Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 443 pages of information about Divine Comedy, Cary's Translation, Complete.
     Amid this dread exuberance of woe
Ran naked spirits wing’d with horrid fear,
Nor hope had they of crevice where to hide,
Or heliotrope to charm them out of view. 
With serpents were their hands behind them bound,
Which through their reins infix’d the tail and head
Twisted in folds before.  And lo! on one
Near to our side, darted an adder up,
And, where the neck is on the shoulders tied,
Transpierc’d him.  Far more quickly than e’er pen
Wrote O or I, he kindled, burn’d, and chang’d
To ashes, all pour’d out upon the earth. 
When there dissolv’d he lay, the dust again
Uproll’d spontaneous, and the self-same form
Instant resumed.  So mighty sages tell,
The’ Arabian Phoenix, when five hundred years
Have well nigh circled, dies, and springs forthwith
Renascent.  Blade nor herb throughout his life
He tastes, but tears of frankincense alone
And odorous amomum:  swaths of nard
And myrrh his funeral shroud.  As one that falls,
He knows not how, by force demoniac dragg’d
To earth, or through obstruction fettering up
In chains invisible the powers of man,
Who, risen from his trance, gazeth around,
Bewilder’d with the monstrous agony
He hath endur’d, and wildly staring sighs;
So stood aghast the sinner when he rose. 
     Oh! how severe God’s judgment, that deals out
Such blows in stormy vengeance!  Who he was
My teacher next inquir’d, and thus in few
He answer’d:  “Vanni Fucci am I call’d,
Not long since rained down from Tuscany
To this dire gullet.  Me the beastial life
And not the human pleas’d, mule that I was,
Who in Pistoia found my worthy den.” 
     I then to Virgil:  “Bid him stir not hence,
And ask what crime did thrust him hither:  once
A man I knew him choleric and bloody.” 
     The sinner heard and feign’d not, but towards me
His mind directing and his face, wherein
Was dismal shame depictur’d, thus he spake: 
“It grieves me more to have been caught by thee
In this sad plight, which thou beholdest, than
When I was taken from the other life. 
I have no power permitted to deny
What thou inquirest.”  I am doom’d thus low
To dwell, for that the sacristy by me
Was rifled of its goodly ornaments,
And with the guilt another falsely charged. 
But that thou mayst not joy to see me thus,
So as thou e’er shalt ’scape this darksome realm
Open thine ears and hear what I forebode. 
Reft of the Neri first Pistoia pines,
Then Florence changeth citizens and laws. 
From Valdimagra, drawn by wrathful Mars,
A vapour rises, wrapt in turbid mists,
And sharp and eager driveth on the storm
With arrowy hurtling o’er Piceno’s field,
Whence suddenly the cloud shall burst, and strike
Each helpless Bianco prostrate to the ground. 
This have I told, that grief may rend thy heart.”

CANTO XXV

Follow Us on Facebook