- Takes to herself these words myself concerning: telreT^^'' ^-^ A sister she, and so from her was riven Frederick The Veil by hands its holy shadow spurning. But when she back into the world was driven Despite her wish and wont legitimate. She never from her heart the veil had given. The three blasts This is the radiance of Constance great, Fr^eMBar^ Who to the Second Blast of Swabia barossa, Henry Bore the Third Puissance, and ultimate." - ick II (one Zf ^° spake she, and in chant began to say the most inter- Ave Maria, and chanting from me stole hiTlMurx^{ As through deep water sinks a weight away. For the fate of My vision, straining to pursue that soul Manfred! see ^^ ^^ Utmost, when she vanish t into bliss, P^^9- *" Turned to the mark of a more longed-for goal. Reverting wholly round to Beatrice; But such a lightning flasht she on my look That first my sight endured it not; and this So gave me pause that question I forsook. Perplexing Questions 315 IV Solution of Perplexing Questions Between two foods alike to appetite And like afar, a free man, I suppose. Would starve before of either he would bite; So would a lamb, between the hungry throes Of two fierce wolves, feel equipoise of dread. So hesitate a hound between two does. Whence by my doubts alike solicited By sheer necessity, blame can be none Nor commendation, if I nothing said. And I said nothing; but desire upon My face was pictured, questioning as well. Set forth more fervently than words had done. Beatrice did as once did Daniel Taking Nebuchadnezzar's wrath away. Which first had rendered him unjustly fell. And said: "I see how two desires have play. Each so compelhng that the eagerness Stifles the very breath of what 'twould say. Thou urgest: *By what justice can duress Imposed by others, if persist good will. Render the measure of my merit less.?' Perplexes thee another question still: 'Do souls rejoin the stars, as it would seem. And the idea of Plato thus fulfill?' These questions balance equally the beam Of thy desire; and therefore will I first Treat that which is in venom most extreme. Not he of Seraphs most in God immerst. Not Moses, Samuel, nor either John Thou choosest, nor yet Mary, I say, can thirst In any other heaven to have their throne Than do these spirits whom thou didst discern. Nor more nor fewer years of being own. A canto of scholastic rea- soning Dilemma of Buridan's ass Beatrice reads in Dante's face the two ques- tions AU in the same Heaven 316 Paradiso The appear- ances in the various spheres emblematic Plato' All make the Primal Circle fair, and earn Life of sweet bliss in different measure here. Through feeling more or less the breath eteme. Not as allotted here did they appear Within this heaven, but as a sign intending The least exalted though celestial sphere. My words perforce unto your wit are bending, Which grasps but by perception of the sense What then it worthy makes for comprehending. The Holy Scriptures, condescending hence To your conceit, with foot and hand endue The Deity, with mystic difference; And Holy Church so represents to you Michael and Gabriel with human traits. And the other who gave Tobit health anew. That which Timaeus of the soul debates Is different from that seen here so far, - For seemingly he thinks it as he states. He says the soul returns to its own star. Whence nature actuated its descent. Giving it in the flesh an avatar. And in his doctrine haply more is meant Than meets the ear, and may have sense whereto Befits it not to be irreverent. If, for the influence they rain on you, He means one must approve and disapprove These wheels, perchance his bow hits something true. This principle, ill comprehended, drove Almost the whole world formerly astray In naming Mars and Mercury and Jove. The other dubitance that gives thee stay Empoisons less, for its malignity Could never lead thee from myself away. That Justice here should seem unjust to be In mortal vision, is an argument Of faith, not heretic iniquity. Can the Will be Forced? 317 But that ye, humanly intelHgent, May penetrate into this truth the more. As thou desirest, make I thee content. If it were violence that he who bore Violence done In no ^nse aided him who used the might, ^ ^"^'^^ ^ These souls could claim no pardon on that score; For will is never quencht in will's despite. Due to laxity -n • 1 . 1 ■ J .1 • n which abets But doth as nature ever doth m fire. Though hundred tempests buffet left and right. For, little or much as it may yield, desire Abets the violence: and these did thus. Free to their sanctuary to retire. Had but their will been whole and vigorous. Like that which fastened Lawrence to his grill And ruthless to his hand made Mucins, Then up the road whence they were dragged, their will Not all the Would have impelled them, soon as they were free; martvrs But all too rare is will so inflexible. And by these words, if thou hast duteously Gathered them up, is quasht the argument That would yet many a time have troubled thee. But now another cross-entanglement Puzzles thine eyes, wherethrough thou couldst not find An issue for thyself, until forspent. I have for certain put into thy mind That never could speak false a soul in bliss. Since to the source of truth forever joined; Then mayst have understood Piccarda amiss Analysis of the That Constance to the veil was ever true: Piccardlabout So that she seems to contradict me in this. Constance Many a time, my brother, urged thereto By hope of scaping peril, under stress. Men have done what they ought not, would not do; Even as Alcmseon, - ^who by prayer express Of his own sire, his mother life refused, - Not to lose piety, grew pitiless. 318 Paradiso Two kinds of toill Now the poet speaks Note the ^yourP But to a being really divine "thou (thy)." Com- pare St. Bernard's prayer to the Virgin Mary (final canto) Can good deeds make amends for broken vows? Think, pray, when come to this, that force is fused With will together, and so the two are blent That the offenses cannot be excused. Will absolute doth not to ill consent: Consenting just so far as it may rue. If it resist, some greater detriment. Therefore Piccarda, saying what is true. Means absolute volition; I, however. The other, - ^whence in truth agree we two." - Such was the rippling of the holy river Out of the fountain whence all truth flows over, Setting at rest both my desires forever. "Divine one, O belov'd of the First Lover," I straightway said, "whose words are in me burning And flooding till I life on life recover. Not deep enough the channel of my yearning For thanks of mine coequal with your favor; Let Him reply who can and is discerning! I see our mind unsated still with savor Of any truth, till of that truth aware Beyond which is no light that doth not waver. Therein it rests, like animal in lair When it attaineth; and it can attain. Else frustrate every craving for it were. Whence like a shoot doubt ever springs again At foot of truth; and so from height to height Doth nature urge us summitward amain. This doth assurance give me, this invite To ask with reverence of another theme, O Lady, wherein truth is dark to sight. Fain would I know if man may ever dream With good to so amend vows forfeited. They shall not in your balance kick the beam." - Beatrice gazed at me with eyes that sped Flashes of love, divine of radiance. So that my vanquisht force of vision fled. And I became as lost, with bended glance. Sacrifice of the Will Absolute 319 V Vows AND Free Will; Ascent to the Heaven of Mercury "If my love beam upon thee blazing hot Beyond the measure that is absolute On earth regarded, do thou marvel not. Seeing that such intensity has root In perfect vision, which doth ever move Toward the good apprehended, sure of foot. I see how shines already from above Into thine intellect the Eternal Light That needs but to be seen to kindle love; And if some other thing your love delight, Naught is it but some vestige of that same Effulgence, comprehended not aright. Thou askest whether men for vows they maim Commutation of May pay such other service as to gain ' ^ ^^^ Exemption of the soul from any claim?" - So Beatrice began this further strain; And even as one discoursing, who would not Break off, took up the holy theme again: "The gift most precious to Creative Thought, Most signal of God*s bounties, and the one After the pattern of his goodness wrought. Was Freedom of the Will, - a benison Free will Wherewith all creatures of intelligence Both were and are endowed, and they alone. Now will appear to thee by inference The high worth of the vow so framed, supposing That with thine own consenting, Grod consents; For, between God and man the bargain closing, The vow sacri- Of what I call this treasure an oblation ^''' ^^ ^'" Is made in sooth, made by its own proposmg. What may be offered then in compensation? Weening to use well what thou offerest. Thou seekest for thy plunder consecration. 320 Paradiso Tvx> dements of the vow Cf. Purg. ix, 117 Cases ojf Jephthah and Agamemnon Now art thou assured concerning the main quest: But since herein doth Holy Church acquit. Which seems against the truth I manifest. Thou canst not choose but still at table sit Awhile, for the tough viand thou hast chewed Wants further aid for thy digesting it. Take what I tell thee in receptive mood And hold it fast; it is the very vice Of wit to lose what has been understood. Pertain to essence of this sacrifice Two elements: one what it treats about. The other from the covenant takes rise. The latter never can be canceled out Save by fulfillment; and already so I spoke about it as to banish doubt; Hence had the Hebrews still to offer, though Some thing whereof the sacrifice was made Might be commuted, as thou shouldest know. The former, which as matter I portrayed. May well be such that no offense is done If with some other matter counterweighed. But willfully let on his shoulder none Shift burden, without sanction of the Power That turns the white key and the yellow one. And folly all commuting deem, before The thing remitted in the thing ye essay Shall be contained, as in the six the four. Therefore whatever by its worth may weigh So much as can make every balance swing, Can never be redeemed with other pay. Let men deem not the vow a trifling thing: Be loyal, and in being so not blind As Jephthah was in his first offering, Who did worse honoring the vow unkind, But should have said: *I sinned'; like foolish plight The mighty leader of the Greeks entwined, Heaven of Mercury 321 ■ Whence rued Iphigenia her beauty bright, \ And made for her both wise and simple rue, \ So many as hear report of such a rite! j Christians, be graver in your moving; do Applicatum of 'i Not featherUke to every wind consent, ^^ ^^'^ ] And ween not every water washes you. 5 Ye have the Old and the New Testament, , The Shepherd of the Church to shape your aim: '^ Therewith for your salvation be content. ] If sorry greed aught else to you proclaim, I Be men, and be not silly sheep, that so < The Jew among you laugh you not to shame. \ Behave not like the lamb who doth forgo: The mother's milk, and wantonly delight; In making of himself a mimic foe.^' - Thus Beatrice to me, just as I write; \ Then all in longing up to that expanse 1 Where most the world is quickened, turned her sight. i Her silence and transfigured countenance i Imposed like silence on my eager wit. Though ready with new questions to advance. ' And as the mark is by the arrow smit SUpjnng into Before the cord forgets to quiver, thus mJ^c^^ ""^ Into the Second Kingdom did we flit. ^ I saw my Lady there so rapturous I As to the luster of that heaven she drew *■ That even the planet grew more luminous. And if the laughing star was altered too, ' What then became I, by my native mood i Ever susceptible to something new! ] As in clear pool where the still fishes brood. The approach ^ Aught dropping in impels the finny drove ^-^ '*"^ *^"^ ^ To dart toward it, deeming it their food, | So saw I there a thousand splendors move 1 To meet our coming, and every one was hymning: "Behold one who will multiply our love." - \ 322 Paradiso And every shade of them, now nearer swimming. Appeared as with effulgent glory fraught Streaming out of its rapture overbrimming. If what is here begun proceeded not, Think, Reader, what an agonizing dearth Of knowing more would be within thee wrought; And from thyseK infer how these gave birth To yearning in me to hear each circumstance Concerning them, when they revealed their worth. Danie is "O happy-born, whom sovran Grace thus grants 5piw/ ^ ^ '^^ ^^^ ^^^ thrones triumphant and eterne Ere thou abandonest thy militance, By light that ranges through all heaven we burn Enkindled so; and therefore, if thou please. Content thy heart with light from out our urn." - One of the souls devout spoke words like these To me; and Beatrice: "Speak, speak out free And trust to them as to divinities." - The poet does "Well I perceive how thou art nesting thee *^^" In thine own light, and drawing it again Through eyes that coruscate so laughingly. But who thou art, blest soul, I cannot ken. Nor wherefore thou art graded in the sphere That is in alien radiance veiled to men." - Thus spoke I straight toward the luster fair That first addrest me; whereupon it grew By far more radiant than it was whilere. Then like the sun concealing himseK through Excess of light, when heat has gnawed away The tempering shade to heavy vapors due. Concealed himself from me in his own ray The holy shape for very jubilance; And thus fast folded did in answer say In fashion as the following canto chants. Justinian Speaks 323 ^ VI A Philosophy of History: The Function of Rome; IN Human Redemption \ "When Constantine had wheeled the Eagle away The soul of \ Against Heaven's course, where it was following ^aw^i^^^ ^^^l I That ancient who espoused Lavinia, j Two centuries and more saw hovering i The Bird of God at Europe's border line, 1 Near to the mountains whence it first took wing; I And, overshadowing with wings divine, ] Governed from hand to hand the world of man, \ And in due turn alighted upon mine. i Caesar was I, and am Justinian, Conversion and j Who, to the primal Love obedient, Ju^UnLn J Winnowed the laws, and bolted to the bran. ] And ere yet wholly on that labor bent Did I a single nature in Christ misdeem, | Not more, and with such faith remained content; But blessed Agapetus, the supreme ' Shepherd of souls, directed me and drew \ To the pure faith, discoursing of the theme. j Him I believed, and what by faith he knew j Now clearly see, as seest thou every pair j Of contradictories both false and true. | When with the Church my footsteps moving were, \ I gave me single-minded to the laws, \ Inspired by Grace Divine to that high care; Committing weapons in the imperial cause j To Belisarius mine, so comforted ] By Heaven's right hand that I had leave to pause. Here then to thy first question comes to head My answer; but its terms make apposite 1 That something as a sequel should be said, rr- . • ^. ,. rr^i . 1 . 1 , I. . 