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.
Possess it?  Dwell not in thy memory
The words, wherein thy ethic page describes
Three dispositions adverse to Heav’n’s will,
Incont’nence, malice, and mad brutishness,
And how incontinence the least offends
God, and least guilt incurs?  If well thou note
This judgment, and remember who they are,
Without these walls to vain repentance doom’d,
Thou shalt discern why they apart are plac’d
From these fell spirits, and less wreakful pours
Justice divine on them its vengeance down.” 
     “O Sun! who healest all imperfect sight,
Thou so content’st me, when thou solv’st my doubt,
That ignorance not less than knowledge charms. 
Yet somewhat turn thee back,” I in these words
Continu’d, “where thou saidst, that usury
Offends celestial Goodness; and this knot
Perplex’d unravel.”  He thus made reply: 
“Philosophy, to an attentive ear,
Clearly points out, not in one part alone,
How imitative nature takes her course
From the celestial mind and from its art: 
And where her laws the Stagyrite unfolds,
Not many leaves scann’d o’er, observing well
Thou shalt discover, that your art on her
Obsequious follows, as the learner treads
In his instructor’s step, so that your art
Deserves the name of second in descent
From God.  These two, if thou recall to mind
Creation’s holy book, from the beginning
Were the right source of life and excellence
To human kind.  But in another path
The usurer walks; and Nature in herself
And in her follower thus he sets at nought,
Placing elsewhere his hope.  But follow now
My steps on forward journey bent; for now
The Pisces play with undulating glance
Along the’ horizon, and the Wain lies all
O’er the north-west; and onward there a space
Is our steep passage down the rocky height.”

CANTO XII

The place where to descend the precipice
We came, was rough as Alp, and on its verge
Such object lay, as every eye would shun. 
     As is that ruin, which Adice’s stream
On this side Trento struck, should’ring the wave,
Or loos’d by earthquake or for lack of prop;
For from the mountain’s summit, whence it mov’d
To the low level, so the headlong rock
Is shiver’d, that some passage it might give
To him who from above would pass; e’en such
Into the chasm was that descent:  and there
At point of the disparted ridge lay stretch’d
The infamy of Crete, detested brood
Of the feign’d heifer:  and at sight of us
It gnaw’d itself, as one with rage distract. 
To him my guide exclaim’d:  “Perchance thou deem’st
The King of Athens here, who, in the world
Above, thy death contriv’d.  Monster! avaunt! 
He comes not tutor’d by thy sister’s art,
But to behold your torments is he come.” 
     Like to a bull, that with impetuous spring
Darts, at the moment when the fatal blow

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