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.
Call’d Ida, joyous once with leaves and streams,
Deserted now like a forbidden thing. 
It was the spot which Rhea, Saturn’s spouse,
Chose for the secret cradle of her son;
And better to conceal him, drown’d in shouts
His infant cries.  Within the mount, upright
An ancient form there stands and huge, that turns
His shoulders towards Damiata, and at Rome
As in his mirror looks.  Of finest gold
His head is shap’d, pure silver are the breast
And arms; thence to the middle is of brass. 
And downward all beneath well-temper’d steel,
Save the right foot of potter’s clay, on which
Than on the other more erect he stands,
Each part except the gold, is rent throughout;
And from the fissure tears distil, which join’d
Penetrate to that cave.  They in their course
Thus far precipitated down the rock
Form Acheron, and Styx, and Phlegethon;
Then by this straiten’d channel passing hence
Beneath, e’en to the lowest depth of all,
Form there Cocytus, of whose lake (thyself
Shall see it) I here give thee no account.” 
     Then I to him:  “If from our world this sluice
Be thus deriv’d; wherefore to us but now
Appears it at this edge?” He straight replied: 
“The place, thou know’st, is round; and though great part
Thou have already pass’d, still to the left
Descending to the nethermost, not yet
Hast thou the circuit made of the whole orb. 
Wherefore if aught of new to us appear,
It needs not bring up wonder in thy looks.” 
     Then I again inquir’d:  “Where flow the streams
Of Phlegethon and Lethe? for of one
Thou tell’st not, and the other of that shower,
Thou say’st, is form’d.”  He answer thus return’d: 
“Doubtless thy questions all well pleas’d I hear. 
Yet the red seething wave might have resolv’d
One thou proposest.  Lethe thou shalt see,
But not within this hollow, in the place,
Whither to lave themselves the spirits go,
Whose blame hath been by penitence remov’d.” 
He added:  “Time is now we quit the wood. 
Look thou my steps pursue:  the margins give
Safe passage, unimpeded by the flames;
For over them all vapour is extinct.”

CANTO XV

One of the solid margins bears us now
Envelop’d in the mist, that from the stream
Arising, hovers o’er, and saves from fire
Both piers and water.  As the Flemings rear
Their mound, ’twixt Ghent and Bruges, to chase back
The ocean, fearing his tumultuous tide
That drives toward them, or the Paduans theirs
Along the Brenta, to defend their towns
And castles, ere the genial warmth be felt
On Chiarentana’s top; such were the mounds,
So fram’d, though not in height or bulk to these
Made equal, by the master, whosoe’er
He was, that rais’d them here.  We from the wood
Were not so far remov’d, that turning round
I might not have discern’d it, when we met

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