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Wills that I breathe to thee that thou delight

In her; and grateful to me is thy telling

Whatever things Hope promises to thee.” And I: “The ancient Scriptures and the new

The mark establish, and this shows it me,

Of all the souls whom God hath made his friends. Isaiah saith, that each one garmented

In his own land shall be with twofold garments,

And his own land is this delightful life. Thy brother, too, far more explicitly,

There where he treateth of the robes of white,

This revelation manifests to us."
And first, and near the ending of these words,

Sperent in tefrom over us was heard,

To which responsive answered all the carols. Thereafterward a light among them brightened,

So that, if Cancer one such crystal had,

Winter would have a month of one sole day. And as uprises, goes, and enters the dance

A winsome maiden, only to do honour

To the new bride, and not from any failing, Even thus did I behold the brightened splendour

Approach the two, who in a wheel revolved

As was beseeming to their ardent love. Into the song and music there it entered ;

And fixed on them my Lady kept her look,

Even as a bride silent and motionless. “This is the one who lay upon the breast

Of him our Pelican ; and this is he

To the great office from the cross elected." My Lady thus; but therefore none the more

Did move her sight from its attentive gaze

Before or afterward these words of hers. Even as a man who gazes, and endeavours

To see the eclipsing of the sun a little,

And who, by seeing, sightless doth become, So I became before that latest fire,

While it was said, “Why dost thou daze thyself

To see a thing which here hath no existence? Earth in the earth my body is, and shall be

With all the others there, until our number

With the eternal proposition tallies.
With the two garments in the blessed cloister

Are the two lights alone that have ascended :
And this shalt thou take back into your world."

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And at this utterance the flaming circle

Grew quiet, with the dulcet intermingling

Of sound that by the trinal breath was made, As to escape from danger or fatigue

The oars that erst were in the water heaten

Are all suspended at a whistle's sound. Ah, how much in my mind was I disturbed,

When I turned round to look on Beatrice,

That her I could not see, although I was Close at her side and in the Happy World !



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WHILE I was doubting for my vision quenched,

Out of the flame refulgent that had quenched it

Issued a breathing, that attentive made me, Saying: “While thou recoverest the sense

Of seeing which in me thou hast consumed,

'Tis well that speaking thou shouldst compensate it. Begin then, and declare to what thy soul

Is aimed, and count it for a certainty,

Sight is in thee bewildered and not dead ; Because the Lady, who through this divine

Region conducteth thee, has in her look

The power the hand of Ananias had.” I said : “ As pleaseth her, or soon or late

Let the cure come to eyes that portals were

When she with fire I ever burn with entered. The Good, that gives contentment to this Court,

The Alpha and Omega is of all

The writing that love reads me low or loud.” The selfsame voice, that taken had from me

The terror of the sudden dazzlement,

To speak still farther put it in my thought;
And said: “In verity with finer sieve

Behoveth thee to sift; thee it behoveth

who aimed thy bow at such a target." And I: “By philosophic arguments,

And by authority that hence descends,

Such love must needs imprint itself in me;
For Good, so far as good, when comprehended

Doth straight enkindle love, and so much greater
As more of goodness in itself it holds;

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Then to that Essence (whose is such advantage

That every good which out of it is found

Is nothing but a ray of its own light)
More than elsewhither must the mind be moved

Of every one, in loving, who discerns

The truth in which this evidence is founded. Such truth he to my intellect reveals

Who demonstrates to me the primal love

Of all the sempiternal substances.
The voice reveals it of the truthful Author,

Who says to Moses, speaking of Himself,

'I will make all my goodness pass before thee.' Thou too revealest it to me, beginning

The loud Evangel, that proclaims the secret

Of heaven to earth above all other edict.” And I heard say:

“By human intellect And by authority concordant with it,

Of all thy loves reserve for God the highest. But say again if other cords thou feelest,

Draw thee towards Him, that thou mayst proclaim

With how many teeth this love is biting thee." The holy purpose of the Eagle of Christ

