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.

CANTO XXIX

So were mine eyes inebriate with view
Of the vast multitude, whom various wounds
Disfigur’d, that they long’d to stay and weep.

But Virgil rous’d me:  “What yet gazest on? 
Wherefore doth fasten yet thy sight below
Among the maim’d and miserable shades? 
Thou hast not shewn in any chasm beside
This weakness.  Know, if thou wouldst number them
That two and twenty miles the valley winds
Its circuit, and already is the moon
Beneath our feet:  the time permitted now
Is short, and more not seen remains to see.”

“If thou,” I straight replied, “hadst weigh’d the cause
For which I look’d, thou hadst perchance excus’d
The tarrying still.”  My leader part pursu’d
His way, the while I follow’d, answering him,
And adding thus:  “Within that cave I deem,
Whereon so fixedly I held my ken,
There is a spirit dwells, one of my blood,
Wailing the crime that costs him now so dear.”

Then spake my master:  “Let thy soul no more
Afflict itself for him.  Direct elsewhere
Its thought, and leave him.  At the bridge’s foot
I mark’d how he did point with menacing look
At thee, and heard him by the others nam’d
Geri of Bello.  Thou so wholly then
Wert busied with his spirit, who once rul’d
The towers of Hautefort, that thou lookedst not
That way, ere he was gone.”—­“O guide belov’d! 
His violent death yet unaveng’d,” said I,
“By any, who are partners in his shame,
Made him contemptuous:  therefore, as I think,
He pass’d me speechless by; and doing so
Hath made me more compassionate his fate.”

So we discours’d to where the rock first show’d
The other valley, had more light been there,
E’en to the lowest depth.  Soon as we came
O’er the last cloister in the dismal rounds
Of Malebolge, and the brotherhood
Were to our view expos’d, then many a dart
Of sore lament assail’d me, headed all
With points of thrilling pity, that I clos’d
Both ears against the volley with mine hands.

As were the torment, if each lazar-house
Of Valdichiana, in the sultry time
’Twixt July and September, with the isle
Sardinia and Maremma’s pestilent fen,
Had heap’d their maladies all in one foss
Together; such was here the torment:  dire
The stench, as issuing steams from fester’d limbs.

We on the utmost shore of the long rock
Descended still to leftward.  Then my sight
Was livelier to explore the depth, wherein
The minister of the most mighty Lord,
All-searching Justice, dooms to punishment
The forgers noted on her dread record.

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