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.
Tir’d with long watching, as of these each one
Plied quickly his keen nails, through furiousness
Of ne’er abated pruriency.  The crust
Came drawn from underneath in flakes, like scales
Scrap’d from the bream or fish of broader mail. 
     “O thou, who with thy fingers rendest off
Thy coat of proof,” thus spake my guide to one,
“And sometimes makest tearing pincers of them,
Tell me if any born of Latian land
Be among these within:  so may thy nails
Serve thee for everlasting to this toil.” 
     “Both are of Latium,” weeping he replied,
“Whom tortur’d thus thou seest:  but who art thou
That hast inquir’d of us?” To whom my guide: 
“One that descend with this man, who yet lives,
From rock to rock, and show him hell’s abyss.” 
     Then started they asunder, and each turn’d
Trembling toward us, with the rest, whose ear
Those words redounding struck.  To me my liege
Address’d him:  “Speak to them whate’er thou list.” 
     And I therewith began:  “So may no time
Filch your remembrance from the thoughts of men
In th’ upper world, but after many suns
Survive it, as ye tell me, who ye are,
And of what race ye come.  Your punishment,
Unseemly and disgustful in its kind,
Deter you not from opening thus much to me.” 
     “Arezzo was my dwelling,” answer’d one,
“And me Albero of Sienna brought
To die by fire; but that, for which I died,
Leads me not here.  True is in sport I told him,
That I had learn’d to wing my flight in air. 
And he admiring much, as he was void
Of wisdom, will’d me to declare to him
The secret of mine art:  and only hence,
Because I made him not a Daedalus,
Prevail’d on one suppos’d his sire to burn me. 
But Minos to this chasm last of the ten,
For that I practis’d alchemy on earth,
Has doom’d me.  Him no subterfuge eludes.” 
     Then to the bard I spake:  “Was ever race
Light as Sienna’s?  Sure not France herself
Can show a tribe so frivolous and vain.” 
     The other leprous spirit heard my words,
And thus return’d:  “Be Stricca from this charge
Exempted, he who knew so temp’rately
To lay out fortune’s gifts; and Niccolo
Who first the spice’s costly luxury
Discover’d in that garden, where such seed
Roots deepest in the soil:  and be that troop
Exempted, with whom Caccia of Asciano
Lavish’d his vineyards and wide-spreading woods,
And his rare wisdom Abbagliato show’d
A spectacle for all.  That thou mayst know
Who seconds thee against the Siennese
Thus gladly, bend this way thy sharpen’d sight,
That well my face may answer to thy ken;
So shalt thou see I am Capocchio’s ghost,
Who forg’d transmuted metals by the power
Of alchemy; and if I scan thee right,
Thus needs must well remember how I aped
Creative nature by my subtle art.”

CANTO XXX

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