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.

“If such one wheel of that two-yoked car,
Wherein the holy church defended her,
And rode triumphant through the civil broil. 
Thou canst not doubt its fellow’s excellence,
Which Thomas, ere my coming, hath declar’d
So courteously unto thee.  But the track,
Which its smooth fellies made, is now deserted: 
That mouldy mother is where late were lees. 
His family, that wont to trace his path,
Turn backward, and invert their steps; erelong
To rue the gathering in of their ill crop,
When the rejected tares in vain shall ask
Admittance to the barn.  I question not
But he, who search’d our volume, leaf by leaf,
Might still find page with this inscription on’t,
‘I am as I was wont.’  Yet such were not
From Acquasparta nor Casale, whence
Of those, who come to meddle with the text,
One stretches and another cramps its rule. 
Bonaventura’s life in me behold,
From Bagnororegio, one, who in discharge
Of my great offices still laid aside
All sinister aim.  Illuminato here,
And Agostino join me:  two they were,
Among the first of those barefooted meek ones,
Who sought God’s friendship in the cord:  with them
Hugues of Saint Victor, Pietro Mangiadore,
And he of Spain in his twelve volumes shining,
Nathan the prophet, Metropolitan
Chrysostom, and Anselmo, and, who deign’d
To put his hand to the first art, Donatus. 
Raban is here:  and at my side there shines
Calabria’s abbot, Joachim, endow’d
With soul prophetic.  The bright courtesy
Of friar Thomas, and his goodly lore,
Have mov’d me to the blazon of a peer
So worthy, and with me have mov’d this throng.”

CANTO XIII

Let him, who would conceive what now I saw,
Imagine (and retain the image firm,
As mountain rock, the whilst he hears me speak),
Of stars fifteen, from midst the ethereal host
Selected, that, with lively ray serene,
O’ercome the massiest air:  thereto imagine
The wain, that, in the bosom of our sky,
Spins ever on its axle night and day,
With the bright summit of that horn which swells
Due from the pole, round which the first wheel rolls,
T’ have rang’d themselves in fashion of two signs
In heav’n, such as Ariadne made,
When death’s chill seized her; and that one of them
Did compass in the other’s beam; and both
In such sort whirl around, that each should tend
With opposite motion and, conceiving thus,
Of that true constellation, and the dance
Twofold, that circled me, he shall attain
As ’t were the shadow; for things there as much
Surpass our usage, as the swiftest heav’n
Is swifter than the Chiana.  There was sung
No Bacchus, and no Io Paean, but
Three Persons in the Godhead, and in one
Substance that nature and the human join’d.

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