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Mighty already was the Column Vair,

Sacchetti, Giuochi, Fifant, and Barucci,

And Galli, and they who for the bushel blush. The stock from which were the Calfucci born

Was great already, and already chosen

To curule chairs the Sizii and Arrigucci. O how beheld I those who are undone

By their own pride ! and how the Balls of Gold

Florence enflowered in all their mighty deeds! So likewise did the ancestors of those

Who evermore, when vacant is your church,

Fatten by staying in consistory.
The insolent race, that like a dragon follows

Whoever flees, and unto him that shows

His teeth or purse is gentle as a lamb, Already rising was, but from low people ;

So that it pleased not Ubertin Donato

That his wife's father should make him their kin. Already had Caponsacco to the Market

From Fesole descended, and already

Giuda and Infangato were good burghers. I'll tell a thing incredible, but true;

One entered the small circuit by a gate

Which from the Della Pera took its name! Each one that bears the beautiful escutcheon

Of the great baron whose renown and name

The festival of Thomas keepeth fresh, Knighthood and privilege from him received ;

Though with the populace unites himself

To-day the man who binds it with a border.
Already were Gualterotti and Importuni;

And still more quiet would the Borgo be
If with new neighbours it remained

unfed. The house from which is born your lamentation,

Through just disdain that death among you brought

And put an end unto your joyous life, Was honoured in itself and its companions.

O Buondelmonte, how in evil hour

Thou fled'st the bridal at another's promptings ! Many would be rejoicing who are sad,

If God had thee surrendered to the Ema

The first time that thou camest to the city.
But it behoved the mutilated stone

Which guards the bridge, that Florence should provide
A victim in her latest hour of peace.







With all these families, and others with them,

Florence beheld I in so great repose,

That no occasion had she whence to weep; With all these families beheld so just

And glorious her people, that the lily

Never upon the spear was placed reversed, Nor by division was vermilion made.”


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As came to Clymene, to be made certain

Of that which he had heard against himself,

He who makes fathers chary still to children, Even such was I, and such was I perceived

By Beatrice and by the holy light

That first on my account had changed its place. Therefore my Lady said to me: “Send forth

The flame of thy desire, so that it issue

Imprinted well with the internal stamp; Not that our knowledge may be greater made

By speech of thine, but to accustom thee

To tell thy thirst, that we may give thee drink." “O my beloved tree, (that so dost lift thee,

That even as minds terrestrial perceive

No triangle containeth two obtuse, So thou beholdest the contingent things

Ere in themselves they are, fixing thine eyes

Upon the point in which all times are present) While I was with Virgilius conjoined

Upon the mountain that the souls doth heal,

And when descending into the dead world, Were spoken to me of my future life

Some grievous words; although I feel myself

In sooth foursquare against the blows of chance. On this account my wish would be content

To hear what fortune is approaching me,

Because foreseen an arrow comes more slowly.” Thus did I say unto that selfsame light

That unto me had spoken before ; and even

As Beatrice willed was my own will confessed.
Noi in vague phrase, in which the foolish folk

Ensnared themselves of old, ere yet was slain
The Lamb of God who taketh sins away,







But with clear words and unambiguous

Language responded that paternal love,

Hid and revealed by its own proper smile: “Contingency, that outside of the volume

Of your materiality extends not,

Is all depicted in the eternal aspect. Necessity however thence it takes not,

Except as from the eye, in which 'tis mirrored,

A ship that with the current down descends. From thence, e'en as there cometh to the ear

Sweet harmony from an organ, comes in sight

To me the time that is preparing for thee. As forth from Athens went Hippolytus,

By reason of his step-dame false and cruel,

Só thou from Florence must perforce depart. Already this is willed, and this is sought for ;

And soon it shall be done by him who thinks it,

Where every day the Christ is bought and sold. The blame shall follow the offended party

In outcry as is usual; but the vengeance

Shall witness to the truth that doth dispense it. Thou shalt abandon everything beloved

