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.
And thou shalt see what vehement desire
Possess’d me, as soon as these had met my view,
To know their state.  “O born in happy hour! 
Thou to whom grace vouchsafes, or ere thy close
Of fleshly warfare, to behold the thrones
Of that eternal triumph, know to us
The light communicated, which through heaven
Expatiates without bound.  Therefore, if aught
Thou of our beams wouldst borrow for thine aid,
Spare not; and of our radiance take thy fill.” 
     Thus of those piteous spirits one bespake me;
And Beatrice next:  “Say on; and trust
As unto gods!” —­“How in the light supreme
Thou harbour’st, and from thence the virtue bring’st,
That, sparkling in thine eyes, denotes thy joy,
l mark; but, who thou art, am still to seek;
Or wherefore, worthy spirit! for thy lot
This sphere assign’d, that oft from mortal ken
Is veil’d by others’ beams.”  I said, and turn’d
Toward the lustre, that with greeting, kind
Erewhile had hail’d me.  Forthwith brighter far
Than erst, it wax’d:  and, as himself the sun
Hides through excess of light, when his warm gaze
Hath on the mantle of thick vapours prey’d;
Within its proper ray the saintly shape
Was, through increase of gladness, thus conceal’d;
And, shrouded so in splendour answer’d me,
E’en as the tenour of my song declares.

CANTO VI

“After that Constantine the eagle turn’d
Against the motions of the heav’n, that roll’d
Consenting with its course, when he of yore,
Lavinia’s spouse, was leader of the flight,
A hundred years twice told and more, his seat
At Europe’s extreme point, the bird of Jove
Held, near the mountains, whence he issued first. 
There, under shadow of his sacred plumes
Swaying the world, till through successive hands
To mine he came devolv’d.  Caesar I was,
And am Justinian; destin’d by the will
Of that prime love, whose influence I feel,
From vain excess to clear th’ encumber’d laws. 
Or ere that work engag’d me, I did hold
Christ’s nature merely human, with such faith
Contented.  But the blessed Agapete,
Who was chief shepherd, he with warning voice
To the true faith recall’d me.  I believ’d
His words:  and what he taught, now plainly see,
As thou in every contradiction seest
The true and false oppos’d.  Soon as my feet
Were to the church reclaim’d, to my great task,
By inspiration of God’s grace impell’d,
I gave me wholly, and consign’d mine arms
To Belisarius, with whom heaven’s right hand
Was link’d in such conjointment, ’t was a sign
That I should rest.  To thy first question thus
I shape mine answer, which were ended here,
But that its tendency doth prompt perforce
To some addition; that thou well, mayst mark
What reason on each side they have to plead,
By whom that holiest banner is withstood,

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