1 i Vtdonous flight I 1 hat thou mayest see with what amount of right of the Roman Against the hallowed ensign move both they eagle from the i Who make it theirs and who against it ngnt. an - 324 Paradiso Think what large reverence we ought to pay Its prowess, starting from the moment when Died Pallas to secure it sovereign sway. In Alba 'twas, thou knowest, a denizen Three hundred years and more, imtil the close When fought the three to three for it again. From Sabine rape down to Lucretia*s woes Thou knowest how with seven kings it went Subduing round about the neighbor foes. Thou knowest how, borne by Romans eminent, 'Gainst Brennus, against Pyrrhus it overcame. And against others, prince or government; Torquatus, and that Quinctius who took name From hair unkempt, Decii and Fabii so Wrought deeds that gladly I embalm their fame. It laid the pride of the Arabians low, Who passed in train of Hannibal among The rocky Alpine peaks whence pours the Po. It led to triumph while they yet were yoimg Pompey and Scipio, and bitterly Wrought to that hill beneath which thou art sprung. Then near the time when heavenly harmony Would tune the world to concord with its own, Caesar laid hold of it at Rome's decree; And what it wrought from Var to Rhine is known To Isere, to the Saone, and to the Seine, And every valley brimming up the Rhone. Its prowess, issuing from Ravenna, when It leapt the Rubicon, so swiftly flew That follow it could neither tongue nor pen. It wheeled the legions back to Spain; then threw Them on Durazzo; and smote Pharsalia So that to torrid Nile was felt the rue. Antandros and the Simois it saw. Its starting point, where Hector sleeps so fast; Then, woe to Ptolemy, roused beak and claw; Flight of the Roman Eagle 325 Thence fell, like thunderbolt on Juba cast; Then wheeling back into your West it came On hearing the Pompeian trumpet-blast. What the next bearer with it did, proclaim Brutus and Cassius in the hellish deep. And Modena and Perugia wail the same. Ever doth wretched Cleopatra weep Because of it, - she, fleeing on before. Took from the adder suddenly black sleep. With him it coursed far as the Red-sea shore; With him composed the world in peace so great That barred on Janus was his temple door. But what the standard that I celebrate Had done before and was about to do For mortal man in every subject state. Dwindles away, beclouded to the view. If one in hand of the third Caesar seek With vision clear and with affection true; For Living Justice, moving me to speak. Gave it, in person of that emperor. The glory vengeance for just wrath to wreak. Now marvel here at what I tell thee more: Later it flew with Titus, doing again Vengeance on vengeance for the sin of yore. And after, when the Lombard fang would fain Bite Holy Church, beneath those eagle wings Came to her aid victorious Charlemagne. Now mayst thou judge of their endeavorings Accused above; the people I accuse Have been the cause of all your sufferings. Against the public standard one would use The yellow lilies; one to party Hues Confine it, - ^hard the criminal to choose. Under another ensign GhibelUnes May ply and ply devices, - for amiss Follow it who from justice discombines. The Eagle exe- cutes Divine Justice for man's sin, and does vengeance on the Jews Applicaiion of the lesson to Dante's time 326 Paradiso "That last in- firmity of noble mind'^ Noble unselfish' ness of Romeo, minister of Count Berenger of Provence And let that younger Charles not trample this. He and his Guelfs, but fear the claws that wield Force to flay tougher lion-fell than his. Children have oft bewailed by flood and field The father's fault, nor let him ever ween His lilies to be quartered in God's shield. This little planet is made passing sheen With the good spirits who have striven that fame And honor follow them; whenever lean The truant wishes toward such an aim, Then true affection needs must radiate Upward to Heaven less vividly aflame. But that our guerdon is commensurate With worth, is part of our beatitude, Seeing it nor too little nor too great. Whence Living Justice sweetens so the mood Of love in us that no perversity Can tangle it in any turpitude. Voices' diverse below make melody; So in this life of ours each various grade Renders among these wheels sweet harmony. And from within the present pearl is rayed The light of Romeo, whose labors great And generous were shabbily repaid. But those of Provence cannot gratulate Who wrought against that noble minister: Evil to them who other's good abate! Four daughters. Queens, had Raymond Berenger, And he who crowned them was no citizen But Romeo, a lowly pilgrimer. By crooked counsel moved, the Master then Calls to account the servant just, who clears His credit, - seven and five for every ten. Then he departed poor and stricken in years; But if the world could know the heart he bore Begging his bread and eating it with tears. Much as it praises, it would praise him more." - August Reasoning 327 VII Mystery of the Redemption "Hosannah, holy God of Hosts, Thou who Dost all the blessed fires that are burning Within the Kingdom with Thy light outdo!" - Even so, in time to its own music turning, That being on whom two splendors form a crest. Chanted, as well I saw, the while discerning How he began to dance with all the rest. And like swift sparklets with velocity And sudden distance veiled them from my quest. Within me I was saying doubtfully: "Tell it to her, tell it my Lady, whose Distillments are so sweetly slaking me;" But reverence, whereby I cannot choose But mastered be at sound of "Be" or "Iss," Bowed me again like one whom slumber sues. But little while so left me Beatrice Till, with a radiant smile of such a kind As would have put a burning man in bliss, She said: "By my unfailing sight I find The question how a vengeance that was just Could justly be avenged, perturbs thy mind; But if I speed to thy release, so must Thou hsten well, because these words of mine Will guerdon thee with reasoning august. By not submitting to a curb benign Upon his power of will, that man ne'er born Damning himself, condemned thus all his line. Whereby the human race below forlorn Lay many a century in error great. Until the Word Almighty did not scorn Going down to join in Person increate, By the sole act of His eternal love, That nature from its Maker alienate. He reverences the very sylla- bles of her name The smile of Beatrice His question stated Fall of Man ''For God so loved the loorld" 328 Paradiso The just penalty Why did not God let man ransom him- Thai which dis- tills from God is permanent, free, and in the divine likeness Now turn thy look to what I reason of: This nature, which its Maker made His own, Did as created pure and sinless prove. But it was exiled by its fault alone From Paradise, for that it wandering From way of truth and life astray had gone. Thus, by the adopted nature measuring. The penalty upon the cross exacted Did never any yet so justly sting; And likewise never was such wrong enacted, Considering Who suffered, and the worth Of Him in whom this nature was contracted. Thus from one act diverse effects took birth; The same death pleased the Hebrews and the Lord: Opened the Heavens thereat, and shuddered earth. No longer deem then diflBcult the word When it asseverates that vengeance just Was afterward avenged by a just sword. But now I see how thought on thought is thrust Upon thy mind, entangled in a skein Whence it awaits release with eager trust. Thou sayest within: *Yea, what I hear is plain. But it is hidden from me why God chose This only way our ransom to attain.' My brother, this decree from eyes of those Lies buried deep, whose wit is not mature Within the flame of love that ripening glows. Nevertheless as at this cynosure Mortals long gaze, though little they discern, Will I declare why this way was the truer. Bounty Divine, that doth all envy spurn Away from Him, sends burning sparks therefrom, So lighting up the loveliness eterne. That which distills without a medium From Him, has then no end, for permanence Gives form and pressure where His seal has come. Human Atonement Inadequate 329 That which rains down without a medium thence Is wholly free, since not beneath the bar Of changing secondary influence. Things please Him most that in His likeness are. For the AU-irradiant sacred glow must be Most living in the things most similar. These coigns of vantage all humanity Inherits, and if one of these it wants Falls force perforce from its nobiUty. Sin only is man's disinheritance. Rendering him unlike the Highest Good And less blancht therefore by its radiance, And never he gains his former altitude Except he fill the guilty void again. Just penalty for pleasure ill-pursued. Your nature, sinning in your Sire amain. From such advantages as these was barred Even as from Paradise; and such the stain That in no manner could they be restored. If thou with subtle wit the matter heed. Except by passing one or the other ford: Either that God's sole clemency concede Redemption, or that human foolishness Should expiated be by human deed. Now let thine eye pierce into the abyss Of the eternal counsel, close intent As possible to my discourse of this. Man could, within his finite limits pent. Never atone, his pinions downward weighing With meekness and thereafter obedient. Far as he planned to soar by disobeying; And this is why, though man himself would pay His own atonement, he was barred from paying. Whence Deity must needs in His own way Bring man in perfect life again to birth, - In one way, or indeed in both, I say. By thefaU man lost his freedom and divine like- ness, thus be- coming subject to death Why human atonement might not suffice Necessity of the Incarnation 330 Paradiso The elements not distilled directly from the divine, but through the secondary influ- ences of the stars But since the doer's deed is graced with worth The more in measure as it more infers The heart of bounty whence it issued forth, Bounty Divine that stamps the universe. Was fain to put in force His every mode To liberate you from the primal curse; Nor was nor shall be, since the first day glowed Till the last night, so high and glorious A progress on the one or the other road: For, giving Self, was God more bounteous. So making man suflScient up to rise. Than if He simply had forgiven us; Nor any other method might suffice For justice, had the Son of the Most High Not humbled Him, assuming mortal guise. And now, with all thy yearning to comply. Let me turn back to make one matter clear. That we may see it together, eye to eye. Thou sayest: T see the water, I see the air. The fire, the earth and all their mixtures stay But little while, then to corruption fare. Yet nothing but created things were they;' Wherefore, if what I have averred is sure. They ought to be secure against decay. The angels, brother, and the country pure Wherein thou art, may be called generated In all their being, as they are, mature; But the elements whose names thou hast related, And all the things that from their minglings flow. Informed with power that was itself created. Created was the matter in them so. Created the informing influence Within these stars that sweeping round them go. Pluckt out from their potential elements By light and motion of the holy fires Are souls of every brute and of the plants. Direct and Indirect Creation 331 \ I But the Supreme Benignity inspires i Your soul directly, and enamors her i With Him, whom she forever then desires. i And furthermore thou mayest hence infer j Your resurrection, if thou think once more \ How human frames divinely fashioned were; When our first parents both were framed of yore." 332 Paradiso VIII The Heaven of Venus The world was in its peril wont to hold That the fair Cyprian was raying out Wild love, in her third epicycle rolled; Wherefore the ancient people went about In antique error, not alone to pay To her the sacrifice and votive shout. But Cupid and Dione honored they. This as her mother, that one as her son. Telling how he in Dido's bosom lay; And named from her with whom I have begun Morning and That planetary star which, now at brow evening star ^^^ ^^^ behind the shoulder, woos the Sun. Evidence of I had no sense of rising there till now, the ascent j^^^ ^f ^^^ being there my Lady's favor Gave proof, because I saw her fairer grow. And as in flame we see the sparkles waver. Or as within a voice a voice discern One holding note, one shaking out a quaver. So in that radiance other torches burn In circle speeding variably fast, Methinks in measiu*e of their sight eteme. Never from icy cloud so swift a blast Swept, seen or unseen, that the interim Would not have seemed long-drawn before it passed. To one who should have seen approaching him Those lights divine as they forsook the gyre Begun among the lofty Seraphim. And from among the foremost of that quire Rang forth Hosannah, so harmonious That ever to rehear it I desire. Then one of them drew near alone, and thus Began: "We all with eagerness are burning At thy good will to give thee joy of us. Charles M artel 333 Of one orb, of one circling, of one yearning With the Celestial Princes are we rolling To whom once thou, from worldly matters turning: *Ye the third Heaven by intellect controlling;* And to delight thee shall a quiet space Be no less sweet, our love is so ensouling/* - After mine eyes had sought my Lady's face With reverence, and she of her assent Had satisfied them, and assured her grace, Then to the hght which did such hope present, I turned about, and, - ^''Tell me, who are you?^ Inquired in tone of tender sentiment. Ah, when I so had spoken, how it grew Transfigured to my vision, and enhanced In size and brilliance, joy and joy thereto! "The world," he answered, thus enradianced, "Held me short while, and had it longer been Much harm that will befall had never chanced. I am concealed from thee behind a screen Of gladness that irradiates me round. As swathes a creature its own silken sheen. Much didst thou love me, with good reason fond; For had I stayed below I would have shown More of my love to thee than in the frond. That left bank which is watered by the Rhone When it has drunk the Sorgue up, would have held Me in good time the master of its own; And that horn of Ausonia, citadeled By Bari, Gaeta, and Catona, and where Tronto and Verde in the sea are quelled. Already gleamed the crown above my hair Of that dominion which the Danube purges Abandoning its German banks; and fair Trinacria, which on occasion merges Pachynus and Pelorus in one gloom Over the gulf that Eurus chiefly scourges The courteous sjnrit quotes the first line of a canzone of Dante Charles Martel., heir presump- tive to many kingdoms The poetry of the map 334 Paradiso The Sicilian Vespers (a.d. 1282) The father Charles, the Cripple of Jeru- salem, had but the one virtue (cf. Canto xixy 127-129) How can a had son descend from a good father? Arguing in the manner of a professor at Paris or Bologna (Not through Typhoeus, but through sulphur fume), Would for her sovereigns be looking still, Who should through me from Charles and Rudolph come. Had not the subject folk, by lordship ill Exasperated, been provokt to cry Insurgent in Palermo: *Kill them, kill!' And had my brother been forewarned thereby. He now were fleeing, lest it work him woe, The greedy Catalonian poverty. For he or his must make provision so. Forsooth, his overladen bark aboard. That none shall further lading seek to stow. His nature, niggard from a generous lord. Should be supported by such retinue As would give little heed to till or hoard." - "Since I beUeve the lofty joy that through Me courses from your words, my lord and friend. As to my own is patent to your view Where all good has beginning and has end. The gladder I; glad also that my wish, you By looking into God can apprehend. You make me blithe; but put aside the tissue Of doubt whereby your words have veiled my mind: How from sweet seed can bitter fruitage issue?" - So I; and he to me: "If I can find An answer setting truth in evidence, Thou'lt have before thee what is now behind. The Good that turns the whole and that contents The Realm thou mountest, in these bodies vast Makes active virtue of its Providence; And Mind in Itself perfect has forecast The natures not alone, but has in charge Along with them their welfare first and last. WTience whatsoever thing this bow discharge Alights to predetermined end, like dart Unerringly directed to the targe. Diversity of Family Traits 335 If not, the Heaven where thou a pilgrim art Would so in its effects come short of goal That they would not be beautiful, but thwart, WTiich could not be unless the minds that roll These stars were in default, defaulting too For leaving them at fault, the Primal Soul. Dost thou require more proof that this is true?" - "Not so; it is impossible, I see. That Nature weary in aught of need to do." - "Now say, were't worse for man," continued he, "Were he on earth unsocial.?" - ^"It were so," I answered; "that is obvious to me." - "And can he be so if he live below Without diversity of offices? If well your master write about it, - ^No!" - So he by inference drew up to this: "Therefore perforce the roots of what is done Among you are diverse; whence not amiss Is one born Solon, Xerxes one, and one Melchisedech, another who would fly Fanning the welkin, losing thus his son. Revolving Nature well her craft doth ply Stamping her seal on wax of mortal clay. Nor takes account of hostel, low or high. Whence it occurs that Esau falls away At birth from Jacob, and Quirinus rose From Sire so mean that sired him Mars, they say. Careers of children w^ould conform to those Of their begetters, hke to like in kind. But that Divine prevision overthrows. Now frontest thou the truth that was behind; But that thou know my joy in thy behoof. With corollary will I cloak thy mind. If she find Fortune from herself aloof. Ever will Nature, Uke another seed Out of its region, come to evil proof. Uniformity of son with father would make social life impossible The corollary: an application of the lesson 336 Paradiso And if the world down yonder would take heed To what the rudiments of nature teach. Following these, well would her people speed. But ye pervert him to a priest, whose reach Of nature fitted him for a belted knight. And make a king of him who fain would preach: Therefore ye wander from the way of right." - Cunizza 337 "i IX I A Great Lady and a Poet Prophesy ■ After thy Charles had thus, O Clemence fair, Clemence ike \ Enlightened me, he told the frauds, he said ^^^' /^^^ '** J That his posterity would have to bear; speaker ' Adding: "Be silent till the years are sped;" \ Bo that I naught can say, save that of right 1 Tears for these wrongs of yours shall yet be shed. -i And now the spirit of that holy light Had turned toward the Sun, that plenteous: Fountain of good to all things requisite. • Ah, souls deluded, creatures impious, • \ To wrench your hearts from such a blessed state, J Your brows tow'rd vanity directing thus! And lo! another of those splendors great Cunizza da | Drew nearer, while its will for my content Romano Seemed from its features forth to radiate. The eyes of Beatrice were on me bent \ As heretofore, and to the thing I sought ^; Gave me assurance of her sweet assent. "Soon be thy longing to fulfillment brought, \ Blest spirit," said I, "and give me certitude ] That in thyself I can reflect my thought." - j Whence the new light, from deep beatitude j Wherein it had before been singing, said '1 In manner of one delighting to do good: I "In that depraved Italian region spread The March of i Between Rialto sitting by the sea ^'■^''"' j And where the Brenta and Piava head, I Rises a hill, not very loftily, ] Whence there came down a flaming brand of yore, | Of that fair countryside the enemy. Ezzdino (Inf. From one root with it I arose, and bore ^*' ^^^^ The name Cunizza, and here am overbowed With splendor, since this star prevailed the more. i 338 Paradiso Remorse for sin But gladly conscience has to me allowed: LeS7{pZt ^^^ '^^''^^ ""^ ^^'^ ^y ^^^' without dismay, \ xxxi) Though