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.

So forward stretch’d him (if of credence aught
Our greater muse may claim) the pious ghost
Of old Anchises, in the’ Elysian bower,
When he perceiv’d his son.  “O thou, my blood! 
O most exceeding grace divine! to whom,
As now to thee, hath twice the heav’nly gate
Been e’er unclos’d?” so spake the light; whence I
Turn’d me toward him; then unto my dame
My sight directed, and on either side
Amazement waited me; for in her eyes
Was lighted such a smile, I thought that mine
Had div’d unto the bottom of my grace
And of my bliss in Paradise.  Forthwith
To hearing and to sight grateful alike,
The spirit to his proem added things
I understood not, so profound he spake;
Yet not of choice but through necessity
Mysterious; for his high conception scar’d
Beyond the mark of mortals.  When the flight
Of holy transport had so spent its rage,
That nearer to the level of our thought
The speech descended, the first sounds I heard
Were, “Best he thou, Triunal Deity! 
That hast such favour in my seed vouchsaf’d!”
Then follow’d:  “No unpleasant thirst, tho’ long,
Which took me reading in the sacred book,
Whose leaves or white or dusky never change,
Thou hast allay’d, my son, within this light,
From whence my voice thou hear’st; more thanks to her. 
Who for such lofty mounting has with plumes
Begirt thee.  Thou dost deem thy thoughts to me
From him transmitted, who is first of all,
E’en as all numbers ray from unity;
And therefore dost not ask me who I am,
Or why to thee more joyous I appear,
Than any other in this gladsome throng. 
The truth is as thou deem’st; for in this hue
Both less and greater in that mirror look,
In which thy thoughts, or ere thou think’st, are shown. 
But, that the love, which keeps me wakeful ever,
Urging with sacred thirst of sweet desire,
May be contended fully, let thy voice,
Fearless, and frank and jocund, utter forth
Thy will distinctly, utter forth the wish,
Whereto my ready answer stands decreed.”

I turn’d me to Beatrice; and she heard
Ere I had spoken, smiling, an assent,
That to my will gave wings; and I began
“To each among your tribe, what time ye kenn’d
The nature, in whom naught unequal dwells,
Wisdom and love were in one measure dealt;
For that they are so equal in the sun,
From whence ye drew your radiance and your heat,
As makes all likeness scant.  But will and means,
In mortals, for the cause ye well discern,
With unlike wings are fledge.  A mortal I
Experience inequality like this,
And therefore give no thanks, but in the heart,
For thy paternal greeting.  This howe’er
I pray thee, living topaz! that ingemm’st
This precious jewel, let me hear thy name.”

“I am thy root, O leaf! whom to expect
Even, hath pleas’d me:”  thus the prompt reply
Prefacing, next it added; “he, of whom
Thy kindred appellation comes, and who,
These hundred years and more, on its first ledge
Hath circuited the mountain, was my son
And thy great grandsire.  Well befits, his long
Endurance should be shorten’d by thy deeds.

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