Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 443 pages of information about Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Complete.
Where cleans’d from sin, it might be made all fair. 
     Then one I saw darting before the rest
With such fond ardour to embrace me, I
To do the like was mov’d.  O shadows vain
Except in outward semblance! thrice my hands
I clasp’d behind it, they as oft return’d
Empty into my breast again.  Surprise
I needs must think was painted in my looks,
For that the shadow smil’d and backward drew. 
To follow it I hasten’d, but with voice
Of sweetness it enjoin’d me to desist. 
Then who it was I knew, and pray’d of it,
To talk with me, it would a little pause. 
It answered:  “Thee as in my mortal frame
I lov’d, so loos’d forth it I love thee still,
And therefore pause; but why walkest thou here?”
     “Not without purpose once more to return,
Thou find’st me, my Casella, where I am
Journeying this way;” I said, “but how of thee
Hath so much time been lost?” He answer’d straight: 
“No outrage hath been done to me, if he
Who when and whom he chooses takes, me oft
This passage hath denied, since of just will
His will he makes.  These three months past indeed,
He, whose chose to enter, with free leave
Hath taken; whence I wand’ring by the shore
Where Tyber’s wave grows salt, of him gain’d kind
Admittance, at that river’s mouth, tow’rd which
His wings are pointed, for there always throng
All such as not to Archeron descend.” 
     Then I:  “If new laws have not quite destroy’d
Memory and use of that sweet song of love,
That while all my cares had power to ’swage;
Please thee with it a little to console
My spirit, that incumber’d with its frame,
Travelling so far, of pain is overcome.” 
     “Love that discourses in my thoughts.”  He then
Began in such soft accents, that within
The sweetness thrills me yet.  My gentle guide
And all who came with him, so well were pleas’d,
That seem’d naught else might in their thoughts have room. 
     Fast fix’d in mute attention to his notes
We stood, when lo! that old man venerable
Exclaiming, “How is this, ye tardy spirits? 
What negligence detains you loit’ring here? 
Run to the mountain to cast off those scales,
That from your eyes the sight of God conceal.” 
     As a wild flock of pigeons, to their food
Collected, blade or tares, without their pride
Accustom’d, and in still and quiet sort,
If aught alarm them, suddenly desert
Their meal, assail’d by more important care;
So I that new-come troop beheld, the song
Deserting, hasten to the mountain’s side,
As one who goes yet where he tends knows not. 
     Nor with less hurried step did we depart.

CANTO III

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