hard the saying, haply, to your crowd. i Folco (or Foul- This precious jewel of pellucid ray ] ^sdlks, firsT' ^^^ heaven adorning and to me most near, j troubadour, then Left great renown, and ere it fade away; Ushop Shall be quintupled this centennial year. J Ah, let man look to make him excellent ( That the first life bequeath a second here! I So reason not the rabble turbulent j Which Tagliamento and Adige include,! Nor yet for being scourged are penitent. \ But at the pool shall Padua with her blood 1 Soon stain the water of Vicenza red,; Since against duty harden they their mood. j One plays the lord and struts with lifted head \ Where Sile and Cagnano lately met, 1 For trapping whom the snare is being spread. \ A treacherous Feltro shall weep with bitter wailing yet \ '* ^^ For treason of her impious pastor, - ^nay ] Such caitiff never was in Malta set! ' Capacious must the bucket be that day j Which of the Ferrarese shall hold the gore, - ' And weary he who ounce by ounce should weigh, - That this obliging priest will have to pour To prove him factious; gifts like this are due I To match the life that land is noted for! Above are mirrors - thrones as called by you - J WTience God in judgment doth upon us shine j So that seem good to us these sayings true." - j Herewith she held her peace, and gave me sign Of being turned to other heed, whirled on | As heretofore along the dance divine. \ The other joy, already known as one, \ Swam into vision as a thing illumed, i Like a choice ruby smitten by the sun. Folco of Marseilles 339 Brightness up there by rapture is assumed Like laughter here on earth; but they who Uve Below are shadowed as the soul is gloomed. "All-seeing God," said I, "to thee doth give Dante prays the Vision so inwardly with Him imbued, *^^f «{ ^/'/^^ ^ , . . , , - . . ^^Ph io his un- Can no desire from thee be fugitive. spoken question Therefore thy voice that gives beatitude To Heaven, in concert with those fires divine Who with their six wings make themselves a hood. Why does it leave me in desire to pine? Surely I would not wait thy questioning Could I indwell thy spirit as thou mineP - "The widest vale of waters issuing," The poetry of With these words his discourse to me began, * *^^ "Out of that sea the earth engarlanding, Between contrasting shores so wide a span Spreads to the sun, that what was just before Horizon, soon appears meridian, I was a dweller midway on that shore 'Twixt Ebro and Magra which, with passage short Bars to the Genoese the Tuscan door. For rise and set of sun of one report Would be Buggea and my native town. Whose blood once warmed the waters of the port. Folco they called me where my name's renown Was noted, and this heaven is stampt by me As on me once its influence rained down. More burned not Belus's daughter, balefully Both to Sichseus and Creiisa too. Than I while it became my locks; nor she. The Rhodopeian maid who had to rue Demophodn's deceit; Alcides not When lole into his heart he drew. He can speak Yet nowise grieve, but smile we in this spot, ^I^^^of his Not at the fault which ne'er returns to mind, lime of sin But at the Worth that ordered and forethought. (^^^^- ^^'^ 340 Paradiso Here ends the shadow cast by Earth The golden florin with the stamp of the lily Profitable study of ecclesiastical law Here we behold the skill which has assigned Itself so fair result, - discern the Good Which with the world above atones mankind. But that thou bear away in plenitude Fulfilled those wishes native to this sphere, With something further I perforce conclude. Thou wouldest know who in this radiance here Beside me scintillates, as in pure stream A sunbeam tremulous in water clear. Now learn that rests at peace within that beam Rahab, and that our order, made her own, ijears signet of her in degree supreme. Into this heaven, where ends the shadowy cone Cast by your earth, all other souls before. She, in Christ's triumph, was received alone. Meet was it in some heaven forevermore Leave her as palm of the victorious hope Achieved with one palm and the other; for She lent her aid to the first glorious scope Of tJo^^ a upon the Holy Land, That little stirs the memory of the Pope. Thy City, the plantation of his hand Who turned his back on his Creator first. And from whose envy spring your woes, doth brand And scatter far and wide that flower accurst Whereby the shepherd into wolf is turned, So that the sheep and lambs are all disperst. The Gospel and the doctors great are spurned. And only the Decretals studied well For this, - as by their margin is discerned. On this the Pope and cardinals do dwell: Never on Nazareth is fixt their scan. Where opened once his pinions Gabriel. But holy parts of Rome, both Vatican And other, chosen as the burial spot Of the army whereof Peter led the van. Soon shall be purged of the adulterous blot.^ - The Devout Astronomer 341 X Heaven op the Sun: Starry Garland of Sages The primal and unutterable Worth Gazing upon His Son's benignant face '\ With Love which both eternally breathe forth, \ Made all things that revolve through mind or space \ With so much order that whoso looks aright j Can never want some image of His Grace. ] Then, Reader, lift straight up with me thy sight The intersection To the high wheels, where the two motions come «/ the Equator '. To that pomt where they each on other smite, tic {cf. Canto i, \ And there begin to enjoy His masterdom 37-39) \ Who loves His work within Him with such love As never to withdraw His eye therefrom. Look, how that circle oblique, the bearer of The planets, is at present branching thence " To appease the world that calls them from above; And were their road not bent, much influence In Heaven would be unfruitful, and down here ■ Almost all virtue drained to impotence; ' Did it at less or greater angle veer; From the right line, deficiency were dire Both up and down, in either hemisphere.; Now on this foretaste of the heart's desire, i Remain, O Reader, on thy seat to brood, | For it will charm thee long before thou tire; i I set it forth; do thou partake the food; i For I have made me scribe of such a theme ] As claims the whole of my solicitude. \ The Minister of Nature all-supreme. The Sun, to; Who with the worth of Heaven the world is sealing V;^'^'^ ^««^ had impercep- ■] And measurmg our time out with his beam, tibly arisen Joined with that region named above, was wheeling Along the spirals of that thoroughfare I Where daily earlier is his revealing; [ 342 Paradiso The smile of Beatrice The garland of souls is like the halo around the moon And I along with him, but unaware Of the ascending, more than one perceives Thought in the mind before its advent there. 'Tis Beatrice herself who leading gives From good to better, so immediately Her act no vestige of duration leaves. Within the sun where I had entered, see How brighten spirits into recognition. By light, not color, manifest to me! What though I summon genius, art, tradition. That splendor could be imaged nevermore, But faith may see, - ah, let us crave the vision! No wonder our low fancy cannot soar To such an altitude, for never yet Was eye that did not quail the sun before. So bright was the fourth family, here set By the High Sire, imbuing them with bliss. Showing how He doth breathe, and how beget. "Give thanks to Him,^' began now Beatrice, "Thank Him who of the angels is the Sun, Who by His Grace has lifted thee to this!" - So ardently subdued to orison Devoted, heart of mortal yet was not. So eager for divine surrender none. As at these words my own desire was hot; And so my love to Him was wholly plighted That Beatrice was in eclipse forgot. Nor this displeased her; but her eyes so lighted With laughter, that the splendor of her mien Drew off to other things my mind united. For other living lusters, passing keen. Centered upon us like a chaplet round. Still sweeter in their voice than bright in sheen. The daughter of Latona thus enwound Is seen at moments when so teems the air It holds the thread wherewith her zone is bound. The Garland of Lusters 343 Manifold are the jewels dear and fair In Court of Heaven, whence I returning come. And none to carry them away could dare; Of these the carols of those light were some: Who takes not wing up thitherward to fly May better ask for tidings of the dumb! WTien, chanting so, those blazing suns on high Had wheeled about us thrice, in radiance Like stars the steadfast pole forever nigh, Ladies they seemed, who break not from the dance. But stop in silence Hstening for the chord Whereto their tripping steps again advance. And from within one light came forth this word: "Since radiance of Grace, enkindling so True love to be the multiplied reward Of loving, doth in thee so brightly glow. Leading thee up that stairway where none save To reascend can ever go below, - Whoever should deny thee if thou crave Wine from his flagon, would be free no more Than water seeking not the level wave. Thou wouldest know what blossoms now enflower This garland, circling with blithe roundelay The Lady beautiful, thy heavenly dower. Lamb of the holy flock was I, whose way Is shepherded by Dominic, and here Fair is the fattening if they do not stray. The brother to my dexter hand most near Was Albert oJ[ Cologne, my master best. And I was Thomas of Aquino there. And if to name and number all the rest Thou era vest of me, let thy look awhile Circle up here along the garland blest. That other splendor issues from the smile Of Gratian, - one and the other court he lent Such aid as Heaven with rapture to beguile. Dancing the successive stanzas of the ballaia Speaks the great Dominican theologian, Thomas Aqui- Alhertus nus Oraiian 344 Paradiso Peter Lombard Solomon Dionysius Orosius Boethius Siger of Bra- bant, who lec- tured at Paris on Theology The Bride is throughout the Poem, of course f the Church And of our chorus the next ornament WasPeter^ who gave Holy Church his mite Like the poor woman of the Testament. The fifth and lovehest of our circle bright Breathes from such love that all the world below Looks eagerly for tidings of its plight: rithin it is the lofty spirit, so Imbued with wisdom that, if truth be true. No second rose so much to see and know. Next it the radiance of that taper view Which, still in mortal flesh, did best divine The angelic nature, and its service due. Next in that little light see, smiling, shine That advocate of Christian ages whose Fair Latin edified Saint Augustine. Now, if in sequence as my praise pursues From light to light, thy mental eye is veering. Thou cravest for the eighth, and canst not choose. Therein the sight of Good Supreme is cheering The holy soul who renders evident The world's deceit to whoso well give hearing. The body whence on earth it hunted went Lies in Cieldauro, and from torture came Into this peace and out of banishment. And yonder see the fervent spirits flame Of Isidore, of Bede^ of Richard who In contemplation more than man became. This one, wherefrom to me returns thy view, Shines from a soul to thought so dedicate That death, he thought, too slowly on him drew: This is the light of Siger , beyond date. Who in the Street of Straw once lecturing. Had enviable truths to demonstrate." - Then as a chiming horologe doth ring To rouse the Bride of God to matin-song Unto the Spouse, His love soliciting. The Holy Chime 345 Where one part draws another and thrusts along With tintinnating note harmonious Whence love in well-tuned spirit waxes strong, - The glorious wheel I saw revolving thus And render voice to voice, in concord blending With sweetness never to be known of us. Save in that place where joy is never-ending. 346 Paradiso To follow Hippocrates meant the prac- tice of medicine St. Thmias Aquinas, Doc- tor angelicns Canto X, 96 Canto X, 11^ XI The Canto of St. Francis O mad solicitude for mortal things, Alas, how all the reasonings are vain That make thee heavily beat down thy wings! One played the clergyman, one followed gain. One aphorisms of Hippocrates, One strove by violence or craft to reign. One throve by theft, one by juristic pleas. One in the pleasures of the flesh enwound Was wearing out, and one gave up to ease. While I, set free from all that dreary round. Aloft in Heaven, with Beatrice at hand. So passing glorious a welcome found. When every member of that circling band Had gained the point where he had been before. He stayed, as stays the taper in the stand. And now I heard the former voice once more Within that luster, while yet more intense Became the brilliance of the smile it wore: "As I am kindled in His efiluence, So, gazing into the Eternal Light, I trace thy thoughts back to their rudiments. Thou doubtest, and wouldst have me sift aright My utterance, and in plain language bring The matter to the level of thy sight Where lately I said, - * Where is good fattening,' And where I said, *No second ever was,' And here is need of clear distinguishing. The Providence which rules the world with laws Mysterious, so that every mortal eye Is baffled ere it to the bottom draws (So that to wed with Him who espous^- her by The blessed blood with loud proclaim, the Bride Might go with greater nuptial loyalty. y Life of Francis 347 And with more self -security beside), - Ordained two princes who should both attend her. One upon either hand to be her guide. All fire seraphical was one defender; The other one with wisdom all aflame, Light to the world cherubic in its splendor. Of one I mean to speak, for both may claim Our praises, whichsoever one intending, Because their labors had a single aim. Between Topino and the stream descending The hill that blest Ubaldo erewhile chose, A fertile slope is from the mountain bending. Whence hot and cold upon Perugia blows Through Porta Sole; while behind it groan Gualdo and Nocera their heavy woes. Where drops the highland less abruptly prone, A sun upon the world began ascent. As somewhiles out of Ganges dawns our own. Wherefore let any, when this place is meant. Say not *Ascesi,' which were short to say. But, fitlier to speak, say 'Orient'! He, from his rising not yet far away. Began to give the world some handsel of The comfort-giving virtue of his ray; And, still a boy against his father strove For such a Lady, men unbar the door As willingly to death as to her love; And in the spiritual court, before His father's face, united with her stood. Whereon from day to day he loved her more. Reft of first husband she in widowhood Till after the eleven hundredth year. Contemned, obscure, awaited him unwooed; Nor aught availed that men of her should hear As with Amyclas found unterrified By voice of him who struck the world with fear; Francis Dominic One of the geo- graphical de- scriptions which the Poet loves (cf. ix, 82-93) Assist, sup- posed to he de- rived from "Ascesi" I rose He loved the Lady Poverty, but the father opposed the match 348 Paradiso Sealed by the Church Sealed by the Holy Spirit Nor aught availed her faith and courage tried. So that, let Mary at the foot remain. She mounted up where Christ was crucified. But lest too enigmatic be my strain, From my long parable shalt thou infer That Poverty and Francis are these twain. So blithe and so harmonious they were. Their love, their wonder, their communion sweet In all around set holy thoughts astir; Whence venerable Bernard first thought meet To go unshod, and after so great peace He ran, and running blamed his lagging feet. O wealth untold, good fruitful of increase! Giles bares his feet, Sylvester his behind The Bridegroom, such the Bride's peculiar grace. Then with his Lady and with the house assigned. All with the humble cord begirded now. Went forth that Father and that Master kind; Nor did he cravenly abase his brow As son of Peter Bernardone, or feel Cast down by strange contempt. But his stern vow With regal dignity did he reveal To Innocent the Pope, by whom was granted For his religious order the first seal. As multiphed the poor folk who had panted To follow him whose life-work marvelous Were better in the glory of Heaven chanted, This Master-shepherd's holy zeal for us Was sealed with crown of the Eternal Spirit A second time through Pope Honorius. Then preached he to the Soldan proud (to merit The palm of martyrdom he would have borne) Christ and his followers; but since to hear it He found unripe that folk, who put to scorn Salvation, and lest vain should be the quest, Returned to harvest of the Italian corn; Degenerate Dominicans 349 'Twixt Tiber and Arno on the rocky crest From Christ's own hand the final seal he won, Borne for two years upon his limbs imprest. When God, allotting him such benison. Vouchsafed to draw him to the meed above That he had gained by being a lowly one. Unto his brethren, as right heirs thereof. Bequeathed he all his wealth, his Lady dear. Bidding them hold fidelity in love; And from her breast the lofty spirit clear Desired to pass to its own realm divine. And for its body willed no other bier. Judge now the worth of one who could combine With him to pilot over the high seas The Bark of Peter by the starry sign! Such was our Patriarch; and they who please To follow him, obeying his command. Take on such freight of good commodities. But now so greedy is become his band For novel fodder, nothing can withhold The sheep from roaming through wild pasture-land; And these, the more by distant lure cajoled. And truant more from him in field and wood. Emptier of milk return they to the fold. Some truly, boding evil likelihood, Cleave closely to the Shepherd, but so few That scanty cloth would furnish every hood. Now, if I fail not of my meaning true. If an attentive listener thou art. And if thy memory the words review. Will thy desire be satisfied in part. For thou wilt see what plant they chip away. And thou wilt take the reprimand to heart: 'Where is good fattening, if they do not stray.