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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 107 pages of information about Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Purgatory.

“Beloved father! so thou deign,” said I,
“To listen, I will tell thee what appear’d
Before me, when so fail’d my sinking steps.”

He thus:  “Not if thy Countenance were mask’d
With hundred vizards, could a thought of thine
How small soe’er, elude me.  What thou saw’st
Was shown, that freely thou mightst ope thy heart
To the waters of peace, that flow diffus’d
From their eternal fountain.  I not ask’d,
What ails theeor such cause as he doth, who
Looks only with that eye which sees no more,
When spiritless the body lies; but ask’d,
To give fresh vigour to thy foot.  Such goads
The slow and loit’ring need; that they be found
Not wanting, when their hour of watch returns.”

So on we journey’d through the evening sky
Gazing intent, far onward, as our eyes
With level view could stretch against the bright
Vespertine ray:  and lo! by slow degrees
Gath’ring, a fog made tow’rds us, dark as night. 
There was no room for ’scaping; and that mist
Bereft us, both of sight and the pure air.

CANTO XVI

Hell’s dunnest gloom, or night unlustrous, dark,
Of every planes ’reft, and pall’d in clouds,
Did never spread before the sight a veil
In thickness like that fog, nor to the sense
So palpable and gross.  Ent’ring its shade,
Mine eye endured not with unclosed lids;
Which marking, near me drew the faithful guide,
Offering me his shoulder for a stay.

As the blind man behind his leader walks,
Lest he should err, or stumble unawares
On what might harm him, or perhaps destroy,
I journey’d through that bitter air and foul,
Still list’ning to my escort’s warning voice,
“Look that from me thou part not.”  Straight I heard
Voices, and each one seem’d to pray for peace,
And for compassion, to the Lamb of God
That taketh sins away.  Their prelude still
Was “Agnus Dei,” and through all the choir,
One voice, one measure ran, that perfect seem’d
The concord of their song.  “Are these I hear
Spirits, O master?” I exclaim’d; and he: 
“Thou aim’st aright:  these loose the bonds of wrath.”

“Now who art thou, that through our smoke dost cleave? 
And speak’st of us, as thou thyself e’en yet
Dividest time by calends?” So one voice
Bespake me; whence my master said:  “Reply;
And ask, if upward hence the passage lead.”

“O being! who dost make thee pure, to stand
Beautiful once more in thy Maker’s sight! 
Along with me:  and thou shalt hear and wonder.” 
Thus I, whereto the spirit answering spake: 

“Long as ’t is lawful for me, shall my steps
Follow on thine; and since the cloudy smoke
Forbids the seeing, hearing in its stead
Shall keep us join’d.”  I then forthwith began
“Yet in my mortal swathing, I ascend
To higher regions, and am hither come
Through the fearful agony of hell. 
And, if so largely God hath doled his grace,
That, clean beside all modern precedent,
He wills me to behold his kingly state,
From me conceal not who thou wast, ere death
Had loos’d thee; but instruct me:  and instruct
If rightly to the pass I tend; thy words
The way directing as a safe escort.”

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