Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Hell eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 144 pages of information about Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Hell.

“By Arno’s pleasant stream,” I thus replied, “In the great city I was bred and grew, And wear the body I have ever worn. but who are ye, from whom such mighty grief, As now I witness, courseth down your cheeks?  What torment breaks forth in this bitter woe?” “Our bonnets gleaming bright with orange hue,” One of them answer’d, “are so leaden gross, That with their weight they make the balances To crack beneath them.  Joyous friars we were, Bologna’s natives, Catalano I, He Loderingo nam’d, and by thy land Together taken, as men used to take A single and indifferent arbiter,
To reconcile their strifes.  How there we sped,
Gardingo’s vicinage can best declare.”

“O friars!” I began, “your miseries—­”
But there brake off, for one had caught my eye,
Fix’d to a cross with three stakes on the ground: 
He, when he saw me, writh’d himself, throughout
Distorted, ruffling with deep sighs his beard. 
And Catalano, who thereof was ’ware,

Thus spake:  “That pierced spirit, whom intent
Thou view’st, was he who gave the Pharisees
Counsel, that it were fitting for one man
To suffer for the people.  He doth lie
Transverse; nor any passes, but him first
Behoves make feeling trial how each weighs. 
In straits like this along the foss are plac’d
The father of his consort, and the rest
Partakers in that council, seed of ill
And sorrow to the Jews.”  I noted then,
How Virgil gaz’d with wonder upon him,
Thus abjectly extended on the cross
In banishment eternal.  To the friar
He next his words address’d:  “We pray ye tell,
If so be lawful, whether on our right
Lies any opening in the rock, whereby
We both may issue hence, without constraint
On the dark angels, that compell’d they come
To lead us from this depth.”  He thus replied: 
“Nearer than thou dost hope, there is a rock
From the next circle moving, which o’ersteps
Each vale of horror, save that here his cope
Is shatter’d.  By the ruin ye may mount: 
For on the side it slants, and most the height
Rises below.”  With head bent down awhile
My leader stood, then spake:  “He warn’d us ill,
Who yonder hangs the sinners on his hook.”

To whom the friar:  At Bologna erst
“I many vices of the devil heard,
Among the rest was said, ’He is a liar,
And the father of lies!’” When he had spoke,
My leader with large strides proceeded on,
Somewhat disturb’d with anger in his look.

I therefore left the spirits heavy laden,
And following, his beloved footsteps mark’d.


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