* " - Sealed with the stigmata of the Crucified God Judge of the worth of my master Dominic^ icorthy colleague of such a saint Degenerate Jr 350 Paradiso The greed Doc- Una of the Divine forming a double halo of circling and singing flames Speaks the Franciscan Doctor Sera- phicus, St. Bonaventura, in praise of Dominic XII The Canto of St. Dominic Before the final cadence ceased to sound Forth from the blessed spirits radiant. Began the holy millstone to whirl round. But of full circling something yet did want. When now another ring around it fuses And matches dance with dancing, chant with chant. Chant that as passing far excels our muses. Our sirens, in those mellow flutings blew, As the first sunbeam by reflection loses. As curve two bows the filmy cloud-rack through. Both parallel in line and color, done As Juno bids her maid the picture do. The outer taking birth from the inner one In hues reechoed like that wandering voice Consumed by love, as vapor by the sun. Giving mankind a signal to rejoice That what God promised Noah shall abide. Whence deluge nevermore the world destroys: So the two garlands bright about us pUed Of roses an eternal coronal. And the cuter to the inner so replied. Then, when the dance and lofty festival Both of the flaming lights and of the quires Light beside light jocund and blithesome, all Of one accord grew quiet, song and fires (Even as the eyelids cannot choose but shut Or lift themselves again as will requires). From one of the new lights a voice came out. Which made me, needle to that pole, incline My body roimd toward its whereabout; And it began: "The Love that makes me shine Prompts me to laud the other Leader great, For whose sake here is spoken fair of mine. Life of Dominic 351 \ Each with the other should be celebrate That, as united they were miUtant, Their glory may together radiate. \ The army of Christ, at cost exorbitant ] Equipt anew, was moving slow of pace i Mistrustful, and too few the flag to plant, \ When He who kings it over time and space \ Provided for His knighthood jeopardied, ] Not for their worth, but only of His Grace; 1 Coming, as said, to succor of His Bride With champions twain, whose prowess and behest RalHed the stragglers who had turned aside. Where first the winds breathe gently from the west: To open the fresh foliage of spring, j Whence smiles Europa being newly drest, \ Not far from where the waves are thundering Wherein the sun, because his course is great, \ Somewhile from man concealed is slumbering, j There Calahorra sits, the fortunate, ] Protected by the great escutcheon where ] The Hon doth succumb and subjugate. Bxyyal arms \ Therein was brought to birth the lover dear ^/ Castile v Of Christian Faith, athlete in holiness, ] Kind to his own, to enemies severe. 1 Such life-power in his mother did possess The infant spirit at its first creation ] As to transform her to a prophetess. Fulfilled at holy font the declaration \ Between him and the Faith, of sacrament i Wherein each pledged the other with salvation,; The woman who for him had given assent \ Beheld the admirable fruit, in dream, 1 Of him and of his heirs; and with intent \ That what he was he might in grammar seem, A spirit went bearing the possessive word Of his Possessor hence to christen him,; 352 Paradiso ] And called him Dominic: for I record The story of the husbandman whom Christ | No other word Chose for his aid in vineyard of the Lord. j H^M^thf True messenger he seemed and friend of Christ,! name of Christ For the first love obtaining masterdom aid ^eMe^l) . ^^ ^^^\ ^as the first counsel given by Christ. | His nurse discovered him, awake and dumb, i Many a time recumbent on the ground, ' As who should say, *To this end am I come!*; O thou, his father, Felix truly found! \ And thou, his mother, verily art Joan, j If that interpretation be the sound. ] Not as men now are spent for worldly boon ■] AutJiarities in Following Thaddeus and the Ostian,; medicine and g^^ loving the true manna, very soon i canon law {the . 'J ' Decretals). Cf. He grew a mighty teacher, and began ^ Tclnto^'''^^ About the vineyard to be vigilant, I Where bleach the vines if bad the husbandman; And of the Seat that once to righteous want < Benigner was (not by her own offense | ^ow«f«^« the But that of her degenerate occupant!), l He begged, - not two or three for six dispense. Not income of first vacant benefice | Not tithes, of God's own pKX)r the competence, - ] But leave against the world, that goes amiss, j To battle for the Faith, from seed whereof i Sprang twice twelve plants that garland thee with ] bliss.; Then, both with learning and with zealous love, j By apostolical authority. Like torrent urged by fountain up above, j Dasht in among the shoots of heresy, j Smiting with greater vehemence, the more j Resistance proved to be refractory. J From him thenceforward various runnels pour ^ To irrigate the Catholic garden spot, j Making its bushes greener than before. Eighth The Outer Garland of Lusters 353 If such was one wheel of the Chariot Wherein rode Holy Church for her defense Over the field where civil strife was hot, Clearly shouldst thou perceive the excellence Of the other wheel, which Thomas had discussed Before I came, with courteous eloquence. But where the outmost rim was wont to thrust Its pressure, is the track deserted, - so That now there is the mold where was the crust. His household, who set forward straight to go With feet upon his prints, are turned again So that they set the heel upon the toe; And by the harvesting will soon be seen How bad the tillage, when the tare will rue Because it is excluded from the bin. Yet, whosoever search our volume through Leaf after leaf, might chance some page upon, Reading, *To what I was remain I true!' But from Casal or Acquasparta none. Whence come they who the writing so apply That one lets loose, and draws it tighter one. The effluence of Bonaventura am I, From Bagnorea, who did evermore Put last the left-hand care in office high. Here, of the earliest of the barefoot poor, Illuminato and Augustin, made dear To God while circled with the cord of yore. Hugh of Saint Victor is among them here, And Peter Mangiadore, and Peter of Spain Who in twelve books down there is shining clear. The Prophet Nathan, Metropolitan Chrysostom, Anselm, that Donatus who Stooped to the first art, a grammarian; Here is Rabanus, here beside me too Shines the Calabrian abbot Joachim, Gifted with spirit of prophetic view. The two wheels of the Chariot of the Church A violent shift of metaphar! Dante, like Shakespeare, often defies the rules of the rhetoricians The houseJiold of Francis going back on their tracks Acquasparta re- laxed the Rule of the order; Casale vx)uld have made it more rigid The other lights of the outer wreath of saints 354 Paradiso In rivaby such Paladin to hymn. Moved me with courtesy-enkindled mood Friar Thomas, by the fair discourse of him. And with me prompted all this Brotherhood." - How the Double Garland Looked 355 XIII St. Thomas Aquinas Gives a Lesson in Relativity Let any fancy, who would fain not balk At what I now beheld, and hold the sign Firm as a rock before him while I talk. Fifteen stars that in various quarters shine And so the sky with their effulgence steep, They pierce the densest cloud-rack vespertine; Fancy that Wain whereto the bosom deep Gf our own Heaven suffices night and morn. Punctual to the wain-pole's mighty sweep; Fancy thereto the opening of that horn Commencing at the axle's point, whereby The Primal Wheel is still revolving borne; Fancy these made two clusters in the sky Like that one which the daughter of Minos made When, chilled, she felt herself about to die, - One cluster with the other garlanded And in such fashion whirling both the two That one was leader and the other led: Then will he have some shadow of the true Star clusters, as in counter-dance they gleam. Circling the point that I was rooted to. Since these outstrip the things we see or dream. As does that Heaven which is the swiftest o*er us The moving of Chiana's oozy stream. Not Bacchus, not Apollo was their chorus. But Persons three in being all divine. In one, divine and human, to restore us. The song and circle measured, turned in fine To us those holy lusters, more by token Passing from heed to heed with joy benign. 'Mid those concordant powers was silence broken Then by that light whence the achievements of The marvelous mendicant of God were spoken: The double gar' land of saints; agronomical comparison (cf. the comparison beginning Canto xii) The horn is the constellation of the LitHe Bear See note about the Chiana, Inf. xxix 356 Paradiso St. Thomas Aquinas now explains his attribution of highest laisdom to Solomon (x, m) Adam and Christ, both direct creations of the Divine, must have been superior in vyisdom to Solomon "A religious hymn breathing the sense of mystery that surrounds the Divine^ (Torraca) "One sheaf being thrasht/' the words fell from above, "And that its grain is to the garner gone. To beat the other beckons me dear love. Thou thinkest of the bosom whence was drawn The rib wherewith to fashion the fair face Whose palate cost the world so dear a pawn, - And of that lance-pierct bosom, by whose grace Sin past and future was so compensated That the atonement in the scale outweighs, - Thou thinkest man may be illuminated By no more light than was infused in those By that same Power who both of them created: And hence thy wonder when my story goes That the Fifth Light with knowledge so profound Was gifted, that *No second ever rose.' Open thine eyes now and behold how bound Is thy belief with what I shall reply. Both in the truth like center in the round. That which can die, and that which cannot die, Are nothing save the splendor of that Word In love begotten by our Father High; Because that Living Light which is transferred So from its Source, it may not be undone From it or from that Love which is their third. Its mirrored rays by its own benison In nine subsistencies together brings. Itself eternally abiding One. Thence passes through successive lowerings To the ultimate potential elements, Producing naught but brief contingent things; And these contingent things I take in sense Of things from seed engendered animal. Or void of seed, through heavenly influence. The wax of these, and that which molds it all, Are variable, since less and more hath shined Beneath the stamp the idea original; Wisdom of Solomon 357 Whence comes about that, after its own kind, The selfsame tree bears worse and better fruit. And ye are born endowed with various mind. Now were the wax exactly worked to suit. Did stars supreme their influence assemble. The luster of the seal were absolute; But Nature mars, - wherein she doth resemble The craftsman who about his labor goes And keeps the knack, although his fingers tremble. Yet if the fervent Love seal and dispose Clear insight of the Primal Power, achieved Perfection on that substance fully shows. Dust of the ground, made worthy thus, received Full animal perfection once therethrough; Thus wrought upon, the Virgin once conceived. So that I give my sanction to thy view That human nature never yet has been. Nor can be, such as in those persons two. Now if no farther forward should I win, *How then consider him without a peer?' Upon this question would thy words begin. But to see clearly what is not yet clear, Think who he was and why petitioning ^Vhen he was bidden ask the guerdon dear. Thus have I spoken but exhibiting That he was king, and asked for plenitude Of wisdom to become a worthy king, - Not for the number of the multitude Moving these spheres, nor if necesse chained With a contingent ever could conclude. Nor if prime motion is to be maintained. Nor if in semicircle could be drawn Triangle, save right angle be retained. Whence, taking this with my discourse foregone, A kingly prudence is that peerless prize The shaft of my intention hits upon. St Thomas now "dis- tinguishss'^ The four high- est branches of knowledge, as taught at the University then: theology, logic, metaphysic, geometry Solomon asked and got prac- tical wisdom for his trade of king 358 Paradiso The applica- iion: warning against igno- tant reading and snap judgments *Donna Berta o Ser Mariino" And if on *rose* thou turnst discerning eyes, Thou wilt perceive that it is spoken of Kings, - who are many, and but few the wise. Thus qualified, in what I said above Agreement with thy view is found complete As to our primal Sire and Him we love. Let this be ever lead upon thy feet To make thee like a weary man move slow When Yes and No the inner vision cheat; For he among the fools is very low Who affirms or who denies in either kind Without distinction of the Yes and No, Since often to false bias are inclined Opinions men too hastily attain, And mere conceit then trammels up the mind. His putting forth from shore is worse than vain Who wanting skill goes fishing for the true, Since as he went returns he not again; Melissus gives the proof of this to view, And Bryson and Parmenides, who reckt Not of their goal, however fast they flew. So with Sabellius, Arius, and each sect Of fools who were as swords to Scripture pure, Distorting features otherwise correct. I^t folk in judgment never be too sure, As when into the field the peasant goes To reckon up the ears not yet mature; For I have seen beneath the winter snows The wild brier rugged seem, and troublesome. And then upon its summit bear the rose; And once I saw a gallant vessel come Straight over-seas, completing her emprise, To perish entering the port at home. Seeing one thieve, another sacrifice. Let not Dame Joan and Gaffer John presume To penetrate them with divining eyes. For one may rise, the other fall to doom." - The Glorified Body 359 XIV The Spiritual Body. Galaxy of the Cross in Mars From center unto rim, or back about. Vibrates the water in a rounded vase. As smitten from within or from without. Into my mind came suddenly the case That here I moot, soon as the effluence Of glorious Saint Thomas held his peace, Because of hkeness in the incidence Of his discourse and that of Beatrice, Whom it pleased after him thus to commence: "This man has need (yet does not tell you this Either by voice or thinking) to pursue Another truth to where it rooted is. Inform him if the light which doth endue Your substance with its blossom, will remain As now it is forevermore with you; And if it shall remain with you, explain How ye can bear it and conserve your sight When ye shall be made visible again." - Just as, impelled by urgence of delight. They who are wheeling in the dance as one, Lift up the voice and make the movement light. So at the prompt devoted orison The holy rings gave proof of rapture new, Turning in wondrous choral unison. Whoso laments our death down here, therethrough To win new life above, did never see Refreshment here of the eternal dew. That ever-living One and Two and Three Reigning in Three Two One beyond all date. Unbounded and all-bounding Trinity, Did each among those spirits celebrate Three times, with such melodious utterance As were fit meed for merit passing great. The voice of Thomas had c&mefrom the rim; that of Beatrice flows back from the center 360 Paradiso ] i And where divinest was the radiance \ Of the inner ring, a quiet voice replies j (To Mary such the Angel's voice perchance!):; The mystery of "Long as the festival of Paradise i todf^fifthe ^^^^^ ^^^^ continuance, so long our love i resurrection Engarments us with such a radiant guise. "\ Its brightness will keep pace with movement of i Our zeal, and zeal with vision, which is full 1 As it has grace its proper worth above. ] When with the glorious holy flesh the soul 1 Shall be reclothed, our personality i WiU dearer grow, since wholly beautiful. ', Thereby will wax the light, that largess free ' Vouchsafed us by Supremest Excellence,; Light which enables us His Face to see; \ Wherefore the vision needs must wax intense, ] The fervor wax that from the vision came, ■ And wax the radiance proceeding thence. But even as a firebrand, darting flame,: Is by its living glow victorious; So that its visible form remains the same. So will this luster now enswathing us i Be vanquisht by the flesh, that now from sight j This many a day by earth is covered thus. i Nor can we weary of so great a light; ] Strong shall the bodily organs be concerning j All that may minister to our delight." - ] So ready and with such an eager burning I To cry "Amen" appeared to me both quires, .