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.
Is wrapt in mist.  Look then if she may do,
Below, what passeth her ability,
When she is ta’en to heav’n.”  By words like these
Admonish’d, I the question urg’d no more;
And of the spirit humbly sued alone
T’ instruct me of its state. “’Twixt either shore
Of Italy, nor distant from thy land,
A stony ridge ariseth, in such sort,
The thunder doth not lift his voice so high,
They call it Catria:  at whose foot a cell
Is sacred to the lonely Eremite,
For worship set apart and holy rites.” 
A third time thus it spake; then added:  “There
So firmly to God’s service I adher’d,
That with no costlier viands than the juice
Of olives, easily I pass’d the heats
Of summer and the winter frosts, content
In heav’n-ward musings.  Rich were the returns
And fertile, which that cloister once was us’d
To render to these heavens:  now ’t is fall’n
Into a waste so empty, that ere long
Detection must lay bare its vanity
Pietro Damiano there was I yclept: 
Pietro the sinner, when before I dwelt
Beside the Adriatic, in the house
Of our blest Lady.  Near upon my close
Of mortal life, through much importuning
I was constrain’d to wear the hat that still
From bad to worse it shifted.—­Cephas came;
He came, who was the Holy Spirit’s vessel,
Barefoot and lean, eating their bread, as chanc’d,
At the first table.  Modern Shepherd’s need
Those who on either hand may prop and lead them,
So burly are they grown:  and from behind
Others to hoist them.  Down the palfrey’s sides
Spread their broad mantles, so as both the beasts
Are cover’d with one skin.  O patience! thou
That lookst on this and doth endure so long.” 
I at those accents saw the splendours down
From step to step alight, and wheel, and wax,
Each circuiting, more beautiful.  Round this
They came, and stay’d them; uttered them a shout
So loud, it hath no likeness here:  nor I
Wist what it spake, so deaf’ning was the thunder.

CANTO XXII

Astounded, to the guardian of my steps
I turn’d me, like the chill, who always runs
Thither for succour, where he trusteth most,
And she was like the mother, who her son
Beholding pale and breathless, with her voice
Soothes him, and he is cheer’d; for thus she spake,
Soothing me:  “Know’st not thou, thou art in heav’n? 
And know’st not thou, whatever is in heav’n,
Is holy, and that nothing there is done
But is done zealously and well?  Deem now,
What change in thee the song, and what my smile
had wrought, since thus the shout had pow’r to move thee. 
In which couldst thou have understood their prayers,
The vengeance were already known to thee,
Which thou must witness ere thy mortal hour,
The sword of heav’n is not in haste to smite,
Nor yet doth linger, save unto his seeming,

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