Most tenderly, and this the arrow is

Which first the bow of banishment shoots forth. Thou shalt have proof how savoureth of salt

The bread of others, and how hard a road

The going down and up another's stairs.
And that which most shall weigh upon thy shoulders

Will be the bad and foolish company

With which into this valley thou shalt fall; For all ingrate, all mad and impious

Will they become against thee; but soon after

They, and not thou, shall have the forehead scarlet. of their bestiality their own proceedings

Shall furnish proof; so 'twill be well for thee

A party to have made thee by thyself. Thine earliest refuge and thine earliest inn

Shall be the mighty Lombard's courtesy,

Who on the Ladder bears the holy bird, Who such benign regard shall have for thee

That 'twixt you twain, in doing and in asking,

That shall be first which is with others last.
With him shalt thou see one who at his birth

Has by this star of strength been so impressed,
That notable shall his achievements be.



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Not yet the people are aware of him

Through his young age, since only nine years yet

Around about him have these wheels revolved But ere the Gascon cheat the noble Henry,

Some sparkles of his virtue shall appear

In caring not for silver nor for toil. So recognized shall his magnificence

Become hereafter, that his enemies

Will not have power to keep mute tongues about it. On him rely, and on his benefits;

By him shall many people be transformed,

Changing condition rich and mendicant; And written in thy mind thou hence shalt bear

Of him, but shalt not say it”—and things said he

Incredible to those who shall be present. Then added : “Son, these are the commentaries

On what was said to thee; behold the snares

That are concealed behind few revolutions ; Yet would I not thy neighbours thou shouldst envy,

Because thy life into the future reaches

Beyond the punishment of their perfidies." When by its silence showed that sainted soul

That it had finished putting in the woof

Into that web which I had given it warped, Began I, even as he who yearneth after,

Being in doubt, some counsel from a person

Who seeth, and uprightly wills, and loves : “ Well see I, father mine, how spurreth on

The time towards me such a blow to deal me

As heaviest is to him who most gives way. Therefore with foresight it is well I arm me,

That, if the dearest place be taken from me,

I may not lose the others by my songs. Down through the world of infinite bitterness,

And o'er the mountain, from whose beauteous summit

The eyes of my own Lady lifted me,
And afterward through heaven from light to light,

I have learned that which, if I tell again,

Will be a savour of strong herbs to many. And if I am a timid friend to truth,

I fear lest I may lose my life with those

Who will hereafter call this time the olden."
The light in which was smiling my own treasure

Which there I had discovered, flashed at first
As in the sunshine doth a golden mirror;

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Then made reply: “A conscience overcast

Or with its own or with another's shame,

Will taste forsooth the tartness of thy word ; But ne'ertheless, all falsehood laid aside,

Make manifest thy vision utterly,

And let them scratch wherever is the itch; For if thine utterance shall offensive be

At the first taste, a vital nutriment

'Twill leave thereafter, when it is digested. This cry of thine shall do as doth the wind,

Which smiteth most the most exalted summits,

And that is no slight argument of honour. Therefore are shown to thee within these wheels,

Upon the mount and in the dolorous valley,

Only the souls that unto fame are known ; Because the spirit of the hearer rests not,

Nor doth confirm its faith by an example

Which has the root of it unknown and hidden, Or other reason that is not apparent.”




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Now was alone rejoicing in its word

That soul beatified, and I was tasting

My own, the bitter tempering with the sweet, And the Lady who to God was leading me

Said : “Change thy thought; consider that I am

Near unto Him who every wrong disburdens.” Unto the loving accents of my comfort

I turned me round, and then what love I saw

Within those holy eyes I here relinquish ; Not only that my language I distrust,

But that my mind cannot return so far

Above itself, unless another guide it. Thus much upon that point can I repeat,

That, her again beholding, my affection

From every other longing was released. While the eternal pleasure, which direct

Rayed upon Beatrice, from her fair face

Contented me with its reflected aspect,
Conquering me with the radiance of a smile,

She said to me, “ Turn thee about and listen;
Not in mine eyes alone is Paradise.”

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