- As for the mortal body showed their yearning, \ Not for themselves alone, but for their sires j And mothers and perchance for others dear i Ere they became imperishable fires. ' And lo! a luster all around, of sheer , Surpassing splendor dawned upon the view, ' Like an horizon that is growing clear. - Tlie Cross in Mars 361 And even as at early nightfall, new Gleamings begin to spot the sky again, While true appears the vision, yet not true, Methought up there, beginning to grow plain. Novel existences, a circling host Outside of those circumferences twain. O very sparkling of the Holy Ghost, Smiting mine eyes with such an instant flare They might not brook it, in the luster lost! But Beatrice showed so smiling and so fair. It must be left with visions that elude The memory, which cannot follow there. Therefrom mine eyes, resuming aptitude To lift their lids, showed me with her alone Lifted to loftier beatitude. That I was lifted to a higher zone Was told me by that star's enkindled smile Which ruddily beyond the common shone. In that deep language of the heart whose style Is one in all, to God I here addrest Oblation for the gift bestowed the w^hile; Nor yet was consummated in my breast The sacrifice, before I knew the prayer To be propitious and with favor blest. For with a rubeate glory past compare Showed splendors forth, within two rays of light. Such that I cried: "O Sun that makes them fair!" As, 'twixt the two poles of the world, gleams white The Galaxy with less and greater stars. Putting in doubt the very erudite, Thus, constellated in the depth of Mars, Fashioned those rays the venerated sign Formed in a round by crossing quadrant bars. Here conquers memory all wit of mine: Because that Cross was lamping so with Christ I cannot find similitude condign; The 9mile of Beatrice always marks the rise into a higher sphere The ruddy Heaven of Mars Imagine the "Milky Wa7f in the form of a Cross For the rime cf. Canto xii 362 Paradiso Hymn cf the Warrior-Saints Because Ihe eyes of Beatrice reflect the Divine {cf. Purg. xxxi, ihe closing strain) But whoso takes his cross and follows Christ Shall yet forgive me what I leave unsaid. Seeing that dawnlight flashing with the Christ. From arm to arm, and between base and head, Lights were in motion, brightly scintillant. Passing and counterchanging as they sped. So swift and slow and level and aslant Are seen here, ever altering their mien. The atomies of bodies long or scant Adance upon the ray that cleaves the screen Of shadow often, which for their defending Men cause by handicraft to intervene. And, as the harp or violin, with blending Of many chords, sweet tinkling makes to him Who hears the music without comprehending. So from the hghts there shining bright or dim Gathered along the Cross a melody That raptured me, obHvious of the hymn. High laud it was, - so much was clear to me. Because "Arise and conquer^' was the strain Which still I heard uncomprehendingly. So charmed was I therewith that until then Naught had there ever been that could impose On me the fetters of so sweet a chain. - Perchance too bold appear such words as those, Disparaging the charm of those fair eyes Gazing wherein my longing has repose. But whoso comprehends how as they rise Those living seals of all things loveliest Augment, nor had I turned to that emprise, May excuse me from the accusation, stressed. But to excuse me, thus my truth approving; For here is not cast out the rapture blest. Becoming ever purer upward moving. Cacciaguida XV Dante's Ancestor Begins the Sketch of the Men AND Manners of Old Florence Benignant will, resolved into the blest Love whence forever benefactions flow. As greed in wicked will is manifest. Laid silence on that tuneful lyre, and so Withheld those holy chords from sounding on. That Heaven's right hand now twitches, now lets go. How can be deaf to righteous orison Those Beings who, to open wide the door For my petition, paused in unison? 'Tis right he should eternally deplore Who, out of love for what does not abide, Forfeits that other love forevermore. As through the pure and tranquil eventide A flash is seen from time to time to race. Setting the calmest eyelids staring wide. Appearing like a star that changes place. Save that, where first enkindled is its light Nothing is missed, and it goes out apace, - So shot from the arm extending to the right To bottom of the cross, a star of them That make the constellation there so bright; Downward it ran along the radiant stem Like fire in alabaster shining through. Nor from the fillet once broke forth the gem. Such love the shade of old Anchises drew. If credit we our poet passing great. When in Elysium his son he knew. "O kinsman mine! Grace incommensurate Upon thee shed! to whom, as unto thee. Was ever opened twice the Heavenly gate?" - So spake that light; whence thereto eagerly I turned, - then to my Lady, - in such wise That from both quarters awe came over me; The light of Dante s greatest ancestor falls down the shaft of the mystic cross like a "shooting star^ 364 Paradiso The Great Book in which he reads, the Mir- ror in which they gaze, are images of the Divine Mind For such a smile was glowing in her eyes That, with mine own, methought I touched the bound Both of my grace and of my Paradise. Thereafter, blithe of look and blithe of sound. That soul to salutation added speech Past my conception, it was so profound; Of choice concealed he not what he would teach, But force perforce, because the lofty sense So overshot the mark of mortal reach. But when the bow of burning love less tense Became, and his discourse came down and stood Upon the plane of our intelligence. The first expression that I imderstood Was: "Benediction on Thee, Trine and One, For guerdoning my kinsman with such good!" - "A grateful and long fast," he followed on, "From reading the Great Book where black on white Is set down ineffaceably, my son. Hast thou now satisfied within this light I hail thee from, thanks to her favor who Clad thee with plumage for the lofty flight. Thou deemest that thy thought to me flows through From the First Cause, even as from unity. If that be known, the five and six to you, Not asking who I am, nor why in me Appears a gratulation more elate Than elsewhere in this jocund company. Thou deemest true: in this life small and great Are gazing in that Mirror whence, before Thou thinkest, thy reflections emanate. But that the Holy Love mine eyes adore In vigil never broken, hunger-spent With sweet desire, may be fulfilled the more, O let thy voice, secure, glad, confident. For will and yearning find the fitting word Whereto is predetermined my consent." - Florence in tJie Good Old Time 365 Thereon I turned to Beatrice, who heard Before I spake and gave assent, whereby The growing wings of my desire were stirred. "When dawned on you the Prime Equahty, Love and intelHgence for each of you Became of equal poise," - so answered I; "Because the Sun that lit and warmed you through Holds in its heat and light such balance fit That all comparison falls short of true. But mortal wing of wiU and wing of wit, For reason well apparent to your sight. Fail of the balanced pinions requisite. Whence I, who with the heart alone requite Thy dear paternal welcome, feel my lame Mortal disparity of will and might. I do entreat thee, living topaz-flame. Set as a gem upon this jewel choice. To satisfy my craving with thy name." - "O leaf of mine, who made me even rejoice Expecting thee, thy root behold in me!" - Beginning thus, replied to me the voice; Then said: "That soul who gave thy family The surname, and has round the Mountain gone On the first terrace, a long century. Was thy great-grandfather, and was my son: Befits that respite thou for him bespeak From his long travail, with thy orison. Florence, encircled by her wall antique. Whence tierce and nones are tolling evermore. Lived peaceable and temperate and meek. Her arm no clasp, no crown her forehead bore, No silken petticoat, with girdle gay More tempting to the eye than she who wore. Not yet did little daughter's birth dismay The father; not too early did they mate. Nor yet was dowry ruinous to pay. Dante humbly urges the inade- quacy of mortal vrit to discourse vyith a being in whom deed bal- ances desire The father of Dante s great- grandfather tells of the social condition of Florence in the eleventh century 366 Paradiso Hills from which travelers from the north got the first view of Rome and of Florence Great citizens in their day (cf. Inf. xvi, 37, and next canto) A woman of doubtful repu- tation, and a man whom Dante detested No house was then of children desolate; Not yet Sardanapalus came to show What in a chamber he can perpetrate. Not yet outflown was Monte Mario By your Uccelatoio, - ^which as outflown In soaring up, shall be in falling low. I saw in belt of skin and clasp of bone Bellincion Berti, and his lady quit The mirror with complexion still her own; I saw the Nerh and the Vecchio fit The leathern jerkin with good countenance, With spindle and with flax their ladies sit. happy women! each yet in advance Siu-e of her burial, and none beguiled Of comfort in her bed because of France. One, keeping watch above her cradled child, Would soothe it with the babbling idiom Whereto the fathers and the mothers smiled; And one, the thread from distaff drawing home. Gathered her brood and prattled fables how Came Trojans to Fiesole and Rome. A marvel then Cianghella's brazen brow. Or Lapo Salterello, as complete As Cincinnatus and Cornelia now. To life of citizen in house and street So fair and quiet, to so great a fame For neighbor loyalty, to home so sweet. My mother gave me, caUing Mary's name; And so, within your ancient Baptistry, Christian and Cacciaguida I became. Moronto and Eliseo brothered me; My Lady came from Valley of the Po, Whence was thy surname handed down to thee. 1 followed Kaiser Conrad then, with so Good service that he belted me a knight. So much my prowess made his favor grow. A Crusader 367 Beneath his banner followed I to fight Second Crusade, That m-famed law whose folk usurp control, B^rdmh To pastors' shame, of what is yours by right. There disentangled by those caitiffs foul Was I from the delusive world, whose quest Infatuate debases many a soul. And came from martyrdom unto this rest " - 368 Paradiso Dante addresses his ancestor as if he were royal {"you" instead of'ihou'') Modern Flor- ence is the city of the Baptist, as the ancient was the city of Mars XVI "Old, Unhappy, Far-off Things" O petty our nobility of blood! If thou prompt men to make their boast of thee Down here, where faints our yearning for the good. Never shall this seem wonderful to me, For where desire is not perverted, yea In Heaven itself, I felt such vanity. In truth, thy cloak so quicldy shrinks away. That, add we not a frequent piece thereto, Time with the shears goes round it day by day. With YoUy which Rome at first permitted, YoUy Wherein her children now least persevere, Proudly began I my discourse anew, Whence Beatrice, a Httle distant here. By smiling called to mind that dame who coughed At first recorded fault of Guenevere. "You are my Father," so began I soft, "You fill me for discourse with courage high, You lift me far above myself aloft. So many rivulets are pouring joy Into my heart that happy is my tongue Seeing I can bear and not be rent thereby. Tell then, beloved root whence I am sprung, Who were your forebears, what the years foregone That signaHzed themselves when you were young. Tell me about the sheepfold of Saint John, What were the numbers and who were the folk Within it who the highest places won?" - As if by breathing of the wind awoke Flame in a coal, so did I see that blaze Kindle at the caressing words I spoke. And growing ever fairer to my gaze. With sweeter accent gentlier it said. But in no dialect of nowadays: Causes of Moral Decline of Florence 369 "From the first Ave to that childing-bed Whereon my mother, now ensainted, through Dehvering of me was comforted, Five hundred times and fifty and thirty drew ' This circling fire to its own Lion apace. Beneath his paw to kindle up anew. My sires and I were native to that place Where the last ward first intersects the course Of the hot runner in your annual race. Enough about my elders this perforce: For as to whence they came and who they were, Silence is more becoming than discourse. All those at that time competent to bear Weapons, the Baptistry and Mars between. Numbered a fifth of them now living there. But the community, where intervene Campi, Certaldo, and Figline now. Pure to the humblest artisan was seen. O how much better let such neighbors plow Around Galluzzo, and let your border lie At Trespiano, rather than allow Their entrance, so to be offended by The stench of Aguglion, and Signals clown. Who has for jobbery so sharp an eye. Were folk who most on earth have fallen down Not stepmother to Caesar, but instead Benignant, like true mother to her son. One, made a Florentine by truck and trade. Would have turned back to Semifonte again. Where went about his grandsire begging bread. Still would the Counts on Montemurlo reign. The Cerchi be in Acone's parish still, Perchance the Buondelmonte on Greve's plain. When mingled populations overfill The city, evermore begins its woe, As added victual makes the body ill. 580 X 686+ {the number of our days re- quired for the revolution of the planet Mars) gives about 1091 as the birth-year of Cacciaguida The city lay be- tween the Church of St. John and the Ponte Vecchio vyith the muti- lated statue of Mars That is to say, j if the clergy < had kept hands ] off 5 1 .i 370 Paradiso \ And the blind bullock falls more headlong low Than the blind lamb, and more one sword will cleave. And often deeper than the five will go. j K Luni and UrbisagUa thou perceive,! How they have gone, and likewise pass away \ Chiusi and SenigaUia, to believe That in Uke fashion families decay j Will seem opinion neither strange nor new, i Seeing that even cities have their day. i All your affairs are mortal, even as you, i The very brevity of life concealing; In some the creeping steps of death from view; ] And as the lunar heaven, forever wheeling, j Covers and bares incessantly the shore, i So fickle Fortune is with Florence dealing. j Hence what I tell should seem no fable-lore j Concerning the renowned Florentines ' Whose fame through lapse of time is known no more. j I saw the Hugos, saw the Catellines, ] Filippi, Greci, Ormanni, Alberichi there, I Illustrious citizens in their decHnes, i And saw, as mighty as they ancient were, ] With one of La Sannella, of Area one, j Ardinghi and Bostichi and Soldanier. j Above the gateway newly weighed upon j By felony so heavy in its shame That from the bark shall soon be jettison, ] The Ravignani Dwelt then the Ravignani, from whom came \ Ihl^c^hthe good Count Guido down, and whoso to this hour ] Gualdrada from Has taken lofty Bellincione's name. \ BMinoume jj^ ^f L^ p^.^^^^ ^j^^jy ^^Ided power; Already, and the GaHgaio claimed J Sword-hilt and pummel gilt in hall and bower. Greatly the pale of Minever was famed, Sacchetti, Giuochi, Fifanti, and Barucci, \ And Galli, - ^and others by the bushel shamed. j Origin of the Factions 371: The parent stock whence budded the Calf ucci I Was great already, and to curule chair j Already draT\Ti Sizii and Arrigucci. / Ah, mighty did I see them who despair t Because of their own pride! and the Balls of Gold I In all her prowess made our Florence fair. So likewise did the ancestors of old ' Of those who, when your see is vacant, find ' Fat profit by abiding in the fold.! That haughty breed, so dragon-fierce behind \ The fugitive, but let your teeth be seen \ Or purse belike, seem lambs, they grow so kind, ] Was on the rise, although from people mean, -! Whence Ubertin Donato felt disgrace 1 When his wife's father made them kith and kin. Down from Fiesole to market-place Had gone now Caponsacco, - ^Judah there; And Infangato, burghers in good grace. ' Incredible, yet true, what I declare: ] The little circuit had an entrance way Called after them whose emblem is the Pear. \ All wearers of the fair insignia - Of the great Peer, whose name and valor grim The feast of Thomas calls to mind today, ': Knighthood received and privilege from him;; Though with the populace today unite j That man who guards the scutcheon with a rim. Giano della j HI? Gualterotti and Importuni were at height; " ^ And had they for new neighbors suffered dearth ^Ae Amidei ' More tranquil would the Borgo be tonight. whose murder ^ The house from which your tears have had their birth, Buonddmorde Because its just resentment killed your joyance for slighting And with the blood of many stained the earth, ^^^ fj.^^_! Was honored in itself and its alhance: tional origin of J O Buondelmonte, by what evil daring GuelT^T; Didst flee at others' prompting its affiance! GhiheUine » 372 Paradiso The old banner showed a white lily in a red field; the Guelfs reversed the colors. See the plates of the two shields Glad would be many who are now despairing, If God had to the Ema relegated Thyself, when first toward the City faring. But meet it was that Florence consecrated A victim, while her last peace was prevailing. To that bridge-warding marble mutilated. With folk like these, nor yet were others failing. Did I see Florence in such deep repose That she had no occasion yet for wailing; I saw her people glorious with those. And just, so that the Lily never stood Reversed upon the lances of her foes. Nor dyed vermilion yet by party feud.'