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.

We to one side retir’d, into a place
Open and bright and lofty, whence each one
Stood manifest to view.  Incontinent
There on the green enamel of the plain
Were shown me the great spirits, by whose sight
I am exalted in my own esteem.

Electra there I saw accompanied
By many, among whom Hector I knew,
Anchises’ pious son, and with hawk’s eye
Caesar all arm’d, and by Camilla there
Penthesilea.  On the other side
Old King Latinus, seated by his child
Lavinia, and that Brutus I beheld,
Who Tarquin chas’d, Lucretia, Cato’s wife
Marcia, with Julia and Cornelia there;
And sole apart retir’d, the Soldan fierce.

Then when a little more I rais’d my brow,
I spied the master of the sapient throng,
Seated amid the philosophic train. 
Him all admire, all pay him rev’rence due. 
There Socrates and Plato both I mark’d,
Nearest to him in rank; Democritus,
Who sets the world at chance, Diogenes,
With Heraclitus, and Empedocles,
And Anaxagoras, and Thales sage,
Zeno, and Dioscorides well read
In nature’s secret lore.  Orpheus I mark’d
And Linus, Tully and moral Seneca,
Euclid and Ptolemy, Hippocrates,
Galenus, Avicen, and him who made
That commentary vast, Averroes.

Of all to speak at full were vain attempt;
For my wide theme so urges, that ofttimes
My words fall short of what bechanc’d.  In two
The six associates part.  Another way
My sage guide leads me, from that air serene,
Into a climate ever vex’d with storms: 
And to a part I come where no light shines.

CANTO V

From the first circle I descended thus
Down to the second, which, a lesser space
Embracing, so much more of grief contains
Provoking bitter moans.  There, Minos stands
Grinning with ghastly feature:  he, of all
Who enter, strict examining the crimes,

Gives sentence, and dismisses them beneath,
According as he foldeth him around: 
For when before him comes th’ ill fated soul,
It all confesses; and that judge severe
Of sins, considering what place in hell
Suits the transgression, with his tail so oft
Himself encircles, as degrees beneath
He dooms it to descend.  Before him stand
Always a num’rous throng; and in his turn
Each one to judgment passing, speaks, and hears
His fate, thence downward to his dwelling hurl’d.

“O thou! who to this residence of woe
Approachest?” when he saw me coming, cried
Minos, relinquishing his dread employ,
“Look how thou enter here; beware in whom
Thou place thy trust; let not the entrance broad
Deceive thee to thy harm.”  To him my guide: 
“Wherefore exclaimest?  Hinder not his way
By destiny appointed; so ’tis will’d
Where will and power are one.  Ask thou no more.”

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