Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 602 pages of information about Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Complete.
Slumber’d; for suddenly a multitude,
The steep already turning, from behind,
Rush’d on.  With fury and like random rout,
As echoing on their shores at midnight heard
Ismenus and Asopus, for his Thebes
If Bacchus’ help were needed; so came these
Tumultuous, curving each his rapid step,
By eagerness impell’d of holy love. 
     Soon they o’ertook us; with such swiftness mov’d
The mighty crowd.  Two spirits at their head
Cried weeping; “Blessed Mary sought with haste
The hilly region.  Caesar to subdue
Ilerda, darted in Marseilles his sting,
And flew to Spain.”—­“Oh tarry not:  away;”
The others shouted; “let not time be lost
Through slackness of affection.  Hearty zeal
To serve reanimates celestial grace.” 
     “O ye, in whom intenser fervency
Haply supplies, where lukewarm erst ye fail’d,
Slow or neglectful, to absolve your part
Of good and virtuous, this man, who yet lives,
(Credit my tale, though strange) desires t’ ascend,
So morning rise to light us.  Therefore say
Which hand leads nearest to the rifted rock?”
     So spake my guide, to whom a shade return’d: 
“Come after us, and thou shalt find the cleft. 
We may not linger:  such resistless will
Speeds our unwearied course.  Vouchsafe us then
Thy pardon, if our duty seem to thee
Discourteous rudeness.  In Verona I
Was abbot of San Zeno, when the hand
Of Barbarossa grasp’d Imperial sway,
That name, ne’er utter’d without tears in Milan. 
And there is he, hath one foot in his grave,
Who for that monastery ere long shall weep,
Ruing his power misus’d:  for that his son,
Of body ill compact, and worse in mind,
And born in evil, he hath set in place
Of its true pastor.”  Whether more he spake,
Or here was mute, I know not:  he had sped
E’en now so far beyond us.  Yet thus much
I heard, and in rememb’rance treasur’d it. 
     He then, who never fail’d me at my need,
Cried, “Hither turn.  Lo! two with sharp remorse
Chiding their sin!” In rear of all the troop
These shouted:  “First they died, to whom the sea
Open’d, or ever Jordan saw his heirs: 
And they, who with Aeneas to the end
Endur’d not suffering, for their portion chose
Life without glory.”  Soon as they had fled
Past reach of sight, new thought within me rose
By others follow’d fast, and each unlike
Its fellow:  till led on from thought to thought,
And pleasur’d with the fleeting train, mine eye
Was clos’d, and meditation chang’d to dream.


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