^ - Note It has not seemed desirable to fill the margins with references and explanations. Those interested in the history of old Florence will know where to look. For biographical information and anecdote Toynbee's Dictionary is the obvious repertory. The reader will find profit in looking up Bellincion Berti and his daughter, the good Gual- drada (Inf. xvi, 37). The historical student soon perceives that the viewpoint in these cantos is very much that of an old Tory. The new families, like the Cerchi, were often useful citizens. And the institu- tion of the guilds is nowhere here referred to, although economically, pKjIitically, socially, even intellectually, of primary importance ami immeasurable influence. Autobiography of Dante 373 j XVII \ Dante*s Exile and Justification As who makes fathers chary of undue Promise to children, questioned Clymene If what he heard against himself was true. Even such was I, and such perceived to be By Beatrice and by the Holy Lamp Who previously had changed his place for me. Then said my Lady to me: "Do not damp I The flame of thy desire, but let it soar | Well making manifest the inward stamp; Not that thy words may make our knowledge more. But that thou mayst acquire the habitude To tell thy thirst that we for thee may pour." - ^ "Dear parent stock, raised to such altitude That, as to earthly minds is evident! No triangle may two obtuse include, j Thus do contingent things before the event Exist for thee, still gazing where take head i All times together with the present blent; ] While in the company of Virgil led I Up and along the spirit-healing slope ' And down throughout the region of the dead, I heard discourses grievous in their scope Touching the remnant of my life, although j Well squared against the blows of Chance by Hope: j Wherefore my will were well content to know; What fortune is approaching to molest; j For bolt foreshadowed strikes a lighter blow." - \ So to that selfsame light that had addrest \ Beforehand me, I said as willed to say ^ By Beatrice, and mine own will confest. i Not with blind riddles which in former day r^ Ensnared the credulous, ere yet was slain | The Lamb of God who takes our sins away, 374 Paradiso Pope Boniface Eighth Dante's felUyw- exiles, so un- worthy that he shakes them off But with clear utterance and language plain That fatherly affection made reply, In his own smile withdrawn and shown again: "Contingency, which is embounded by The volume of your matter, is beheld All pictured forth before the Eternal Eye, Yet not thence of necessity compelled, More than the vessel down the current steering Is by the mirror in the eye propelled. Therefrom comes, even as comes upon the hearing Sweet organ music, to my sight the course Of time already now for thee preparing. As through stepmother proof to all remorse Hippolytus from Athens fled of old, So out of Florence shalt thou go perforce. Already this is willed and sought, - nay hold It good as done by him who plans thy fall Where every day the Christ is bought and sold. The hue and cry will hound as usual The party wronged; and yet shall vengeance give A witness to the truth disj>ensing all. Thou art to forfeit as a fugitive All held most dear: of arrows thou must bear. This first the bow of banishment lets drive. Thou shalt make proof what salt and bitter fare Is bread of others, and what toils attend The going up and down another's stair. But what will heaviest thy shoulders bend Will be the senseless company malign With whom thou wilt to such a pass descend. Who, ingrate all and maddened, will combine In fury against thee; but thereafter soon Their forehead will be red for it, not thine. Their brutishness will in their very own Deeds be avoucht, nor will thy fame be blurred In having made a party all alone. Dante in Exile 375 First hospitality shall be conferred On thee by kindness of the Lombard great, Barthohmew Who on the ladder bears the sacred bird, Sofv^ona Who will to thee be so considerate and Can That of the wish and boon between you two, f^^ ^^ First will come that which else is granted late. Beside him shalt thou see that hero who Took from this mighty star at birth such mold That his emprise will be renowned therethrough. His worth the nations do not yet behold Because his age is tender, - ^years but nine These wheeling spheres have round about him rolled. But ere the Gascon cunning undermine Clement V and The noble Henry, sparkles of his worth ^^"^ ^^' In scorn of lucre and of toil shall shine. So his magnificence shall yet show forth, His foes will not be so predominant That they could keep report of it from birth. On him and on his favors do thou plant Thy trust; through him shall many change degree. Altering state, both rich and mendicant. And bear thou written in thy memory Of him, but tell it not," - ^and he revealed Things past beheving, even of those who see. Then added: "Son, these glosses may be sealed To what was told thee; snares are waiting thus Behind few circles of the spheres concealed. Yet be not of thy neighbors envious. Seeing thy futiu-e life will long outlast Dante's fame The forfeit of their deeds perfidious."- predicted Soon as that holy soul to silence passed, Showing the pattern had been woven above The web whereof myself the warp had cast, Did I begin like one misdoubting of His course, who craves advice from one of those That, seeing, do correctly will, and love: 376 Paradiso Were it not 'prudent to he a timid friend oj truth"? ^'lascia pur grattar dov^h la rogna" Dante must speak out "Well see I, Father, how my time of woes To deal me such a buffet spurs along As is the heavier when one heedless goes; Whence it is good with foresight to be strong. That, though bereft me be the dearest prize, I forfeit not the others by my song. Down through the world of bitter tears and cries, And up the mountain side from whose fair height Uplifted me my Lady with her eyes. And afterward through Heaven from Hght to hght. Have I learned that which will, if I respeak. For many have disrelish infinite; And if to truth I prove a friend but weak, I tremble lest my fame the forfeit pay With those who are to call this time antique." - At this the light wherein the treasure lay Which I had found there, fiasht with such suffusion As golden mirror in the solar ray. ''A conscience darkened," - then he made conclusion, - "With self -shame, or another's, this being sung Will wince indeed at every harsh allusion. Nathless away be all dissembling flung. And be thy vision wholly manifested. And let them wince who feel their withers wrung; For though thy word be grievous when first tasted. It will forever after leave behind A vital nourishment, if well digested. This cry of thine shall do as doth the wind That buffets most the topmost mountain crown: Which no small pledge of honor wilt thou find. For this among these Wheels, and up and down The Mountain, and within the Vale of Woe, Are shown thee spirits only of renown; For restive is the hearer's mind, and so Recalcitrant to faith, it holds aloof From instances buried its ken below. And from all else except explicit proof." - Illustrious Souls in the Cross of Mars 377 I XVIII >, How THE Souls Form the Mystic Symbol of Justice \ IN THE Temperate Star of Jove; Now in his inward thought with joy replete Was that blest Mirror, and I savored mine By seasoning the bitter with the sweet; I And the Lady leading me to the Divine t Said: "Shift thy thought to see my link unbroken i With him who lightens every load mahgn." - j Thereat I turned to look at the fond token The consoling Of my Consoler, and what love I viewed ^^ "^ BeatHce j In the holy eyes is here perforce unspoken. Partly that words would be misunderstood, \ Partly that memory is unreturning If others guide not to such altitude. ■ This only can I tell that point concerning. That, rebeholding her, my own affection j Grew fetterless and free from other yearning. \ While the Eternal Joy without deflection \ Rayed upon Beatrice, and mirror-wise! From her fair face appeased me by reflection. Subduing me with light of smiling eyes,; "Turn round and hearken," thus to me she said, "Not in mine eyes alone is Paradise!" - As sometimes in the visage here is read j The inclination, if of so much force \ That the whole soul thereby is riveted, j So turning to my great progenitor's! Sanctified radiance, the wish I found I Yet somewhat further with me to discourse. Then he began to speak: "In this fifth round \ Of branches on the Tree that from the crest Sends life-sap down and never sheds a frond, ■ Are souls who, ere they came among the blest, ^ Were in the world below of so great fame \ Could noble Muse no richer theme request. < 378 Paradiso The smile of Beatrice mark- ing ascent to the Heaven of Jupiter Observe the arms o* the Cross, and those I name Will at the signal in such mode proceed As in the cloud its fulminating flame/' - I saw along the Cross a luster speed At name of Joshua: to ear and eye The word did not anticipate the deed. And at the name of Maccabaeus high Another spiral whirling flash t amain, And that which whipt the top was holy joy. Likewise for Roland and for Charlemain Did my enraptured gaze two lights pursue. As eye doth after flying falcon strain. Afterward William drew, and Renouard drew. And great Duke Godfrey drew mine eye by fire Along that Cross, and Robert Guiscard too. Then mingling with the other lights, the Sire Whose spirit had discoursed with me made known His artistry among the heavenly quire. To my right hand I turned me at that tone. My duty to behold in Beatrice Either by language or by gesture shown. And all her past and recent wont at this Her look outrivaled, with so bright a ray Her eyes were shining, and so full of bliss. And as by greater comfort in essay Of righteous doing, man becomes aware Of virtue waxing in him day by day. So, wheeling in a wider circle there, A heaven of more extended scope I knew. Seeing that miracle become more fair. For now a shift of color met my view. As when a woman's countenance, opprest With blushful shame, resumes its palHd hue, Such, when I turned about was manifest Dawning in the white star of temperance. The sixth that had received me to its breast. The Heaven of Jupiter 379 I saw within that Jovial radiance The flying sparks of love that there abound Shaping our language out before my glance. As birds, rejoicing in their pasture ground. Start up together from a river dell And gather in a flock, now long, now round. So holy creatures in the lights that dwell, Were flitting and were chanting, fashioning Their flock to figures, - D and I and L. First sang they, to their own notes fluttering. Then, having fashioned one or the other sign, Would hold their peace awhile and stay their wing. O Pegasea, glorifier divine Of human wits, their life to render long. As towns and kingdoms they, by aid of thine, Brighten me with thyself to tell in song Their shapes as I deciphered them in Heaven, In these brief verses let thy breath be strong! These then displayed themselves in five times seven Vowels and consonants: I noted down The members as they seemed by utterance given. DILIGITE JUSTITIAM, first noun "Love Justice, And verb of all the figure were enscroUed, ^Z^^uL QUI JUDICATIS TERRAM, followed on. S^ These in the M of the fifth word did hold Such settled order there, that Jupiter Seemed to be silver patterned out with gold. And other lights I saw descending where The apex of the M appeared their goal. Chanting, I think, the Good that draws them there. The medieval Then, as by stirring of a burning coal TmLV'~ Innumerable sparks are upward sped, Florentine lily. Prophetic omens to the simple soul, f^Jl ^^^ So thence thousands of lights seemed spirited tohich, slightly To mount aloft, some lower and some higher, a^']^;fifZn By their enkindling Sun distributed; heraldic Eagle 380 Paradiso The stormy voice of Dante (cf. xvii, 133- 135) The florin, wUh the lily on one side and ike image of the Baptist on the other, prompts Boniface to neglect Peter aiid Paid And lo! when settled into place each flier, I saw an Eagle as to head and breast Delineated by that patterned fire. He there who paints has none to guide, but best Guideth Himself, and from Him we divine The secret of the molding of the nest. The other blessed flock, content to twine A lily flower at first upon the M, With a shght flutter filled out the design. Sweet star, what jewels, and how many of them. Informed me that our Justice is the birth Of that sixth heaven whereof thou art the gem! Wherefore I pray the Mind wherein thy worth And motion start, that He take note whence come The fumes that dim thy radiance on earth; That he once more be wroth with all and some Who buy and sell within the Temple-door Built round with miracles and martyrdom. O heavenly host on whom I gaze, implore For them who still are here on earth, each one Misled by ill example! - War of yore Was waged by dint of sword, but now 'tis done Merely withholding, now here, and now there. The bread the pitying Father grudges none. But thou whose writ is only made to tear. Reflect that Peter and Paul are living yet, Who died for the vineyard thou art stripping bare. Well mayst thou urge: "I have my heart so set On that ascetic who in royal hall AVas danced into the martyr's coronet. That I know not the fisherman nor Paul." - Yearning to Probe Divine Justice 381 XIX The Discourse of the Symbolic Eagle The image fashioned by the engarlanding Souls who in sweet fruition took delight, Stood fair before me, spreading either wing. Each seemed a little ruby where a bright Sunbeam appeared so burningly to sink As to flame back again upon my sight. And what I now am bound to tell, by ink Was never traced, by ear was never heard. Nor entered into heart of man to think: For lo! I heard and saw that beaked Bird Give voice to / and MY, though understood Were we and our as men conceive the word. So it began: "Through being just and good Raised am I to that glory far transcending All mortal yearning for beatitude. And left remembrance of my great intending Upon the earth, but wicked people there Follow the story not, although commending." - As many an ember makes us feel the glare Of one sole heat, so rang one melody From many loves out of that image fair: Whereon I prayed: "O flowers perpetually Dante prays Blooming from Joy eternal, breathing forth j^' hehJokln Your odors that one fragrance seem to me, So breathing, banish from me the great dearth Which makes me for so long in hunger pine. Finding not any food for it on earth. Well know I that, though Justice the divine Be in another Heavenly kingdom glassed. Yours looks without a veil on the design. Ye know how eagerly do I forecast The hearing, and ye know what is that doubt Which is within me such a long-drawn fast." - 382 Paradiso As from the hood the falcon issuing out Conceals not her desire, but makes her fair. Lifting her head and fluttering about. So in my sight became that emblem, where Praises of Grace Divine were interwound With songs familiar to the happy there. Then it began: "Who turned the compass round The world, and Who in its circumference Set much both clear to sight and too profound. Could not in all the Universe condense His Worth so far but that His infinite Wisdom remained in overplus immense. In proof whereof, behold that first proud Wight Among all creatures supereminent. Falling unripe, through not awaiting light; Therefore too scanty a recipient Appears each lesser nature for that Good Which has no bound but by self -measurement. From this it follows that our sight, which should Out of that Mind supernal radiate Wherewith all things whatever are imbued. Can by its nature have no power so great But that its origin sees far afield Beyond the narrow limit of your date. Therefore no vision to your world revealed Can plumb eternal Justice to the ground. Just as the ocean to your eye is sealed; Awhile from shore ye may the bottom soimd. And out of soundings in the unplumbed sea We know it still is there, though never found. Save from the never-clouded Source, may be No light, but rather everywhere is shade, Venom and shadow of carnality. Now amply is the covert open laid That kept the living Justice from thy sight. Whereof thou hast so frequent question made. Virtuous Heathen 383 I Tor,' saidest thou, *on Indus-bank a wight The problem:: Is brought to birth, where none is to direct ^Z^^l^hen ' To Christ, nor who may read of Him, nor write, be condemned? And all his acts and wishes are correct As far as human reason may perceive, • Whether in word or life without defect; Faithless he dies, nor baptism can receive: j What is this justice which condemns the man? j What is his fault if he do not believe?*; Now who art thou to mount the bench and scan, j A thousand miles from what thou wouldst discuss, ] With thy short vision reaching but a span? I Surely for him who cavils with me thus, \ Were not the Scripture over you, the food For subtle questioning were marvelous. O earthly animals! O spirits rude!; Never the Primal Will was self -betraying. Nor altered from Itself the Supreme Good. ] Weighed is yoiu* human justice with Its weighing. By no created goodness is It led, ' Rather from It created good is raying." - As wheels the mother-stork just overhead ] When she has given her nestlings all their fill, j And they look up toward her comforted, * So thither was my brow uplifted still, t And circling so the blessed image flew \ On wings propelled by force of many a will. J WheeUng it chanted, adding thereunto: \ "My notes thou hearest heeding not their sense, 1 So mortals by Eternal Justice do." - j When quiet was that glowing effluence; Of Holy Ghost, still in the heraldry \ That gained the Romans world-wide reverence, '^¥ *^"?y . , votce again i "Up to this Kingdom," it resumed to me, strikes the high- i "Rose never one who had not faith in Christ ff P?