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.
to help,
Aveng’d those piteous gashes, whence the blood
By Judas sold did issue, with the name
Most lasting and most honour’d there was I
Abundantly renown’d,” the shade reply’d,
“Not yet with faith endued.  So passing sweet
My vocal Spirit, from Tolosa, Rome
To herself drew me, where I merited
A myrtle garland to inwreathe my brow. 
Statius they name me still.  Of Thebes I sang,
And next of great Achilles:  but i’ th’ way
Fell with the second burthen.  Of my flame
Those sparkles were the seeds, which I deriv’d
From the bright fountain of celestial fire
That feeds unnumber’d lamps, the song I mean
Which sounds Aeneas’ wand’rings:  that the breast
I hung at, that the nurse, from whom my veins
Drank inspiration:  whose authority
Was ever sacred with me.  To have liv’d
Coeval with the Mantuan, I would bide
The revolution of another sun
Beyond my stated years in banishment.” 
     The Mantuan, when he heard him, turn’d to me,
And holding silence:  by his countenance
Enjoin’d me silence but the power which wills,
Bears not supreme control:  laughter and tears
Follow so closely on the passion prompts them,
They wait not for the motions of the will
In natures most sincere.  I did but smile,
As one who winks; and thereupon the shade
Broke off, and peer’d into mine eyes, where best
Our looks interpret.  “So to good event
Mayst thou conduct such great emprize,” he cried,
“Say, why across thy visage beam’d, but now,
The lightning of a smile!” On either part
Now am I straiten’d; one conjures me speak,
Th’ other to silence binds me:  whence a sigh
I utter, and the sigh is heard.  “Speak on; "
The teacher cried; “and do not fear to speak,
But tell him what so earnestly he asks.” 
Whereon I thus:  “Perchance, O ancient spirit! 
Thou marvel’st at my smiling.  There is room
For yet more wonder.  He who guides my ken
On high, he is that Mantuan, led by whom
Thou didst presume of men arid gods to sing. 
If other cause thou deem’dst for which I smil’d,
Leave it as not the true one; and believe
Those words, thou spak’st of him, indeed the cause.” 
     Now down he bent t’ embrace my teacher’s feet;
But he forbade him:  “Brother! do it not: 
Thou art a shadow, and behold’st a shade.” 
He rising answer’d thus:  “Now hast thou prov’d
The force and ardour of the love I bear thee,
When I forget we are but things of air,
And as a substance treat an empty shade.”


Now we had left the angel, who had turn’d
To the sixth circle our ascending step,
One gash from off my forehead raz’d:  while they,
Whose wishes tend to justice, shouted forth: 
“Blessed!” and ended with, “I thirst:”  and I,
More nimble than along the other straits,
So journey’d, that, without the sense of toil,

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