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.
Who in desire or fear doth look for it. 
But elsewhere now l bid thee turn thy view;
So shalt thou many a famous spirit behold.” 
Mine eyes directing, as she will’d, I saw
A hundred little spheres, that fairer grew
By interchange of splendour.  I remain’d,
As one, who fearful of o’er-much presuming,
Abates in him the keenness of desire,
Nor dares to question, when amid those pearls,
One largest and most lustrous onward drew,
That it might yield contentment to my wish;
And from within it these the sounds I heard.

“If thou, like me, beheldst the charity
That burns amongst us, what thy mind conceives,
Were utter’d.  But that, ere the lofty bound
Thou reach, expectance may not weary thee,
I will make answer even to the thought,
Which thou hast such respect of.  In old days,
That mountain, at whose side Cassino rests,
Was on its height frequented by a race
Deceived and ill dispos’d:  and I it was,
Who thither carried first the name of Him,
Who brought the soul-subliming truth to man. 
And such a speeding grace shone over me,
That from their impious worship I reclaim’d
The dwellers round about, who with the world
Were in delusion lost.  These other flames,
The spirits of men contemplative, were all
Enliven’d by that warmth, whose kindly force
Gives birth to flowers and fruits of holiness. 
Here is Macarius; Romoaldo here: 
And here my brethren, who their steps refrain’d
Within the cloisters, and held firm their heart.”

I answ’ring, thus; “Thy gentle words and kind,
And this the cheerful semblance, I behold
Not unobservant, beaming in ye all,
Have rais’d assurance in me, wakening it
Full-blossom’d in my bosom, as a rose
Before the sun, when the consummate flower
Has spread to utmost amplitude.  Of thee
Therefore entreat I, father! to declare
If I may gain such favour, as to gaze
Upon thine image, by no covering veil’d.”

“Brother!” he thus rejoin’d, “in the last sphere
Expect completion of thy lofty aim,
For there on each desire completion waits,
And there on mine:  where every aim is found
Perfect, entire, and for fulfillment ripe. 
There all things are as they have ever been: 
For space is none to bound, nor pole divides,
Our ladder reaches even to that clime,
And so at giddy distance mocks thy view. 
Thither the Patriarch Jacob saw it stretch
Its topmost round, when it appear’d to him
With angels laden.  But to mount it now
None lifts his foot from earth:  and hence my rule
Is left a profitless stain upon the leaves;
The walls, for abbey rear’d, turned into dens,
The cowls to sacks choak’d up with musty meal. 
Foul usury doth not more lift itself
Against God’s pleasure, than that fruit which makes
The hearts of monks so wanton:  for whate’er
Is in the church’s keeping, all pertains. 

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