Not latent was, nay, rather I perceived

Whither he fain would my profession lead. Therefore I recommenced : “All of those bites

Which have the power to turn the heart to God

Unto my charity have been concurrent. The being of the world, and my own being,

The death which He endured that I may live,

And that which all the faithful hope, as I do, With the forementioned vivid consciousness

Have drawn me from the sea of love perverse,

And of the right have placed me on the shore. The leaves, wherewith embowered is all the garden

Of the Eternal Gardener, do I love

As much as he has granted them of good.” As soon as I had ceased, a song most sweet

Throughout the heaven resounded, and my Lady

Said with the others, “Holy, holy, holy !” And as at some keen light one wakes from sleep

By reason of the visual spirit that runs

Unto the splendour passed from coat to coat,
And he who wakes abhorreth what he sees,

So all unconscious is his sudden waking,
Until the judgment cometh to his aid,

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So from before mine eyes did Beatrice

Chase every mote with radiance of her own,

That cast its light a thousand miles and more. Whence better after than before I saw,

And in a kind of wonderment I asked

About a fourth light that I saw with us.
And said my Lady: “There within those rays

its Maker the first soul
That ever the first virtue did create."
Even as the bough that downward bends its top

At transit of the wind, and then is lifted

By its own virtue, which inclines it upward, Likewise did I, the while that she was speaking,

Being amazed, and then I was made bold

By a desire to speak wherewith I burned. And I began : “O apple, that mature

Alone hast been produced, O ancient father,

To whom each wife is daughter and daughter-in-law, Devoutly as I can I supplicate thee

That thou wouldst speak to me; thou seest my wish;

And I, to hear thee quickly, speak it not.” Sometimes an animal, when covered, struggles

So that his impulse needs must be apparent,

By reason of the wrappage following it; And in like manner the primeval soul

Made clear to me athwart its covering

How jubilant it was to give me pleasure. Then breathed: “Without thy uttering it to me,

Thine inclination better I discern

Than thou whatever thing is surest to thee; For I behold it in the truthful mirror,

That of Himself all things parhelion makes,

And none makes Him parhelion of itself.
Thou fain wouldst hear how long ago God placed me

Within the lofty garden, where this Lady

Unto so long a stairway thee disposed. And how long to mine eyes it was a pleasure,

And of the great disdain the proper cause,

And the language that I used and that I made. Now, son of mine, the tasting of the tree

Not in itself was cause of so great exile,

But solely the o’erstepping of the bounds.
There, whence thy Lady moved Virgilius,

Four thousand and three hundred and two circuits
Made by the sun, this Council I desired;







And him I saw return to all the lights

Of his highway nine hundred times and thirty,

Whilst I upon the earth was tarrying. The language that I spake was quite extinct

Before that in the work interminable

The people under Nimrod were employed; For nevermore result of reasoning

(Because of human pleasure that doth change,

Obedient to the heavens) was durable. A natural action is it that man speaks;

But whether thus or thus, doth nature leave

To your own art, as seemeth best to you. Ere I descended to the infernal anguish,

El was on earth the name of the Chief Good,

From whom comes all the joy that wraps me round; Eli he then was called, and that is proper,

Because the use of men is like a leaf

On bough, which goeth and another cometh. Upon the mount that highest o'er the wave

Rises was I, in life or pure or sinful,

From the first hour to that which is the second, As the sun changes quadrant, to the sixth.”



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“GLORY be to the Father, to the Son,

And Holy Ghost !” all Paradise began,

So that the melody inebriate made me.
What I beheld seemed unto me a smile
Of the universe ; for my

Found entrance through the hearing and the sight.
O joy! O gladness inexpressible!

O perfect life of love and peacefulness !

O riches without hankering secure !
Before mine eyes were standing the four torches

Enkindled, and the one that first had come

Began to make itself more luminous; And even such in semblance it became

As Jupiter would become, if he and Mars

Were birds, and they should interchange their feathers.
That Providence, which here distributeth

Season and service, in the blessed choir
Had silence upon every side imposed.

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