Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Purgatory eBook

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

Now we had left the angel, who had turn’d
To the sixth circle our ascending step,
One gash from off my forehead raz’d:  while they,
Whose wishes tend to justice, shouted forth: 
“Blessed!” and ended with, “I thirst:”  and I,
More nimble than along the other straits,
So journey’d, that, without the sense of toil,
I follow’d upward the swift-footed shades;
When Virgil thus began:  “Let its pure flame
From virtue flow, and love can never fail
To warm another’s bosom’ so the light
Shine manifestly forth.  Hence from that hour,
When ’mongst us in the purlieus of the deep,
Came down the spirit of Aquinum’s hard,
Who told of thine affection, my good will
Hath been for thee of quality as strong
As ever link’d itself to one not seen. 
Therefore these stairs will now seem short to me. 
But tell me:  and if too secure I loose
The rein with a friend’s license, as a friend
Forgive me, and speak now as with a friend: 
How chanc’d it covetous desire could find
Place in that bosom, ’midst such ample store
Of wisdom, as thy zeal had treasur’d there?”

First somewhat mov’d to laughter by his words,
Statius replied:  “Each syllable of thine
Is a dear pledge of love.  Things oft appear
That minister false matters to our doubts,
When their true causes are remov’d from sight. 
Thy question doth assure me, thou believ’st
I was on earth a covetous man, perhaps
Because thou found’st me in that circle plac’d. 
Know then I was too wide of avarice: 
And e’en for that excess, thousands of moons
Have wax’d and wan’d upon my sufferings. 
And were it not that I with heedful care
Noted where thou exclaim’st as if in ire
With human nature, ’Why, thou cursed thirst
Of gold! dost not with juster measure guide
The appetite of mortals?’ I had met
The fierce encounter of the voluble rock. 
Then was I ware that with too ample wing
The hands may haste to lavishment, and turn’d,
As from my other evil, so from this
In penitence.  How many from their grave
Shall with shorn locks arise, who living, aye
And at life’s last extreme, of this offence,
Through ignorance, did not repent.  And know,
The fault which lies direct from any sin
In level opposition, here With that
Wastes its green rankness on one common heap. 
Therefore if I have been with those, who wail
Their avarice, to cleanse me, through reverse
Of their transgression, such hath been my lot.”

To whom the sovran of the pastoral song: 
“While thou didst sing that cruel warfare wag’d
By the twin sorrow of Jocasta’s womb,
From thy discourse with Clio there, it seems
As faith had not been shine:  without the which
Good deeds suffice not.  And if so, what sun
Rose on thee, or what candle pierc’d the dark
That thou didst after see to hoist the sail,
And follow, where the fisherman had led?”

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