Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Hell eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 106 pages of information about Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Hell.

“More than a thousand with me here are laid
Within is Frederick, second of that name,
And the Lord Cardinal, and of the rest
I speak not.”  He, this said, from sight withdrew. 
But I my steps towards the ancient bard
Reverting, ruminated on the words
Betokening me such ill.  Onward he mov’d,
And thus in going question’d:  “Whence the’ amaze
That holds thy senses wrapt?” I satisfied
The’ inquiry, and the sage enjoin’d me straight: 
“Let thy safe memory store what thou hast heard
To thee importing harm; and note thou this,”
With his rais’d finger bidding me take heed,

“When thou shalt stand before her gracious beam,
Whose bright eye all surveys, she of thy life
The future tenour will to thee unfold.”

Forthwith he to the left hand turn’d his feet: 
We left the wall, and tow’rds the middle space
Went by a path, that to a valley strikes;
Which e’en thus high exhal’d its noisome steam.

CANTO XI

Upon the utmost verge of a high bank,
By craggy rocks environ’d round, we came,
Where woes beneath more cruel yet were stow’d: 
And here to shun the horrible excess
Of fetid exhalation, upward cast
From the profound abyss, behind the lid
Of a great monument we stood retir’d,

Whereon this scroll I mark’d:  “I have in charge
Pope Anastasius, whom Photinus drew
From the right path.—­Ere our descent behooves
We make delay, that somewhat first the sense,
To the dire breath accustom’d, afterward
Regard it not.”  My master thus; to whom
Answering I spake:  “Some compensation find
That the time past not wholly lost.”  He then: 
“Lo! how my thoughts e’en to thy wishes tend! 
My son! within these rocks,” he thus began,
“Are three close circles in gradation plac’d,
As these which now thou leav’st.  Each one is full
Of spirits accurs’d; but that the sight alone
Hereafter may suffice thee, listen how
And for what cause in durance they abide.

“Of all malicious act abhorr’d in heaven,
The end is injury; and all such end
Either by force or fraud works other’s woe
But fraud, because of man peculiar evil,
To God is more displeasing; and beneath
The fraudulent are therefore doom’d to’ endure
Severer pang.  The violent occupy
All the first circle; and because to force
Three persons are obnoxious, in three rounds
Hach within other sep’rate is it fram’d. 
To God, his neighbour, and himself, by man
Force may be offer’d; to himself I say
And his possessions, as thou soon shalt hear
At full.  Death, violent death, and painful wounds
Upon his neighbour he inflicts; and wastes
By devastation, pillage, and the flames,
His substance.  Slayers, and each one that smites
In malice, plund’rers, and all robbers, hence
The torment undergo of the first round

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Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Hell from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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