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.

No longer than what time Latona’s twins
Cover’d of Libra and the fleecy star,
Together both, girding the’ horizon hang,
In even balance from the zenith pois’d,
Till from that verge, each, changing hemisphere,
Part the nice level; e’en so brief a space
Did Beatrice’s silence hold.  A smile
Bat painted on her cheek; and her fix’d gaze
Bent on the point, at which my vision fail’d: 
When thus her words resuming she began: 
“I speak, nor what thou wouldst inquire demand;
For I have mark’d it, where all time and place
Are present.  Not for increase to himself
Of good, which may not be increas’d, but forth
To manifest his glory by its beams,
Inhabiting his own eternity,
Beyond time’s limit or what bound soe’er
To circumscribe his being, as he will’d,
Into new natures, like unto himself,
Eternal Love unfolded.  Nor before,
As if in dull inaction torpid lay. 
For not in process of before or aft
Upon these waters mov’d the Spirit of God. 
Simple and mix’d, both form and substance, forth
To perfect being started, like three darts
Shot from a bow three-corded.  And as ray
In crystal, glass, and amber, shines entire,
E’en at the moment of its issuing; thus
Did, from th’ eternal Sovran, beam entire
His threefold operation, at one act
Produc’d coeval.  Yet in order each
Created his due station knew:  those highest,
Who pure intelligence were made:  mere power
The lowest:  in the midst, bound with strict league,
Intelligence and power, unsever’d bond. 
Long tract of ages by the angels past,
Ere the creating of another world,
Describ’d on Jerome’s pages thou hast seen. 
But that what I disclose to thee is true,
Those penmen, whom the Holy Spirit mov’d
In many a passage of their sacred book
Attest; as thou by diligent search shalt find
And reason in some sort discerns the same,
Who scarce would grant the heav’nly ministers
Of their perfection void, so long a space. 
Thus when and where these spirits of love were made,
Thou know’st, and how:  and knowing hast allay’d
Thy thirst, which from the triple question rose. 
Ere one had reckon’d twenty, e’en so soon
Part of the angels fell:  and in their fall
Confusion to your elements ensued. 
The others kept their station:  and this task,
Whereon thou lookst, began with such delight,
That they surcease not ever, day nor night,
Their circling.  Of that fatal lapse the cause
Was the curst pride of him, whom thou hast seen
Pent with the world’s incumbrance.  Those, whom here
Thou seest, were lowly to confess themselves
Of his free bounty, who had made them apt
For ministries so high:  therefore their views
Were by enlight’ning grace and their own merit
Exalted; so that in their will confirm’d
They stand, nor feel to fall.  For do not doubt,
But to receive the grace, which heav’n vouchsafes,

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