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And he to me: “The grievous quality

Of this their torment bows them so to earth,

That my own eyes at first contended with it'; But look there fixedly, and disentangle

By sight what cometh underneath those stones;

Already canst thou see how each is stricken.” O ye proud Christians ! wretched, weary ones !

Who, in the vision of the mind infirm,

Confidence have in your backsliding steps, Do ye not comprehend that we are worms,

Born to bring forth the angelic butterfly

That flieth unto judgment without screen? Why floats aloft your spirit high in air?

Like are ye unto insects undeveloped,

Even as the worm in whom formation fails ! As to sustain a ceiling or a roof,

In place of corbel, oftentimes a figure

Is seen to join its knees unto its breast, Which makes of the unreal real anguish

Arise in him who sees it; fashioned thus

Beheld I those, when I had ta'en good heed. True is it, they were more or less bent down,

According as they more or less were laden ;

And he who had most patience in his looks Weeping did seem to say, “ I can no more !"

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“Our Father, thou who dwellest in the heavens,

Not circumscribed, but from the greater love

Thou bearest to the first effects on high, Praised be thy name and thine omnipotence

By every creature, as befitting is

To render thanks to thy sweet effluence, Come unto us the peace of thy dominion,

For unto it we cannot of ourselves,

If it come not, with all our intellect. Even as thine own Angels of their will

Make sacrifice to thee, Hosanna singing:

So may all men make sacrifice of theirs.
Give unto us this day our daily manna,

Withouten which in this rough wilderness
Backward goes he who toils most to advance.


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And even as we the trespass we have suffered

Pardon in one another, pardon thou

Benignly, and regard not our desert.
Our virtue, which is easily o'ercome,

Put not to proof with the old Adversary,

But thou from him who spurs it so, deliver.
This last petition verily, dear Lord,

Not for ourselves is made, 'who need it not,

But for their sake who have remained behind us."
Thus for themselves and us good furtherance

Those shades imploring, went beneath a weight

Like unto that of which we sometimes dream,
Unequally in anguish round and round

And weary all, upon that foremost cornice,

Purging away the smoke-stains of the world
If there good words are always said for us,

What may not here be said and done for them,

By those who have a good root to their will?
Well may we help them wash away the marks

That hence they carried, so that clean and light

They may ascend unto the starry wheels! “Ah! so may pity and justice you disburden.

Soon, that ye may have power to move the wing,

That shall uplift you after your desire,
Show us on which hand tow'rd the stairs the way

Is shortest, and if more than one the passes,

Point us out that which least abruptly falls;
For he who cometh with me, through the burden

Of Adam's flesh wherewith he is invested,

Against his will is chary of his climbing."
The words of theirs which they returned to those

That he whom I was following had spoken,

It was not manifest from whom they came,
But it was said: “To the right hand come with us

Along the bank, and ye shall find a pass

Possible for living person to ascend.
And were I not impeded by the stone,

Which this proud neck of mine doth subjugate,

Whence I am forced to hold my visage down,
Him, who still lives and does not name himself,

Would I regard, to see if I may know him

And make him piteous unto this burden.
A Latian was I, and born of a great Tuscan;

Guglielmo Aldobrandeschi was my father ;
I know not if his name were ever with you.

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The ancient blood and deeds of gallantry

Of my progenitors so arrogant made me

That, thinking not upon the common mother, All men I held in scorn to such extent

I died therefor, as know the Sienese,

And every child in Campagnatico. I am Omberto; and not to me alone

Has pride done harm, but all my kith and kin

Has with it dragged into adversity. And here must I this burden bear for it

Till God be satisfied, since I did not

Among the living, here among the dead.” Listening I downward bent my countenance ;

And one of them, not this one who was speaking,

Twisted himself beneath the weight that cramps him, And looked at me, and knew me, and called out,

Keeping his eyes laboriously fixed

On me, who all bowed down was going with them. "O,” asked I him, “art thou not Oderisi,

Agobbio's honour, and honour of that art

Which is in Paris called illuminating?” “ Brother,” said he, "more laughing are the leaves

Touched by the brush of Franco Bolognese ;

All his the honour now, and mine in part. In sooth I had not been so courteous

While I was living, for the great desire

Of excellence, on which my heart was bent. