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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 104 pages of information about Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Paradise.

CANTO XXVII

So she who doth imparadise my soul,
Had drawn the veil from off our pleasant life,
And bar’d the truth of poor mortality;
When lo! as one who, in a mirror, spies
The shining of a flambeau at his back,
Lit sudden ore he deem of its approach,
And turneth to resolve him, if the glass
Have told him true, and sees the record faithful
As note is to its metre; even thus,
I well remember, did befall to me,
Looking upon the beauteous eyes, whence love
Had made the leash to take me.  As I turn’d;
And that, which, in their circles, none who spies,
Can miss of, in itself apparent, struck
On mine; a point I saw, that darted light
So sharp, no lid, unclosing, may bear up
Against its keenness.  The least star we view
From hence, had seem’d a moon, set by its side,
As star by side of star.  And so far off,
Perchance, as is the halo from the light
Which paints it, when most dense the vapour spreads,
There wheel’d about the point a circle of fire,
More rapid than the motion, which first girds
The world.  Then, circle after circle, round
Enring’d each other; till the seventh reach’d
Circumference so ample, that its bow,
Within the span of Juno’s messenger,
lied scarce been held entire.  Beyond the sev’nth,
Follow’d yet other two.  And every one,
As more in number distant from the first,
Was tardier in motion; and that glow’d
With flame most pure, that to the sparkle’ of truth
Was nearest, as partaking most, methinks,
Of its reality.  The guide belov’d
Saw me in anxious thought suspense, and spake: 
“Heav’n, and all nature, hangs upon that point. 
The circle thereto most conjoin’d observe;
And know, that by intenser love its course
Is to this swiftness wing’d.”  To whom I thus: 
“It were enough; nor should I further seek,
Had I but witness’d order, in the world
Appointed, such as in these wheels is seen. 
But in the sensible world such diff’rence is,
That is each round shows more divinity,
As each is wider from the centre.  Hence,
If in this wondrous and angelic temple,
That hath for confine only light and love,
My wish may have completion I must know,
Wherefore such disagreement is between
Th’ exemplar and its copy:  for myself,
Contemplating, I fail to pierce the cause.”

“It is no marvel, if thy fingers foil’d
Do leave the knot untied:  so hard ’t is grown
For want of tenting.”  Thus she said:  “But take,”
She added, “if thou wish thy cure, my words,
And entertain them subtly.  Every orb
Corporeal, doth proportion its extent
Unto the virtue through its parts diffus’d. 
The greater blessedness preserves the more. 
The greater is the body (if all parts
Share equally) the more is to preserve. 
Therefore the circle, whose swift course enwheels
The universal frame answers to that,
Which is supreme in knowledge and in love
Thus by the virtue, not the seeming, breadth
Of substance, measure, thou shalt see the heav’ns,
Each to the’ intelligence that ruleth it,
Greater to more, and smaller unto less,
Suited in strict and wondrous harmony.”

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