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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.”
At sound thereof each one of us turned round,

And saw upon the left hand a great rock,

Which neither I nor he before had noticed.
Thither we drew; and there were persons there

Who in the shadow stood behind the rock,

As one through indolence is wont to stand.
And one of them, who seemed to me fatigued,

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.”
Then he turned round to us, and he gave heed,

Just lifting up his eyes above his thigh,

And said: “Now go thou up, for thou art valiant."
Then knew I who he was; and the distress,

That still a little did my breathing quicken,

My going to him hindered not; and after
I came to him he hardly raised his head,

Saying: “Hast thou seen clearly how the sun

O’er thy left shoulder drives his chariot ? ”
His sluggish attitude and his curt words

A little unto laughter moved my lips;

Then I began : "Belacqua, I grieve not
For thee henceforth ; but tell me, wherefore seated

In this place art thou ? Waitest thou an escort ?

Or has thy usual habit seized upon thee?"
And he: “O brother, what's the use of climbing ?

Since to my torment would not let me go

The Angel of God, who sitteth at the gate.
First heaven must needs so long revolve me roun:)

Outside thereof, as in my life it did,

Since the good sighs I to the end postponed,
Unless, e'er that, some prayer may bring me aiul

Which rises from a heart that lives in grace :

What profit others that in heaven are heard net?"
Meanwhile the Poet was before me mounting,

And saying: “Come now; see the sun has touched

Meridian, and from the shore the night
Covers already with her foot Morocco,"

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I HAD already from those shades departed,

And followed in the footsteps of my Guide,

When from behind, pointing his finger at me,
One shouted : “See, it seems as if shone not

The sunshine on the left of him below,

And like one living seems he to conduct him
Mine eyes I turned at utterance of these words,

And saw them watching with astonishment

But me, but me, and the light which was broken !
Why doth thy mind so occupy itself,”

The Master said, “ that thou thy pace dost slacken?

What matters it to thee what here is whispered ?
Come after me, and let the people talk ;

Stand like a steadfast tower, that never wags

Its top for all the blowing of the winds;
For evermore the man in whom is springing

Thought upon thought, removes from him the mark,

Because the force of one the other weakens."
What could I say in answer but “I come "?

I said it somewhat with that colour tinged

Which makes a man of pardon sometimes worthy:
Meanwhile along the mountain-side across

Came people in advance of us a little,

Singing the Miserere verse by verse.
When they became aware I gave no place

For passage of the sunshine through my body,

They changed their song into a long, hoarse “ Oh!"
And two of them, in form of messengers,

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.
If they stood still because they saw his shadow,

As I suppose, enough is answered them ;

Him let them honour, it may profit them.”
Vapours enkindled saw I ne'er so swiftly

At early nightfall cleave the air serene,
Nor, at the set of sun, the clouds of August,



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


And cometh to implore thee," said the Poet ;

“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.
From thence was I; but the deep wounds, through which

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.
I ran to the lagoon, and reeds and mire

Did so entangle me I fell, and saw there
A lake made from my veins upon the grounıl."

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“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."



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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 ;
Ani ne'ertheless these people pray for this.

Might then their expectation bootless be?
Or is to me thy saying not quite clear ?"




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