v. 103. Italia’s plains.] “Umile
Italia,” from Virgil, Aen lib.
v. 115. Content in fire.] The spirits in Purgatory.
v. 118. A spirit worthier.] Beatrice, who conducts the Poet through Paradise.
v. 130. Saint Peter’s gate.] The gate of Purgatory, which the Poet feigns to be guarded by an angel placed on that station by St. Peter.
v. 1. Now was the day.] A compendium of Virgil’s description Aen. lib. iv 522. Nox erat, &c. Compare Apollonius Rhodius, lib iii. 744, and lib. iv. 1058
v. 8. O mind.]
O thought that write all that I met,
And in the tresorie it set
Of my braine, now shall men see
If any virtue in thee be.
Chaucer. Temple of Fame, b. ii. v.18
v. 14. Silvius’sire.] Aeneas.
v. 30. The chosen vessel.] St.Paul, Acts, c. ix. v. 15. “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way; for he is a chosen vessel unto me.”
v. 46. Thy soul.] L’anima tua e da viltate
offesa. So in Berni,
Orl Inn.lib. iii. c. i. st. 53.
Se l’alma avete offesa da viltate.
v. 64. Who rest suspended.] The spirits in Limbo, neither admitted to a state of glory nor doomed to punishment.
v. 61. A friend not of my fortune, but myself.] Se non fortunae sed hominibus solere esse amicum. Cornelii Nepotis Attici Vitae, c. ix.
v. 78. Whatever is contain’d.] Every other thing comprised within the lunar heaven, which, being the lowest of all, has the smallest circle.
v. 93. A blessed dame.] The divine mercy.
v. 97. Lucia.] The enlightening grace of heaven.
v. 124. Three maids.] The divine mercy, Lucia, and Beatrice.
v. 127. As florets.] This simile is well translated
But right as floures through the cold of night
Iclosed, stoupen in her stalkes lowe,
Redressen hem agen the sunne bright,
And speden in her kinde course by rowe, &c.
Troilus and Creseide, b.ii.
It has been imitated by many others, among whom see Berni,
Orl.Inn. Iib. 1. c. xii. st. 86. Marino, Adone, c. xvii. st. 63.
and Sor. “Donna vestita di nero.” and Spenser’s Faery Queen, b.4.
c. xii. st. 34. and b. 6 c. ii. st. 35.
v. 5. Power divine
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.] The three
persons of the blessed Trinity. v. 9. all hope abandoned.] Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch’entrate. So Berni, Orl. Inn. lib. i. c. 8. st. 53.
Lascia pur della vita ogni speranza.
v. 29. Like to the sand.]
Unnumber’d as the sands
Of Barca or Cyrene’s torrid soil
Levied to side with warring winds, and poise
Their lighter wings.
Milton, P. L. ii. 908.