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.

“Great was his prowess, when the giants brought
Fear on the gods:  those arms, which then he piled,
Now moves he never.”  Forthwith I return’d: 
“Fain would I, if ’t were possible, mine eyes
Of Briareus immeasurable gain’d
Experience next.”  He answer’d:  “Thou shalt see
Not far from hence Antaeus, who both speaks
And is unfetter’d, who shall place us there
Where guilt is at its depth.  Far onward stands
Whom thou wouldst fain behold, in chains, and made
Like to this spirit, save that in his looks
More fell he seems.”  By violent earthquake rock’d
Ne’er shook a tow’r, so reeling to its base,
As Ephialtes.  More than ever then
I dreaded death, nor than the terror more
Had needed, if I had not seen the cords
That held him fast.  We, straightway journeying on,
Came to Antaeus, who five ells complete
Without the head, forth issued from the cave.

“O thou, who in the fortunate vale, that made
Great Scipio heir of glory, when his sword
Drove back the troop of Hannibal in flight,
Who thence of old didst carry for thy spoil
An hundred lions; and if thou hadst fought
In the high conflict on thy brethren’s side,
Seems as men yet believ’d, that through thine arm
The sons of earth had conquer’d, now vouchsafe
To place us down beneath, where numbing cold
Locks up Cocytus.  Force not that we crave
Or Tityus’ help or Typhon’s.  Here is one
Can give what in this realm ye covet.  Stoop
Therefore, nor scornfully distort thy lip. 
He in the upper world can yet bestow
Renown on thee, for he doth live, and looks
For life yet longer, if before the time
Grace call him not unto herself.”  Thus spake
The teacher.  He in haste forth stretch’d his hands,
And caught my guide.  Alcides whilom felt
That grapple straighten’d score.  Soon as my guide
Had felt it, he bespake me thus:  “This way
That I may clasp thee;” then so caught me up,
That we were both one burden.  As appears
The tower of Carisenda, from beneath
Where it doth lean, if chance a passing cloud
So sail across, that opposite it hangs,
Such then Antaeus seem’d, as at mine ease
I mark’d him stooping.  I were fain at times
T’ have pass’d another way.  Yet in th’ abyss,
That Lucifer with Judas low ingulfs,
Lightly he plac’d us; nor there leaning stay’d,
But rose as in a bark the stately mast.

CANTO XXXII

Could I command rough rhimes and hoarse, to suit
That hole of sorrow, o’er which ev’ry rock
His firm abutment rears, then might the vein
Of fancy rise full springing:  but not mine
Such measures, and with falt’ring awe I touch
The mighty theme; for to describe the depth
Of all the universe, is no emprize
To jest with, and demands a tongue not us’d
To infant babbling.  But let them assist

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