Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Paradise eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 104 pages of information about Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Paradise.

“After that Constantine the eagle turn’d
Against the motions of the heav’n, that roll’d
Consenting with its course, when he of yore,
Lavinia’s spouse, was leader of the flight,
A hundred years twice told and more, his seat
At Europe’s extreme point, the bird of Jove
Held, near the mountains, whence he issued first. 
There, under shadow of his sacred plumes
Swaying the world, till through successive hands
To mine he came devolv’d.  Caesar I was,
And am Justinian; destin’d by the will
Of that prime love, whose influence I feel,
From vain excess to clear th’ encumber’d laws. 
Or ere that work engag’d me, I did hold
Christ’s nature merely human, with such faith
Contented.  But the blessed Agapete,
Who was chief shepherd, he with warning voice
To the true faith recall’d me.  I believ’d
His words:  and what he taught, now plainly see,
As thou in every contradiction seest
The true and false oppos’d.  Soon as my feet
Were to the church reclaim’d, to my great task,
By inspiration of God’s grace impell’d,
I gave me wholly, and consign’d mine arms
To Belisarius, with whom heaven’s right hand
Was link’d in such conjointment, ’t was a sign
That I should rest.  To thy first question thus
I shape mine answer, which were ended here,
But that its tendency doth prompt perforce
To some addition; that thou well, mayst mark
What reason on each side they have to plead,
By whom that holiest banner is withstood,
Both who pretend its power and who oppose.

“Beginning from that hour, when Pallas died
To give it rule, behold the valorous deeds
Have made it worthy reverence.  Not unknown
To thee, how for three hundred years and more
It dwelt in Alba, up to those fell lists
Where for its sake were met the rival three;
Nor aught unknown to thee, which it achiev’d
Down to the Sabines’ wrong to Lucrece’ woe,
With its sev’n kings conqu’ring the nation round;
Nor all it wrought, by Roman worthies home
‘Gainst Brennus and th’ Epirot prince, and hosts
Of single chiefs, or states in league combin’d
Of social warfare; hence Torquatus stern,
And Quintius nam’d of his neglected locks,
The Decii, and the Fabii hence acquir’d
Their fame, which I with duteous zeal embalm. 
By it the pride of Arab hordes was quell’d,
When they led on by Hannibal o’erpass’d
The Alpine rocks, whence glide thy currents, Po! 
Beneath its guidance, in their prime of days
Scipio and Pompey triumph’d; and that hill,
Under whose summit thou didst see the light,
Rued its stern bearing.  After, near the hour,
When heav’n was minded that o’er all the world
His own deep calm should brood, to Caesar’s hand
Did Rome consign it; and what then it wrought
From Var unto the Rhine, saw Isere’s flood,
Saw Loire and Seine, and every vale, that fills
The torrent Rhone.  What after that it wrought,

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