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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.

“Turn, Beatrice!” was their song:  “O turn
Thy saintly sight on this thy faithful one,
Who to behold thee many a wearisome pace
Hath measur’d.  Gracious at our pray’r vouchsafe
Unveil to him thy cheeks:  that he may mark
Thy second beauty, now conceal’d.”  O splendour! 
O sacred light eternal! who is he
So pale with musing in Pierian shades,
Or with that fount so lavishly imbued,
Whose spirit should not fail him in th’ essay
To represent thee such as thou didst seem,
When under cope of the still-chiming heaven
Thou gav’st to open air thy charms reveal’d.

CANTO XXXII

Mine eyes with such an eager coveting,
Were bent to rid them of their ten years’ thirst,
No other sense was waking:  and e’en they
Were fenc’d on either side from heed of aught;
So tangled in its custom’d toils that smile
Of saintly brightness drew me to itself,
When forcibly toward the left my sight
The sacred virgins turn’d; for from their lips
I heard the warning sounds:  “Too fix’d a gaze!”

Awhile my vision labor’d; as when late
Upon the’ o’erstrained eyes the sun hath smote: 
But soon to lesser object, as the view
Was now recover’d (lesser in respect
To that excess of sensible, whence late
I had perforce been sunder’d) on their right
I mark’d that glorious army wheel, and turn,
Against the sun and sev’nfold lights, their front. 
As when, their bucklers for protection rais’d,
A well-rang’d troop, with portly banners curl’d,
Wheel circling, ere the whole can change their ground: 
E’en thus the goodly regiment of heav’n
Proceeding, all did pass us, ere the car
Had slop’d his beam.  Attendant at the wheels
The damsels turn’d; and on the Gryphon mov’d
The sacred burden, with a pace so smooth,
No feather on him trembled.  The fair dame
Who through the wave had drawn me, companied
By Statius and myself, pursued the wheel,
Whose orbit, rolling, mark’d a lesser arch.

Through the high wood, now void (the more her blame,
Who by the serpent was beguil’d) I past
With step in cadence to the harmony
Angelic.  Onward had we mov’d, as far
Perchance as arrow at three several flights
Full wing’d had sped, when from her station down
Descended Beatrice.  With one voice
All murmur’d “Adam,” circling next a plant
Despoil’d of flowers and leaf on every bough. 
Its tresses, spreading more as more they rose,
Were such, as ’midst their forest wilds for height
The Indians might have gaz’d at.  “Blessed thou! 
Gryphon, whose beak hath never pluck’d that tree
Pleasant to taste:  for hence the appetite
Was warp’d to evil.”  Round the stately trunk
Thus shouted forth the rest, to whom return’d
The animal twice-gender’d:  “Yea:  for so
The generation of the just are sav’d.” 
And turning to the chariot-pole, to foot
He drew it of the widow’d branch, and bound
There left unto the stock whereon it grew.

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