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.

As when, to harbinger the dawn, springs up
On freshen’d wing the air of May, and breathes
Of fragrance, all impregn’d with herb and flowers,
E’en such a wind I felt upon my front
Blow gently, and the moving of a wing
Perceiv’d, that moving shed ambrosial smell;
And then a voice:  “Blessed are they, whom grace
Doth so illume, that appetite in them
Exhaleth no inordinate desire,
Still hung’ring as the rule of temperance wills.”

CANTO XXV

It was an hour, when he who climbs, had need
To walk uncrippled:  for the sun had now
To Taurus the meridian circle left,
And to the Scorpion left the night.  As one
That makes no pause, but presses on his road,
Whate’er betide him, if some urgent need
Impel:  so enter’d we upon our way,
One before other; for, but singly, none
That steep and narrow scale admits to climb.

E’en as the young stork lifteth up his wing
Through wish to fly, yet ventures not to quit
The nest, and drops it; so in me desire
Of questioning my guide arose, and fell,
Arriving even to the act, that marks
A man prepar’d for speech.  Him all our haste
Restrain’d not, but thus spake the sire belov’d: 
Fear not to speed the shaft, that on thy lip
Stands trembling for its flight.  Encourag’d thus
I straight began:  “How there can leanness come,
Where is no want of nourishment to feed?”

“If thou,” he answer’d, “hadst remember’d thee,
How Meleager with the wasting brand
Wasted alike, by equal fires consum’d,
This would not trouble thee:  and hadst thou thought,
How in the mirror your reflected form
With mimic motion vibrates, what now seems
Hard, had appear’d no harder than the pulp
Of summer fruit mature.  But that thy will
In certainty may find its full repose,
Lo Statius here! on him I call, and pray
That he would now be healer of thy wound.”

“If in thy presence I unfold to him
The secrets of heaven’s vengeance, let me plead
Thine own injunction, to exculpate me.” 
So Statius answer’d, and forthwith began: 
“Attend my words, O son, and in thy mind
Receive them:  so shall they be light to clear
The doubt thou offer’st.  Blood, concocted well,
Which by the thirsty veins is ne’er imbib’d,
And rests as food superfluous, to be ta’en
From the replenish’d table, in the heart
Derives effectual virtue, that informs
The several human limbs, as being that,
Which passes through the veins itself to make them. 
Yet more concocted it descends, where shame
Forbids to mention:  and from thence distils
In natural vessel on another’s blood. 
Then each unite together, one dispos’d
T’ endure, to act the other, through meet frame
Of its recipient mould:  that being reach’d,
It ’gins to work, coagulating first;
Then vivifies what its own substance caus’d

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