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.

No sooner lifted I mine aspect up,
Than downward sunk that vision I beheld
Of goodly creatures vanish; and mine eyes
Yet unassur’d and wavering, bent their light
On Beatrice.  Towards the animal,
Who joins two natures in one form, she turn’d,
And, even under shadow of her veil,
And parted by the verdant rill, that flow’d
Between, in loveliness appear’d as much
Her former self surpassing, as on earth
All others she surpass’d.  Remorseful goads
Shot sudden through me.  Each thing else, the more
Its love had late beguil’d me, now the more
I Was loathsome.  On my heart so keenly smote
The bitter consciousness, that on the ground
O’erpower’d I fell:  and what my state was then,
She knows who was the cause.  When now my strength
Flow’d back, returning outward from the heart,
The lady, whom alone I first had seen,
I found above me.  “Loose me not,” she cried: 
“Loose not thy hold;” and lo! had dragg’d me high
As to my neck into the stream, while she,
Still as she drew me after, swept along,
Swift as a shuttle, bounding o’er the wave.

The blessed shore approaching then was heard
So sweetly, “Tu asperges me,” that I
May not remember, much less tell the sound. 
The beauteous dame, her arms expanding, clasp’d
My temples, and immerg’d me, where ’t was fit
The wave should drench me:  and thence raising up,
Within the fourfold dance of lovely nymphs
Presented me so lav’d, and with their arm
They each did cover me.  “Here are we nymphs,
And in the heav’n are stars.  Or ever earth
Was visited of Beatrice, we
Appointed for her handmaids, tended on her. 
We to her eyes will lead thee; but the light
Of gladness that is in them, well to scan,
Those yonder three, of deeper ken than ours,
Thy sight shall quicken.”  Thus began their song;
And then they led me to the Gryphon’s breast,
While, turn’d toward us, Beatrice stood. 
“Spare not thy vision.  We have stationed thee
Before the emeralds, whence love erewhile
Hath drawn his weapons on thee.”  As they spake,
A thousand fervent wishes riveted
Mine eyes upon her beaming eyes, that stood
Still fix’d toward the Gryphon motionless. 
As the sun strikes a mirror, even thus
Within those orbs the twofold being, shone,
For ever varying, in one figure now
Reflected, now in other.  Reader! muse
How wond’rous in my sight it seem’d to mark
A thing, albeit steadfast in itself,
Yet in its imag’d semblance mutable.

Full of amaze, and joyous, while my soul
Fed on the viand, whereof still desire
Grows with satiety, the other three
With gesture, that declar’d a loftier line,
Advanc’d:  to their own carol on they came
Dancing in festive ring angelical.

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