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.

And thus the dropsied:  “Ay, now speak’st thou true. 
But there thou gav’st not such true testimony,
When thou wast question’d of the truth, at Troy.”

“If I spake false, thou falsely stamp’dst the coin,”
Said Sinon; “I am here but for one fault,
And thou for more than any imp beside.”

“Remember,” he replied, “O perjur’d one,
The horse remember, that did teem with death,
And all the world be witness to thy guilt.”

“To thine,” return’d the Greek, “witness the thirst
Whence thy tongue cracks, witness the fluid mound,
Rear’d by thy belly up before thine eyes,
A mass corrupt.”  To whom the coiner thus: 
“Thy mouth gapes wide as ever to let pass
Its evil saying.  Me if thirst assails,
Yet I am stuff’d with moisture.  Thou art parch’d,
Pains rack thy head, no urging would’st thou need
To make thee lap Narcissus’ mirror up.”

I was all fix’d to listen, when my guide
Admonish’d:  “Now beware:  a little more. 
And I do quarrel with thee.”  I perceiv’d
How angrily he spake, and towards him turn’d
With shame so poignant, as remember’d yet
Confounds me.  As a man that dreams of harm
Befall’n him, dreaming wishes it a dream,
And that which is, desires as if it were not,
Such then was I, who wanting power to speak
Wish’d to excuse myself, and all the while
Excus’d me, though unweeting that I did.

“More grievous fault than thine has been, less shame,”
My master cried, “might expiate.  Therefore cast
All sorrow from thy soul; and if again
Chance bring thee, where like conference is held,
Think I am ever at thy side.  To hear
Such wrangling is a joy for vulgar minds.”


The very tongue, whose keen reproof before
Had wounded me, that either cheek was stain’d,
Now minister’d my cure.  So have I heard,
Achilles and his father’s javelin caus’d
Pain first, and then the boon of health restor’d.

Turning our back upon the vale of woe,
W cross’d th’ encircled mound in silence.  There
Was twilight dim, that far long the gloom
Mine eye advanc’d not:  but I heard a horn
Sounded aloud.  The peal it blew had made
The thunder feeble.  Following its course
The adverse way, my strained eyes were bent
On that one spot.  So terrible a blast
Orlando blew not, when that dismal rout
O’erthrew the host of Charlemagne, and quench’d
His saintly warfare.  Thitherward not long
My head was rais’d, when many lofty towers
Methought I spied.  “Master,” said I, “what land
Is this?” He answer’d straight:  “Too long a space
Of intervening darkness has thine eye
To traverse:  thou hast therefore widely err’d
In thy imagining.  Thither arriv’d
Thou well shalt see, how distance can delude
The sense.  A little therefore urge thee on.”

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