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.
A lady young and beautiful, I dream’d,
Was passing o’er a lea; and, as she came,
Methought I saw her ever and anon
Bending to cull the flowers; and thus she sang: 
“Know ye, whoever of my name would ask,
That I am Leah:  for my brow to weave
A garland, these fair hands unwearied ply. 
To please me at the crystal mirror, here
I deck me.  But my sister Rachel, she
Before her glass abides the livelong day,
Her radiant eyes beholding, charm’d no less,
Than I with this delightful task.  Her joy
In contemplation, as in labour mine.”

And now as glimm’ring dawn appear’d, that breaks
More welcome to the pilgrim still, as he
Sojourns less distant on his homeward way,
Darkness from all sides fled, and with it fled
My slumber; whence I rose and saw my guide
Already risen.  “That delicious fruit,
Which through so many a branch the zealous care
Of mortals roams in quest of, shall this day
Appease thy hunger.”  Such the words I heard
From Virgil’s lip; and never greeting heard
So pleasant as the sounds.  Within me straight
Desire so grew upon desire to mount,
Thenceforward at each step I felt the wings
Increasing for my flight.  When we had run
O’er all the ladder to its topmost round,
As there we stood, on me the Mantuan fix’d
His eyes, and thus he spake:  “Both fires, my son,
The temporal and eternal, thou hast seen,
And art arriv’d, where of itself my ken
No further reaches.  I with skill and art
Thus far have drawn thee.  Now thy pleasure take
For guide.  Thou hast o’ercome the steeper way,
O’ercome the straighter.  Lo! the sun, that darts
His beam upon thy forehead! lo! the herb,
The arboreta and flowers, which of itself
This land pours forth profuse!  Will those bright eyes
With gladness come, which, weeping, made me haste
To succour thee, thou mayst or seat thee down,
Or wander where thou wilt.  Expect no more
Sanction of warning voice or sign from me,
Free of thy own arbitrement to choose,
Discreet, judicious.  To distrust thy sense
Were henceforth error.  I invest thee then
With crown and mitre, sovereign o’er thyself.”

CANTO XXVIII

Through that celestial forest, whose thick shade
With lively greenness the new-springing day
Attemper’d, eager now to roam, and search
Its limits round, forthwith I left the bank,
Along the champain leisurely my way
Pursuing, o’er the ground, that on all sides
Delicious odour breath’d.  A pleasant air,
That intermitted never, never veer’d,
Smote on my temples, gently, as a wind
Of softest influence:  at which the sprays,
Obedient all, lean’d trembling to that part
Where first the holy mountain casts his shade,
Yet were not so disorder’d, but that still
Upon their top the feather’d quiristers
Applied their wonted art, and with full joy

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