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.
Ye seem to view beforehand, that which time
Leads with him, of the present uninform’d.” 
     “We view, as one who hath an evil sight,”
He answer’d, “plainly, objects far remote: 
So much of his large spendour yet imparts
The’ Almighty Ruler; but when they approach
Or actually exist, our intellect
Then wholly fails, nor of your human state
Except what others bring us know we aught. 
Hence therefore mayst thou understand, that all
Our knowledge in that instant shall expire,
When on futurity the portals close.” 
     Then conscious of my fault, and by remorse
Smitten, I added thus:  “Now shalt thou say
To him there fallen, that his offspring still
Is to the living join’d; and bid him know,
That if from answer silent I abstain’d,
’Twas that my thought was occupied intent
Upon that error, which thy help hath solv’d.” 
     But now my master summoning me back
I heard, and with more eager haste besought
The spirit to inform me, who with him
Partook his lot.  He answer thus return’d: 
     “More than a thousand with me here are laid
Within is Frederick, second of that name,
And the Lord Cardinal, and of the rest
I speak not.”  He, this said, from sight withdrew. 
But I my steps towards the ancient bard
Reverting, ruminated on the words
Betokening me such ill.  Onward he mov’d,
And thus in going question’d:  “Whence the’ amaze
That holds thy senses wrapt?” I satisfied
The’ inquiry, and the sage enjoin’d me straight: 
“Let thy safe memory store what thou hast heard
To thee importing harm; and note thou this,”
With his rais’d finger bidding me take heed,
     “When thou shalt stand before her gracious beam,
Whose bright eye all surveys, she of thy life
The future tenour will to thee unfold.” 
     Forthwith he to the left hand turn’d his feet: 
We left the wall, and tow’rds the middle space
Went by a path, that to a valley strikes;
Which e’en thus high exhal’d its noisome steam.


Upon the utmost verge of a high bank,
By craggy rocks environ’d round, we came,
Where woes beneath more cruel yet were stow’d: 
And here to shun the horrible excess
Of fetid exhalation, upward cast
From the profound abyss, behind the lid
Of a great monument we stood retir’d,
Whereon this scroll I mark’d:  “I have in charge
Pope Anastasius, whom Photinus drew
From the right path.—­Ere our descent behooves
We make delay, that somewhat first the sense,
To the dire breath accustom’d, afterward
Regard it not.”  My master thus; to whom
Answering I spake:  “Some compensation find
That the time past not wholly lost.”  He then: 
“Lo! how my thoughts e’en to thy wishes tend! 
My son! within these rocks,” he thus began,
“Are three close circles in gradation plac’d,

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