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.
Ah people! thou obedient still shouldst live,
And in the saddle let thy Caesar sit,
If well thou marked’st that which God commands
     Look how that beast to felness hath relaps’d
From having lost correction of the spur,
Since to the bridle thou hast set thine hand,
O German Albert! who abandon’st her,
That is grown savage and unmanageable,
When thou should’st clasp her flanks with forked heels. 
Just judgment from the stars fall on thy blood! 
And be it strange and manifest to all! 
Such as may strike thy successor with dread! 
For that thy sire and thou have suffer’d thus,
Through greediness of yonder realms detain’d,
The garden of the empire to run waste. 
Come see the Capulets and Montagues,
The Philippeschi and Monaldi! man
Who car’st for nought! those sunk in grief, and these
With dire suspicion rack’d.  Come, cruel one! 
Come and behold the’ oppression of the nobles,
And mark their injuries:  and thou mayst see. 
What safety Santafiore can supply. 
Come and behold thy Rome, who calls on thee,
Desolate widow! day and night with moans: 
“My Caesar, why dost thou desert my side?”
Come and behold what love among thy people: 
And if no pity touches thee for us,
Come and blush for thine own report.  For me,
If it be lawful, O Almighty Power,
Who wast in earth for our sakes crucified! 
Are thy just eyes turn’d elsewhere? or is this
A preparation in the wond’rous depth
Of thy sage counsel made, for some good end,
Entirely from our reach of thought cut off? 
So are the’ Italian cities all o’erthrong’d
With tyrants, and a great Marcellus made
Of every petty factious villager. 
     My Florence! thou mayst well remain unmov’d
At this digression, which affects not thee: 
Thanks to thy people, who so wisely speed. 
Many have justice in their heart, that long
Waiteth for counsel to direct the bow,
Or ere it dart unto its aim:  but shine
Have it on their lip’s edge.  Many refuse
To bear the common burdens:  readier thine
Answer uneall’d, and cry, “Behold I stoop!”
     Make thyself glad, for thou hast reason now,
Thou wealthy! thou at peace! thou wisdom-fraught! 
Facts best witness if I speak the truth. 
Athens and Lacedaemon, who of old
Enacted laws, for civil arts renown’d,
Made little progress in improving life
Tow’rds thee, who usest such nice subtlety,
That to the middle of November scarce
Reaches the thread thou in October weav’st. 
How many times, within thy memory,
Customs, and laws, and coins, and offices
Have been by thee renew’d, and people chang’d! 
     If thou remember’st well and can’st see clear,
Thou wilt perceive thyself like a sick wretch,
Who finds no rest upon her down, hut oft
Shifting her side, short respite seeks from pain.

CANTO VII

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