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.

Like as a virgin riseth up, and goes,
And enters on the mazes of the dance,
Though gay, yet innocent of worse intent,
Than to do fitting honour to the bride;
So I beheld the new effulgence come
Unto the other two, who in a ring
Wheel’d, as became their rapture.  In the dance
And in the song it mingled.  And the dame
Held on them fix’d her looks:  e’en as the spouse
Silent and moveless.  “This is he, who lay
Upon the bosom of our pelican: 
This he, into whose keeping from the cross
The mighty charge was given.”  Thus she spake,
Yet therefore naught the more remov’d her Sight
From marking them, or ere her words began,
Or when they clos’d.  As he, who looks intent,
And strives with searching ken, how he may see
The sun in his eclipse, and, through desire
Of seeing, loseth power of sight:  so I
Peer’d on that last resplendence, while I heard: 
“Why dazzlest thou thine eyes in seeking that,
Which here abides not?  Earth my body is,
In earth:  and shall be, with the rest, so long,
As till our number equal the decree
Of the Most High.  The two that have ascended,
In this our blessed cloister, shine alone
With the two garments.  So report below.”

As when, for ease of labour, or to shun
Suspected peril at a whistle’s breath,
The oars, erewhile dash’d frequent in the wave,
All rest; the flamy circle at that voice
So rested, and the mingling sound was still,
Which from the trinal band soft-breathing rose. 
I turn’d, but ah! how trembled in my thought,
When, looking at my side again to see
Beatrice, I descried her not, although
Not distant, on the happy coast she stood.

CANTO XXVI

With dazzled eyes, whilst wond’ring I remain’d,
Forth of the beamy flame which dazzled me,
Issued a breath, that in attention mute
Detain’d me; and these words it spake:  “’T were well,
That, long as till thy vision, on my form
O’erspent, regain its virtue, with discourse
Thou compensate the brief delay.  Say then,
Beginning, to what point thy soul aspires: 

“And meanwhile rest assur’d, that sight in thee
Is but o’erpowered a space, not wholly quench’d: 
Since thy fair guide and lovely, in her look
Hath potency, the like to that which dwelt
In Ananias’ hand.”  I answering thus: 
“Be to mine eyes the remedy or late
Or early, at her pleasure; for they were
The gates, at which she enter’d, and did light
Her never dying fire.  My wishes here
Are centered; in this palace is the weal,
That Alpha and Omega, is to all
The lessons love can read me.”  Yet again
The voice which had dispers’d my fear, when daz’d
With that excess, to converse urg’d, and spake: 
“Behooves thee sift more narrowly thy terms,
And say, who level’d at this scope thy bow.”

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