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And I to him: “Although I come, I stay not ;
But who art thou that hast become so squalid?"
“Thou seest that I am one who weeps,” he answereil. And I to him : “With weeping and with wailing,
Thou spirit maledict, do thou remain;
For thee I know, though thou art all defiled."
Whereat my wary Master thrust him back,
Saying, “ Away there with the other dogs !”
He kissed my face, and said : “Disdainful soul,
Blessed be she who bore thee in her bosom.
Goodness is none, that decks his memory;
So likewise here his shade is furious.
Who here shall be like unto swine in mire,
Leaving behind them horrible dispraises !”
If I could see him soused into this broth,
Before we issue forth out of the lake."
Reveal itself, thou shalt be satisfied ;
Such a desire 'tis meet thou shouldst enjoy.”
Made of him by the people of the mire,
That still I praise and thank my God for it.
And that exasperate spirit Florentine
Turned round upon himself with his own teeti.
But on mine ears there smote a lamentation,
Whence forward I intent unbar mine eyes.
The city draweth near whose name is Dis,
With the grave citizens, with the great throng."
Within there in the valley I discern
Vermilion, as if issuing from the fire
That kindles them within makes them look red,
As thou beholdest in this nether Hell.”
That circumvallate that disconsolate city ;
Nut without making first a circuit wide,
We came unto a place where loud the pilot
Cried out to us, “ Debark, here is the entrance." More than a thousand at the gates I saw
Out of the Heavens rained down, who angrily
Were saying, “Who is this that without death Goes through the kingdom of the people dead?”
And my sagacious Master made a sign
Of wishing secretly to speak with them. A little then they quelled their great disdain,
And said : “Come thou alone, and he begone
Who has so boldly entered these dominions. Let him return alone by his mad road;
Try, if he can; for thou shalt here remain,
Who hast escorted him through such dark regions." Think, Reader, if I was discomforted
At utterance of the accursed words;
For never to return here I believed. “O my dear Guide, who more than seven times
Hast rendered me security, and drawn me
From imminent peril that before me stood, Do not desert me," said I, “thus undone;
And if the going farther be denied us,
Let us retrace our steps together swiftly." And that Lord, who had led me thitherward,
Said unto me: “Fear not; because our passage
None can take from us, it by Such is given. But here await me, and thy weary spirit
Comfort and nourish with a better hope;
For in this nether world I will not leave thee,” So onward goes and there abandons me
My Father sweet, and I remain in doubt,
For No and Yes within my head contend. I could not hear what he proposed to them;
But with them there he did not linger long,
Ere each within in rivalry ran back.
On my Lord's breast, who had remained without
And turned to me with footsteps far between. llis eyes cast down, his forehead shorn had he
Of all its boldness, and he said, with sighs,
“Who has denied to me the dolesome houses ?" And unto me:“ Thou, because I am angry,
Fear not, for I will conquer in the trial,
That hue which cowardice brought out on me,
Beholding my Conductor backward turn,
Sooner repressed within him his new colour. He stopped attentive, like a man who listens,
Because the eye could not conduct him far
Through the black air, and through the heavy fog. “Still it behoveth us to win the fight,"
Began he; “ Else ... Such offered us herself ...
O how I long that some one here arrive ! ” Well I perceived, as soon as the beginning
He covered up with what came afterward,
That they were words quite different from the first; But none the less his saying gave me fear,
Because I carried out the broken phrase,
Perhaps to a worse meaning than he had. “ Into this bottom of the doleful conch
Doth any e'er descend from the first grade,
Which for its pain has only hope cut off?” This question put I; and he answered me :
“Seldom it comes to pass that one of us
Maketh the journey upon which I go. True is it, once before I here below
Was conjured by that pitiless Erictho,
Who summoned back the shades unto their borlics. Naked of me short while the flesh had been,
Before within that wall she made me enter,
To bring a spirit from the circle of Judas; That is the lowest region and the darkest,
And farthest from the heaven which circles all
Well know I the way; therefore be reassurer
Encompasses about the city dolent,
And more he said, but not in mind I have it;
Because mine eye had altogether drawn me
Tow'rds the high tower with the red-flaming summit, Where in a moment saw I swift uprisen
The three infernal Furies stained with blood,
Who had the limbs of women and their mien, And with the greenest hydras were begirt ;
Small serpents and cerastes were their tresses,
Wherewith their horrid temples were entwined. And he who well the handmaids of the Queen
Of everlasting lamentation knew,
Said unto me: “Behold the fierce Erinnys This is Megæra, on the left-hand side ;
She who is weeping on the right, Alecto;
Tisiphone is between ;” and then was silent. Each one her breast was rending with her nails;
They beat them with their palms, and cried so loud,
That I for dread pressed close unto the Poet. "Medusa come, so we to stone will change him!”
All shouted looking down ; "in evil hour
Avenged we not on Theseus his assault !” “ Turn thyself round, and keep thine eyes close shut,
For if the Gorgon appear, and thou shouldst see it,
No more returning upward would there be.” Thus said the Master; and he turned me round
Himself, and trusted not unto my hands
So far as not to blind me with his own. Oye who have undistempered intellects,
Observe the doctrine that conceals itself
Beneath the veil of the mysterious verses ! And now there came across the turbid waves
The clangour of a sound with terror fraught,
Because of which both of the margins trembled ; Not otherwise it was than of a wind
Impetuous on account of adverse heats,
That smites the forest, and, without restraint, The branches rends, beats down, and bears away;
Right onward, laden with dust, it goes superb,
And puts to flight the wild beasts and the shepherds. Mine eyes he loosed, and said: “Direct the nerve
Of vision now along that ancient foam,
There yonder where that smoke is most intense."
Across the water scatter all abroad,
More than a thousand ruined souls I saw,
Thus fleeing from before one who on foot
Was passing o'er the Styx with soles unwet. From off his face he fanned that unctuous air,
Waving his left hand oft in front of him,
And only with that anguish seemed he weary. Well I perceived one sent from Heaven was he,
And to the Master turned ; and he made sign
That I should quiet stand, and bow before him, Ah! how disdainful he appeared to me!
He reached the gate, and with a little rod
He opened it, for there was no resistance.
Thus he began upon the horrid threshold;
couched? Wherefore recalcitrate against that will,
From which the end can never be cut off,
And which has many times increased your pain? What helpeth it to butt against the fates?
Your Cerberus, if you remember well,
For that still bears his chin and gullet peeled.” Then he returned along the miry road,
And spake no word to us, but had the look
Of one whom other care constrains and goads Than that of him who in his presence is;
And we our feet directed tow'rds the city,
After those holy words all confident. Within we entered without any contest;
And I, who inclination had to see
What the condition such a fortress hoids, Soon as I was within, cast round mine eye,
And see on every hand an ample plain,
Full of distress and torment terrible.
Even as at Pola near to the Quarnaro,
That shuts in Italy and bathes its borilers, The sepulchres make all the place uneven;
So likewise did they there on every side,
Saving that there the minner was more bitter; For flames between the sepulchres were scattered,
By which they so intensely heated were,
That iron more so asks not any art.
And from them issued forth such dire laments,