«^* ('"''^ . the nms on \ Before or smce they nailed Him to the tree. Christ) ^ j 384 Paradiso Philip the Fair Charles of Naples. Evi- dently the Book kept in Roman numerals Frederick, King of Sicily, whose misdeeds toill crowd the page The Venetian ducat and the florin were the standard coins everywhere But many, mark, who cry aloud Christ! Christ! Shall be less near Him at the Great Assize, By very far, than some who know not Christ. The Ethiop shall such Christians stigmatize When the two colleges apart are led. One poor, the other with the eternal prize. To Christian monarchs what will not be said By Persians, when the Book is open placed Upon whose page their evil deeds are spread? There *mid the deeds of Albert shall be traced That which will start the moving pen once more To show the Realm of Prague become a waste; There seen how men along the Seine deplore The doing of that counterfeiter accurst To perish by the bristle of the boar; There seen the arrogance that sets athirst. Driving both Scot and Englishman insane. Whence both anon across the border burst; There the soft life and lust of him of Spain And the Bohemian, - ^never known to them Was prowess, or held ever in disdain. There to the Cripple of Jerusalem Shall with an / the good be credited. While the reverse is rated at an M. There shall the greed and cowardice be read Of him who wards the fiery Island, - tomb Where the long journey of Anchises led; And to denote him paltry, let the doom In curt abbreviations be set down. Infinite matter in a little room. And foul to all be noted the renown Of uncle and of brother, who deflower Illustrious lineage, and each a crown. And he who holds in Portugal the power. And Norway shall be shown; and Rascia there Who saw Venetian coin in evil hour. Wicked Christian Kings 385 O blest were Hungary, if she would bear No buffets longer; and Navarre in bliss If her own mountain but a rampart were! Henry of Lusi- And let each one recall, in proof of this, im^'xin^wko How Nicosia and Famagosta groan iceepa pace toith Already for their beast, and take it amiss powS-^in evU That he beside the others hold his own." - doing 386 Paradiso XX The Eagle Continues to Discourse The voices of the Just, blend- ing in the neck of the Eagle, issue like the sound of falling water, or of musical notes When he who sheds through all the world his ray- Is from our hemisphere descending so That everywhere the dayUght fades away. The sky, ablaze with him short while ago. Is suddenly rekindled to our ken By many lights that answer to one glow: And I recalled this heavenly action when The ensign of the world and of its head Grew silent in the blessed beak again; For all those Uving luminaries, made Brighter than ever, were beginning chants Out of my memory to lapse and fade. O sweet Love, veiled in smiling radiance. How ardent didst thou seem in those canorous Flutes that breathed only holy meditance! After the bright and precious brilhants o*er us. Wherewith I saw the sixth heaven glittering, Had made an end of their angelic chorus. It seemed to me I heard a murmuring Stream that runs Kmpid down from stone to stone Showing the plenty of its mountain spring. And as upon the cittern's neck the tone Assumes its form, and in reed instrument The vent-holes mold the breathing through it blown. Thus, brooking no delay, incontinent Did that soft murmur of the Eagle float Up through the neck, as if it were a vent; There became voice, and issued from the throat Out through the beak, with words in unison With longing of the heart whereon I wrote. "That part in me which sees, and braves the sun In mortal eagles," it prelusive said, "Should now attentively be gazed upon; The New Knowledge 387 For of the fires whereof my form is made, Those are in all their grades of most renown Wherewith the eye is sparkling in my head. Who midmost as the pupil glitters down, He was the Holy Spirit's laureate Who bore about the Ark from town to town; Now knows he his song's merit adequate, So far as subject to his will's control. By the reward which is proportionate. Of five who curve along my brow, that soul Neighboring nearest to the beak of me Did the poor widow for her son console; Now knows he dear the ransom is if we Follow not Christ, by the experience Of this sweet life, and of the contrary. Who next, along on the circumference In question, follows on the upward way Delayed his death by very penitence; Now knows he that Eternal Judgment may Be altered never, though a worthy prayer On earth below tomorrows the today. The next, to set the Pastor in the chair, 111 fruitage gathering from good intents, Made Greek himself, the laws, and me down there; Now knows he that the evil consequence Of his good deed gives him no cause to grieve. Although the world go all to ruin thence. Next in the downward curve dost thou perceive Him who was William, whom those lands regret Which weep that Charles and Frederick still live; Now knows he how the love of Heaven is set On a just king, and the effulgency Of his appearance makes it patent yet. Down in the erring world who would agree That Trojan Rhip)eus in this round were fit The fifth among the holy lights to be? David Trajan Hezekiah Constantine William the Oood of Sicily and Ajndia Rhipeus the Trojan (Mneid ii. 388 Paradiso Dante's loonder that Rhipeus and Trajan are redeemed Now knows he much whereof our human wit In Grace Divine can catch not any gleam. Although his vision cannot fathom it." - Like to the lark that in the morning beam Upsoars, first singing and thereafter still. Rapt with the sweetness of her song supreme. Such seemed the imaged Emblem of the Will Eternal, in accordance with whose bent Created things their final ends fulfill. And notwithstanding that my wonderment Showed through me Hke the color through the glaze, Yet could it not abide the time content, But forced by virtue of its weight the phrase Forth from my lips, - ^'What wonders these!" Oh thence I saw great revelry of flashing rays! Thereon with kindling eye still more intense. To me the Blessed Emblem made reply. To hold me not in wondering suspense: "I see that thou behev'st these things, since I Report them to thee, but dar'st not avow, For, though believed, they are hidden from the eye. Thou doest like that one who may well allow A thing in name, but who cannot define Its essence if another show not how. The Kingdom of Heaven suffers force benign From living hope and loving fervency. Able to overcome the Will Divine; Not as man over man wins victory. That which is craving to be quelled they quell. And, conquered, conquer through benignity. The brow's first living soul and fifth may well Astonish thee, because thou seest with those Adorned the region where the angels dwell. These left their bodies not, as men suppose, Grentile, but Christian, each in firm faith cleaving To crucifixion's past or future throes. Exceptional Cases of Redemption 389 For one from Hell, whence none returns retrieving Good will again, did yet his bones resume, - And living hope this guerdon was receiving, - The living hope whence vital power should bloom Through prayer to God for his upraising made. So that his will could move to change his doom. The glorious spirit whereof this is said. Short while abiding in the flesh on earth. Put faith in Him who had the power to aid. And so belief enkindled on his hearth True love, that when returned he to the grave He was found fit to come unto this mirth. So deep a fountain yielded grace to save The other soul, no eye, however bright, Of any creature pierced its primal wave; And so in righteousness was his delight That our redemption in the future, more And more by Grace was opened to his sight: AVherefore he put his trust therein, nor bore Thenceforth the stench from heathendom arising. Reproving the perverted folk therefor. To him, a thousand years ere solemnizing Of baptism, those three maids thou sawst, who wheeled Beside the dexter wheel, stood for baptizing. Predestination! Ah, how far afield Thy root from vision of their intellect To whom the First Cause is not all revealed! And be ye, mortals, closely circumspect In judging, forasmuch as we, who see The very God, know not yet all the elect; And in such lack is our felicity. For in this good our own good we refine So that with Will Divine our wills agree.'* Thus by that emblematic form divine. To make me feel the limits of my vision. Was dealt to me delightful medicine. St. Gregory made ^ectual fervent prayer for Trajan Purg. xxix, 121-129 390 Paradiso ^ As on the chorded lute the good musician ' Pinching the strings supports the singer good, Thus making more dehghtful the rendition, ] So I remember, while he thus pursued, ] Beholding those two blessed lusters dance ^ Accordant, as the eyes in winking would,; Moving their flamelets with that utterance. ^ Ladder of Contemplation 391 J XXI \ Heaven of Saturn ] Already on my Lady's countenance ^ Mine eyes were bended, and my mind withdrew ] With them from every other circumstance; Nor was she smiUng, but began thereto: Ascending to "Were I to smile thou wouldst become hke fair fatui^'sea^ ] Semele, when she dust and ashes grew; trice withholds Because my beauty on the Palace stair t esmie , Eternal, shining in more bright relief ^ As thou hast seen, with our ascending there, ^ If not attempered, would be past belief \ Effulgent, so that thy poor mortal sense ] Would be but as the thunder-blasted leaf. ^ Raised are we to the Seventh Splendor, whence, ' Now warmed beneath the Lion's burning breast,; Rains down its mitigated influence. | Let thy mind follow where thine eyes request. And let them mirrors be for that reflection 1 Which in this mirror shall be manifest." - Whoso could know how great was the refection \ Mine eyes found in her features sanctified. When drawn away perforce in new direction, Might comprehend, by weighing the one side \ With the other, how delighted I became; To do the bidding of my heavenly Guide.! Within the crystal that doth bear the name ^ The world around of its bright Leader, who \ So ruled that perished every deed of blame, \ I saw a Ladder all of golden hue The Golden Burnished with light, and lifted up so high Mine eyes were unavaihng to pursue; Then saw so many splendors downward fly Along its rungs, all light the stars distill Had, it appeared to me, been shed thereby. Ladder 392 Paradiso Dante humbly asks two questions of the spirit The eyes of Dante could not hear the smile; his muddy vesture of decay is impervious U) the music And as, at bidding of their nature's will, Jackdaws together flock at break of day. Bestirring them to warm their plumage chill; Thereafter there are some who fly away Without returning, others fly off where They started from, and others, wheeling, stay: In such a fashion came together there, Methought, that scintillating company. Soon as it lighted on a certain stair; And one, which nearest us appeared to be. Became so bright, I murmured in my thought: "Well I perceive thy love that signals me." - But she, by whom the How and Where is taught Of speech and silence, pauses, whence aright I do, against desire, inquiring not. Whence she who saw my silence in the sight Of That One to whose seeing all is shown. Bade me, - ^''Appease thy yearning appetite!" - And I began: "No merit of mine own Renders me worthy that thou make reply, But for her sake who bids me ask, made known, O soul in blessedness, enshrouded by The joyance that doth round about thee glow, What places thee so near me; and tell why Within this wheeling sphere keeps silence so The dulcet symphony of Paradise Devoutly sounding through the rest below." - "Thy mortal eye and ear are both amiss," He answered, "here aloft no songs are sung For the same cause that smiles not Beatrice. Down on the sacred ladder rung by rung So far descended I to make thee graced With words, and with the radiance round me flung; Nor was it greater love that made me haste. For equal love, or more, burns up above, As makes the flaming clearly manifest; *S/. Peter Damian 393 But we, as prompted by Exalted Love, To serve the purpose of the world so burn: 'Tis love allots, - ^thou seest the mode thereof." - i "Full well, O holy lamp, do I discern • How love, left free, may in this Court suffice \ For following the Providence eterne; But ever this is baffling to mine eyes: \ Wherefore among thy consorts thou alone Hast been predestinate to this emprise?" - Before I uttered forth the final tone, \ The light an axis of its middle made. Rapidly whirling as in mill the stone.; Thereon the loving spirit in it said: • "Focused on me is radiance divine j Piercing the mesh of that around me shed, '\ Whereof the virtue and my sight combine " To lift me so above myself, I see ■ The Fount Supreme whence doth this luster shine.; Thence comes the rapture all aflame in me, ' J For to my vision as it grows more bright ■ I match a flame of equal clarity. ' But soul in Heaven with most access of light. The mystery of Seraph whose eye is most on God intent. Predestination \ Could to thy question not reply aright, ] For it is gulfed in the arbitrament 1 Unf athomed, of eternal law's control, \ Where all created sight is vainly bent. j Carry this back to every mortal soul .] On thy return, that men no more presume i To lift their feet toward so high a goal. i: The mind that here is flame, on earth is fume; ] Consider then if it below can do That which it cannot do, though Heaven assume." - His language such a limit round me drew, \ From every further question I forbore, > Except to humbly ask him, "Who were you?" -: 394 Paradiso The beautiful site of the monastery of Fonte Avellana on Monte Catria St. Peter Damian The gtormy voice Astounds the Poet himself "Crags rise in Italy 'twixt shore and shore, And from thy fatherland not far away, So high, the thunderstorms below them roar, Making a hump whose name is Catria, And there a hermitage was consecrate Which used to be a place for men to pray/' - With words like these did he inaugurate The third discourse: "On Godly service bent, I grew so used to feed on lenten cate Which had but olive juice for condiment. That here I passed the seasons hot and cold Lightly, in thoughts contemplative content. That cloister once bore fruitage manifold Unto these heavens, but now it yields no more. As must perforce hereafter soon unfold. There Peter Damian was the name I bore; Peter the Sinner was I in the fane Of Our own Lady on the Adrian shore. To me did little mortal Hfe remain. When called to take, against my own accord, That Hat which shifts from bad to worse again. Came Cephas, the great Vessel of the Lord Came lean and barefoot, taking bit and sup From whatsoever hospitable board. Now serving-men are needed to hold up Fat modern pastors, one on either side And one before and one behind to prop. Their furs overflow the palfreys which they ride (How much, O Patience, hast thou yet to bear!) So that two beasts go underneath one hide." - Flames saw I at such cry from stair to stair Descending and whirling round in multitude. At every whirl becoming still more fair. Around this soul they flocking came, and stood. And lifted up such a resounding shout That here there could be no similitude. Nor, thunderstricken, could I make it out. St Benedict 395 ] XXII I St. Benedict; Dante's Natal Constellation Plunged in bewilderment I turned me thence Stricken imth j Round to my Guide, even as a little child hewMermerU, I , the Poet IS! Runs ever where he feels most confidence; reassured by And promptly as a mother's cadence mild Beatrice ^ Is wonted to give courage to her son Pallid and gasping, - so her words beguiled ^ My fear: "Enfolds thee not the benison; Of Heaven where all is holy? and canst thou doubt ^ That zeal for good prompts what in Heaven is done ? \ WhoX perturbation had been brought about Both by the singing and my smiling eye. When thou hast been so startled by the shout? Wherein, if thou hadst understood their cry Which is a prayer, already would be clear [ The vengeance thou shalt see before thou die. | Smites never down in haste the sword from here,; Nor tardily, excepting in his view I Who waits for it in longing or in fear. But look about thee now to something new; j Thou shalt see spirits most illustrious,! Turning thy face round as I bid thee do." - ' Compliant to her wish, I turned me thus, ] And saw a hundred little globes of fire < By interchange of light more beauteous. j Like one who blunts the edge of his desire | Within himself, became I, diffident j Of question, lest I overmuch aspire. i And the most lustrous and preeminent \ Among those i>early lights began to advance, j To make my wish concerning it content. j Within it then I heard: "Could but thy glance Sveaks St. \ Like mine perceive our interflaming Love, *^ " Thy tacit thought would have found utterance; \ Monte Casstno, one of the most venerable mon- uments of the Christian vxyrld Dante s prayer to Benedict The Heavenly Ladder Paradiso But lest thou linger from the goal above I will make answer even to the scope Of the request thou art so chary of. Where lies Cassino on the mountain slope, Up to the very summit dwelt of yore The folk perverse who in delusion grope; And I am he who first up thither bore The name of Him who brought the human race The Truth enabling us so high to soar: Then shone upon me so abounding Grace That from the impious worship which misled The world, I drew each neighbor dwelling place. These other fires were men whose spirits fed On Contemplation, kindled by that heat Whence holy flowers and holy fruits are bred. Here Romuald and here Macarius meet All my good brethren of the cloister who Kept steadfast heart and stayed their truant feet."