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And as he finished uttering these words,
A voice close by us sounded : “Peradventure
Thou wilt have need of sitting down ere that.”
And saw upon the left hand a great rock,
Which neither I nor he before had noticed.
Who in the shadow stood behind the rock,
As one through indolence is wont to stand.
Was sitting down, and both his knees embraced,
Holding his face low down between them bowed. “O my sweet Lord,” I said, “ do turn thine eye
On him who shows himself more negligent
Then even Sloth herself his sister were.”
Just lifting up his eyes above his thigh,
And said: “Now go thou up, for thou art valiant."
That still a little did my breathing quicken,
My going to him hindered not; and after
Saying: “Hast thou seen clearly how the sun
O’er thy left shoulder drives his chariot ? ”
A little unto laughter moved my lips;
Then I began : "Belacqua, I grieve not
In this place art thou ? Waitest thou an escort ?
Or has thy usual habit seized upon thee?"
Since to my torment would not let me go
The Angel of God, who sitteth at the gate.
Outside thereof, as in my life it did,
Since the good sighs I to the end postponed,
Which rises from a heart that lives in grace :
What profit others that in heaven are heard net?"
And saying: “Come now; see the sun has touched
Meridian, and from the shore the night
I HAD already from those shades departed,
And followed in the footsteps of my Guide,
When from behind, pointing his finger at me,
The sunshine on the left of him below,
And like one living seems he to conduct him
And saw them watching with astonishment
But me, but me, and the light which was broken !
The Master said, “ that thou thy pace dost slacken?
What matters it to thee what here is whispered ?
Stand like a steadfast tower, that never wags
Its top for all the blowing of the winds;
Thought upon thought, removes from him the mark,
Because the force of one the other weakens."
I said it somewhat with that colour tinged
Which makes a man of pardon sometimes worthy:
Came people in advance of us a little,
Singing the Miserere verse by verse.
For passage of the sunshine through my body,
They changed their song into a long, hoarse “ Oh!"
Ran forth to meet us, and demanded of us,
“Of your condition make us cognisant." And said my Master : “ Ye can go your way
And carry back again to those who sent you,
That this one's body is of very flesh.
As I suppose, enough is answered them ;
Him let them honour, it may profit them.”
At early nightfall cleave the air serene,
But upward they returned in briefer time,
And, on arriving, with the others wheeled
Tow'rds us, like troops that run without a rein. "This folk that presses unto us
“So still go onward, and in going listen." “O soul that goest to beatitude
With the same members wherewith thou wast born,"
Shouting they came, "a little stay thy steps, Look, if thou e'er hast any of us seen,
So that o'er yonder thou bear news of him ;
Ah, why dost thou go on? Ah, why not stay? Long since we all were slain by violence,
And sinners even to the latest hour;
Then did a light from heaven admonish us, So that, both penitent and pardoning, forth
From life we issued reconciled to God,
Who with desire to see Him stirs our hearts." And I : “ Although I gaze into your faces,
No one I recognize ; but if may please you
Aught I have power to do, ye well-born spirits, Speak ye, and I will do it, by that peace
Which, following the feet of such a Guide,
From world to world makes itself sought by me." And one began : “ Each one has confidence
In thy good offices without an oath,
Unless the I cannot cut off the I will ; Whence I, who speak alone before the others,
Pray thee, if ever thou dost see the land
That 'twixt Romagna lies and that of Charles, Thou be so courteous to me of thy prayers
In Fano, that they pray for me devoutly,
That I may purge away my grave offences.
Issued the blood wherein I had my seat,
Were dealt me in bosom of the Antenori, There where I thought to be the most secure;
'Twas he of Este had it done, who held me
In hatred far beyond what justice willed. But if towards the Mira I had fled,
When I was overtaken at Oriaco,
I still should be o'er yonder where men breathe.
Did so entangle me I fell, and saw there
“Ah, when thou hast returned unto the world,
And rested thee from thy long journeying,"
After the second followed the third spirit, “Do thou remember me who am the Pia ;
Siena made me, unmade me Maremma;
He knoweth it, who had encircled first, Espousing me, my finger with his gem."
WHENE'Er is broken up the game of Zara,
He who has lost remains behind despondent,
The throws repeating, and in sadness learns; The people with the other all depart;
One goes in front, and one behind doth pluck hin:.
And at his side one brings himself to mind; He pauses not, and this and that one hears ;
They crowd no more to whom his hand he stretches,
And from the throng he thus defends himself. Even such was I in that dense multitude,
Turning to them this way and that my face,
And, promising, I freed myself therefrom. There was the Aretine, who from the arms
Untamed of Ghin di Tacco had his death,
And he who fleeing from pursuit was drowned. There was imploring with his hands outstretched
Frederick Novello, and that one of Pisa
Who made the good Marzucco scem so strong. I saw Count Orso; and the soul divided
By hatred and by envy from its body,
As it declared, and not for crime committed, Pierre de la Brosse I say; and here provide
While still on earth the Lady of Brabant,
So that for this she be of no worse flock ! As soon as I was free from all those shades
Who only prayed that some one else may pray,
So as to hasten their becoming holy, Began I: “It appears that thou deniest,
O light of mine, expressly in some text,
That orison can bend decree of Heaven ;
Might then their expectation bootless be?