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And he to me: “My writing is explicit,
And not fallacious is the hope of these,
If with sane intellect 'tis well regarded ;
Because the fire of love fulfils at once
What he must satisfy who here installs him.
Defect was not amended by a prayer,
Because the prayer from God was separatc.
Do not decide, unless she tell it thee,
Who light 'twixt truth and intellect shall be.
Of Beatrice ; her shalt thou see above,
Smiling and happy, on this mountain's top."
For I no longer tire me as before ;
And see, e'en now the hill a shadow casts."
“ As far as now is possible for us;
But otherwise the fact is than thou thinkest.
Him, who now hides himself behind the hill,
So that thou dost not interrupt his rays.
All, all alone is looking hitherward ;
It will point out to us the quickest way.”
How lofty and disdainful thou didst bear thee,
And grand and slow in moving of thine eyes!
But let us go our way, eying us only
After the manner of a couchant lion ;
That it would point us out the best ascent ;
And it replied not unto his demand,
It questioned us; and the sweet Guide began :
* Mantua,”and the shade, all in itself recluse, Rose tow'rds him from the place where first it was,
Saying: “O Mantuan, I am Sordello
Of thine own land !” and one embraced the other.
A ship without a pilot in great tempest !
That noble soul was so impatient, only
At the sweet sound of his own native land,
To make its citizen glad welcome there ; And now within thee are not without war
Thy living ones, and one doth gnaw the other
Of those whom one wall and one fosse shut in ! Search, wretched one, all round about the shores
Thy seaboard, and then look within thy bosom,
If any part of thee enjoyeth peace ! What boots it, that for thee Justinian
The bridle mend, if empty be the saddle ?
Withouten this the shame would be the less. Ah! people, thou that oughtest to be devout,
And to let Cæsar sit upon the saddle,
If well thou hearest what God teacheth thee, Behold how fell this wild beast has become,
Being no longer by the spur corrected,
Since thou hast laid thy hand upon the bridle. O German Albert! who abandonest
Her that has grown recalcitrant and savage,
And oughtest to bestride her saddle-bow, May a just judgment from the stars down fall
Upon thy blood, and be it new and open,
That thy successor may have fear thereof; Because thy father and thyself have suffered,
By greed of those transalpine lands distrained,
The garden of the empire to be waste. Come and behold Montecchi and Cappelletti,
Monaldi and Fillippeschi, careless man!
Those sad already, and these doubt-depressed : Come, cruel one ! come and behold the oppression
Of thy nobility, and cure their wounds,
And thou shalt see how safe is Santafiore ! Come and behold thy Rome, that is lamenting,
Widowed, alone, and day and night exclaims,
My Cæsar, why hast thou forsaken me?" Come and behold how loving are the people ;
And if for us no pity moveth thee,
Come and be made ashamed of thy renown! And if it lawful be, O Jove Supreme !
Who upon earth for us wast crucified,
Are thy just eyes averted otherwhere?
Of thine own counsel, for some good thou makest
For all the towns of Italy are full
Of tyrants, and becometh a Marcellus
Each peasant churl who plays the partisan ! My Florence! well mayst thou contented be
With this digression, which concerns thee not,
Thanks to thy people who such forethought take ! Many at heart have justice, but shoot slowly,
That unadvised they come not to the bow,
But on their very lips thy people have it ! Many refuse to bear the common burden;
But thy solicitous people answereth
Without being asked, and crieth : “I submit.” Now be thou joyful, for thou hast good reason;
Thou affluent, thou in peace, thou full of wisdom !
If I speak true, the event conceals it not. Athens and Lacedæmon, they who made
The ancient laws, and were so civilized,
Made towards living well a little sign Compared with thee, who makest such fine-spun
Provisions, that to middle of November
Reaches not what thou in October spinnest. How oft, within the time of thy remembrance,
Laws, money, offices, and usages
Hast thou remodelled, and renewed thy members ? And if thou mind thee well, and see the light,
Thou shalt behold thyself like a sick woman,
Who cannot find repose upon her down, But by her tossing wardeth off her pain.
AFTER the gracious and glad salutations
Had three and four times been reiterated,
Sordello backward drew and said, “Who are you?" “ Or ever to this mountain were directed
The souls deserving to ascend to God,
My bones were buried by Octavian. I am Virgilius ; and for no crime else
Did I lose heaven, than for not having faith ;"
In this wise then my Leader made reply.
Something whereat he marvels, who believes
We might indeed therewith return below,
And, wandering, walk the hill-side round about,
While the horizon holds the day imprisoned."
“Do thou conduct us thither, where thou sayest
That we can take delight in tarrying."
When I perceived the mount was hollowed out
In fashion as the valleys here are hollowed. “ Thitherward,” said that shade, “will we repair,
Where of itself the hill-side makes a lap,
And there for the new day will we await.” 'Twixt hill and plain there was a winding path
Which led us to the margin of that dell,
Where dies the border more than half away
The Indian wood resplendent and serene,
Fresh emerald the moment it is broken,
Planted, each one in colour would be vanquished,
As by its greater vanquished is the less.
But of the sweetness of a thousand odours
Made there a mingled fragrance and unknown. “ Salve Regina," on the green and flowers
There seated, singing, spirits I beheld,
Which were not visible outside the valley. “Before the scanty sun now seeks his nest,"
Began the Mantuan who had led us thither,
“ Among them do not wish me to conduct you. Better from off this ledge the acts and faces
Of all of them will you discriminate,
Than in the plain below received among them,
Of having what he should have done neglected,
And to the others' song moves not his lips,
To heal the wounds that Italy have slain,
So that through others slowly she revives.
Governed the region where the water springs,
The Moldau bears the Elbe, and Elbe the sea.
Far better he than bearded Winceslaus