- And now I spoke: "The love thou givest to view Talking with me, and the benevolence Which I perceive aglow in all of you. Dilate as genially my confidence As the sun doth the rose, till she uncase Her petals and exhale her perfume thence. Wherefore I pray, - ^and tell me if such grace, O Father, may perchance upon me shine, - That I may see thee with uncovered face." - "Brother, up in the final sphere divine," Said he, "shall thy exalted wish be granted. Where all the others are fulfilled, and mine. There is mature and perfect and unscanted Every desire; and in that realm of day Alone all parts eternally are planted; For it is not in space, nor doth it sway On jx)les; and thither doth our ladder go, Whence it is fading from thy sight away. Degenerate Religious Orders 397 The Patriarch Jacob saw it long ago Extend its upper reaches Heavenward yon, When angels up and down seemed thronging so. But now to clamber thither raises none The ''dread His feet from earth, and, though my Rule remain, *^^" '^"*" Waste is the paper it is written on. The abbey walls, that used to be a fane. Are become robber dens, and every cowl A sack that doth corrupted meal contain. But heavy usance levies smaller toll Counter to will Divine, than fruits that curse With such insanity the monkish soul. What Holy Church may have to disemburse Belongs to them who in God's name invoke; Not to one's kindred, nor to others worse. The flesh of mortals is so frail that folk Make good beginnings there, which do not hold Till acorns ripen on the sapling oak. Peter made his beginning without gold Or silver, I with fast and orison. And Francis humbly set about his fold. And scanning the beginning of each one. And then where it has wandered, thou wilt see How white has been converted into dun. But Jordan backward turned, in verity. And ocean at God's will in flight perdue, More wondrous were than rescue here would be." - He spoke, and turned to his companions, who Surrounding him, together closed their throng. Then upward like a whirlwind all withdrew. My gentle Lady urged me then along Ascent to the With a mere waf ture up that mystic stair, f^^^^ ""^ *^' So was her power upon my nature strong; Nor in our rising and descending here By natural law, has ever been a flight So swift as with my pinion to compare. 398 Paradiso S-pLendid invo- cation to his natal consteUor tion, - The Eternal Twins In the year 1265 the Sun was in Gemini from 18th May to 17th June. The exact day of Dante's birth is not recorded Speaks Beatrice Survey of the Solar System Reader, as I to that devout delight Hope to return, for whose sake I deplore Ofttimes my sins, and on my bosom smite, Thou wouldst have pluckt thy finger nevermore Out of the fire, ere I beheld the Sign After the Bull, and was within its core! O glorious stars, whose influences shine Pregnant with poWer, to whom is honor due For whatsoever genius may be mine. With you was dawning, darkening with you He who is Sire of all mortality. When my first breath of Tuscan air I drew; And then, when gift of Grace had made me free Of the high wheeling sphere wherein ye roll, Your very region was assigned to me. To you devoutly now suspires my soul. Virtue soliciting and consecration For the hard passage to the final goal. "Thou art so near the Ultimate Salvation," So Beatrice began, "that it is meet To have eyes keen and purified from passion. Hence, before deeplier immerst in it. Look down below and see what world expanse I have already put beneath thy feet; So that thy heart with utmost jubilance Confront the Triumph of the multitude Who through this ether-sphere blithely advance ."- Then one and all the Seven Spheres I viewed With backward gaze, and saw this globe of dust Such that I smiled at its poor likelihood; And to his counsel I most largely trust Who holds it cheapest; and who turns him thence To other thoughts may well be reckoned just. Latona's daughter kindled on my sense Without that shadow making her appear Such that I held her once both rare and dense. The Seven Planets 399 Hyperion, I could endure up here The radiance of thy son, and markt how move Maia and Dione round about him near. Thence I perceived the tempering of Jove Father and son between, and thence the mode Of all their variations as they rove. Thence to me all the seven planets showed How vast they are, how swift they are, and how Far. far apart they are in their abode. With the Eternal Twins revolving now, I saw our madding little threshing floor "Vaiuola che d Spread out from river mouth to mountain brow: ^^ tantoferon" Then turned I to the beauteous eyes once more. 400 Paradiso Beatrice expectant The Harvest of Christ XXIII Vision of the Host of the Redeemed As birdling the beloved leaves among Having reposed with her sweet nestling brood While night has over all her mantle flung, Who, that she may adventure for their food. Delighting in hard toil, and that she may See the loved pledges of her motherhood. Anticipates the hour on open spray, And fired with eagerness awaits the light. Vigilant ever until break of day: So was my Lady standing at full height Alert and watchful, lifting up her face Thither where most the sun retards his flight; Whence I, observant of her eagerness. Became like one who wistfully doth pant For his desire, and so takes heart of grace. But now the interval of time was scant, - I mean of my susp)ense until aware That more and more the heaven grew radiant. And Beatrice said: "Behold the army fair Of Christ Triumphant, - ^all the harvest raised By whirUng influence of every sphere." - It seemed to me that all her features blazed And such a flood of rapture filled her eye That I must pass it by perforce unphrased. As at still midnight when the moon is high Trivia smiles among the nymphs eterne Who brighten every quarter of the sky. Above a thousand lusters saw I burn One Sun, enkindling round it all and some. As does our sun the other Ughts supern. And that illuminating Masterdom Shot down a living splendor so intense Into mine eyes that they were overcome. ^^Hymning the holy smile^ 401 Oh, Beatrice, dear gentle influence! Now said she to me: "Thou art here controlled By force wherefrom there can be no defense. Herein the Wisdom, here the Power behold. That frayed from Heaven to Earth a thoroughfare For which the yearning was so long of old/' - As fire, expanding beyond boimd, doth tear The cloud asunder, and swiftly earthward fall Against its proper nature, through the air. So found my spirit in that festival Enlargement, and the bound of self forsook. Nor what it then became can now recall. "Open thine eyes," resumed she then, "and look Upon my very nature; thou hast seen Things that enable thee my smile to brook.'* - I was Uke one who feels the spell again Of a forgotten vision, and doth try To bring it back to memory, in vain. When I received this proffer, worth so high Tribute of thanks as could not be effaced Out of the chronicle of time gone by. Not all the tongues by Polyhymnia graced, That both from her and from her sisters drew Their lyric milk most honied to the taste, Could tell a thousandth part of what is true. Hymning the holy smile of Beatrice And on her holy face what light it threw. Whence, in depicting Paradise, at this The sacred Poem leaps perforce the theme. Like one whose way is cut by an abyss. But whoso notes its weight will never deem Me blamable if mortal shoulder bear But tremblingly a burden so supreme. For little bark can be no passage where The wave is cleft by my adventurous prow, Nor yet for pilot who would labor spare. Dante s eyes given virtue to see the smile of Beatrice Cf. beginning of Canto ii 402 Paradiso The Sun of Heaven shows just so much light as the mortal eye can bear The Virgin Mary Mother The splendor and music of Gabriel "Why so enamored of my face art thou, And tm*nest not to the fair garden-close Blooming beneath the rays of Christus now? The Word Divine became in yonder Rose Incarnate; yonder are the lilies white Whose fragrance did the way of life disclose." - So Beatrice: and I, submitting quite To what she urged, again free scope allowed To the contention of my feeble sight. Just as mine eyes, themselves beneath a shroud Of shadow, have beheld a flowery lea Laughing in light that streamed through rifted cloud. So many a splendid throng now seemed to be Lit from above by burning radiance, though No fountain of those flashings could I see. O Power benignant who dost mark them so, Thou hadst withdrawn thee upward to give way Before mine eyesight baffled by the glow! The mention of the Rose whereto I pray Morning and evening, utterly subdued My soul to contemplate her greater ray. When with her quality and magnitude As she transcended here up there transcending. That living star had both mine eyes imbued. Behold athwart the heaven a torch descending, Formed like a coronet, wherewith it crowned her. About her in a fiery circle bending. Whatever melody is sweet hereunder Most wooingly to wake the heart's desire. Would seem a cloud-bank rended by the thunder Compared to the resoimding of that lyre Engarlanding the Sapphire beauteous Whose holy azure tints the Heaven of Fire. "I am the Love angelic circling thus The lofty rapture of the womb, that blest Hostel of Him who was desired of us; The Assumption of Mary 403 And I shall circle until thou foUowest Thy son, O Lady of Heaven, diviner making The Sphere supreme because thou enterest." - So now the circling melody was taking The seal, and all the other lights in fine With name of Mary into song were breaking. That regal mantle which doth all entwine The rolling worlds, and hath its appetite Most quickened in the breath and deeds divine. Held far remote from us and at such height Above my standing place its inner shore. That vision of it dawned not on my sight. Therefore mine eyes did not have power to soar After the flame incoronate, who rose Up to her Son where He had risen before. As little child toward the mother throws Its arms up, soon as it with milk is fed. And grateful love in such a transport shows. When each and all of those fair splendors shed Their hght upstretching, so an infinite Love toward Mary in the act I read. Before me still remained those splendors white. And "Queen of Heaven" they all so sweetly chanted That present with me yet is the delight. Oh, how great plenty is laid up unscanted In those abounding coffers that of old Were husbandmen upon the ground they planted! There live they, glad in treasure manifold Which in captivity at Babylon They gathered up with tears, forsaking gold. There triumphs, under the exalted Son Of God and Mary, now victorious And with the council old and new, that one Who holds the keys of gate so glorious. Probably the ninth sphere, "that first moved" (Pri- mum mobile) They had re- ceived "the Kingdom of God as a lUtlg child" St. Peter 404 Paradiso Beatrice praya for Dante Cf. the com- parison at end of Canto X The fairest carol sweeps around Beatrice XXIV St. Peter Examines Dante Concerning Faith "O chosen fellowship of the Lamb Blest At the great supper where He feeds you so That your desire is ever set at rest, Since Grace Divine doth on this man bestow Foretaste of viands from your feast above. Or ever death cut short his time below. Give heed to his immeasurable love. Bedew him somewhat: ye are quaffing bowls Brimmed from the fount that he is dreaming of ."- So Beatrice besought; and those blithe souls Flasht out like comets streaming in the sky, Whirling in circles round determined poles. And even as wheels in clock escap>ement ply In such a fashion geared that motionless Appears the first one, and the last to fly. Likewise those wheeling carols let me guess. By variable measure of the dance Or swift or slow, their wealth of blessedness. The carol that seemed fairest to my glance Was flaming forth such plenitude of bliss That none was left of greater radiance. And swept three times encircling Beatrice Accompanied with singing so divine That fantasy in me falls short of this: I write it not, my pen must skip the fine. For hues of fancy would too coarsely glare. Let alone words, on drapery so fine. "O holy sister, thy compelling prayer Devout, and with so fervent feeling made, Detaches me from yonder circle fair." - After the blessed fire its motion stayed. Did it directly to my Lady turn Breathing forth what I have already said. Examination on Faith 405 And she replied to it: "O light eterne Of the great peer to whom our Master gave Keys he brought down of this delight supem, Invite this man, on questions light or grave As pleases thee, about the Faith to tell Wherethrough thou once didst walk upon the wave. If loves he, hopes he, and believes he well, Is hidden not from thee who hast thine eye Where all things seen as in a picture dwell. But it becomes him thus to testify For the true Faith, that it be glorified, Seeing this Realm is citizened thereby." - As arms the bachelor, whose tongue is tied Until the Master doth the question stir. To sanction it with proof, not to decide. Even so did I, hearing these words from her, Equip me all with answer in advance In such a shrift to such examiner. "Speak up, good Christian, give it utterance, What thing is Faith?" - Whereat I raised my brow Whither was breathing forth that radiance. And then turned roimd to Beatrice, who now Wafted prompt signals to me that I lift The inward sluice gate and my creed avow. "May Grace, which is vouchsafing to me shrift In presence of the chief Centurion," Began I, "mold the expression of my drift. Father, as wrote the truthful pen thereon Of thy dear brother who set the feet of Rome In the right path with thee. Faith's benison Is substance of the things we hope will come. And of invisible things the evidence: Its essence such appears to me in sum." - Then heard I: "Rightly dost thou catch the sense. If comprehending why he classed it now With substances and now with arguments." - The light of St. Peter Picture of an examination such as the Poet had under- gone at the University Definition of Faith drawn from St. Paid 406 Paradiso Faith is the substance, - that which stands under and supports Hope Faith based on Scripture Divine because attested by miracle ^^ This is arguing in a circle,^ objects the examiner And I thereon: "The deep things which allow That ghmpses of themselves should here be shown Are so concealed from mortal eye below As to exist there in belief alone. Whereon our hope sits, founded high aloof. Whence Faith is by the name of substance known; From which belief is laid on us behoof To argue without seeing more than it, Wherefore it takes the notion on of proof." - Then heard I: "If whatever men admit For doctrine were so understood on earth, No room would there remain for sophist wit." - This was from that enkindled Love breathed forth, Subjoining then: "Right well dost thou rehearse The carats of this coinage and the worth: But tell me if thou hast it in thy purse?" - And I: "That have I, both so bright and round That of its stamp to me no doubt occurs." - Thereafter issued from the light profound Glowing above, this utterance thereto: "This precious gem, wherein all worth we found. Came to thee whence?" - And I: "The ample dew Of the Celestial Spirit, which is shed Over the Ancient Parchments and the New, Is argument that hath within me bred Belief so strong that, set against its force. All demonstration seems to me but dead." - I heard thereon: "The old and the new course Of argument with such conclusion fraught. Why dost thou hold it for divine discourse?" - And I: "The very proof is to be sought In th* after-works, whereto might never be Hot iron yet on Nature's anvil wrought." - "Who vouches, pray," it was replied to me, "That 'these works were performed? - ^Thou wouldst attest The very text aflSrming it to thee." - ^ Grounds of Dante s Faith 407 *^Though without miracles the world confest Christianity, this were a hundredfold More wonderful," I answered, "than the rest; For poor and hungry once into the wold Didst thou go forth to sow there the good plant, A bramble now, which was a vine of old." - The high and holy Court, then celebrant. Made a "Praise God" throughout those circles ring In such a melody as there they chant. And that great Lord who, thus examining. Had so far drawn me now from spray to spray That near the topmost frondage poised our wing. Resumed: "The Grace whose dalliance doth so play Upon thy soul, thus far to conference Hath opened thy lips duly; and I pay My commendation to what issued thence; But now to tell thine own belief is meet, And why it captured thine intelligence." - "O holy Father, soul with so complete Discernment of thy faith, thou didst outfare, Anigh the Sepulcher, more youthful feet," - Began I, - ^"thou wouldst have me here declare The very essence of my prompt believing. And also have the grounds of it laid bare. And I reply: by faith am I receiving One God, sole and eterne, the Heavens all . Who moves (Himself unmoved) by love and craving. And for such faith have I proofs physical And metaphysical, nor am denied The verity that showers from here withal Through Moses, Psalms, and prophecies, beside The Evangel, and what you Apostles writ When by the fiery Spirit sanctified. In three Eternal Persons, and to wit One Essence I believe, so One and Trine That are and is the syntax must admit. The conversion of the world through the agency of a few humble men would have been more won- derful than a miracle Dante's own belief and its grounds 408 Paradiso This, the mysterious state of the Divine, Doth many a time the Gospel teaching leaven, Which stamps upon my mind its seal and sign. This is the focus whence the spark is driven Which then doth into Kving flame dilate And shine within me Hke a star in Heaven." - Even as a lord who hears good tidings, straight The story ended, presses to his breast The servant whom he would congratulate, The light of St. So, by his singing rendering me blest, ^Wdes^Dante as Three times encircled me, when ceased my voice. it had first en- That apostoUc Light at whose behest cirded Beatrice j spoke: SO did he in my words rejoice. "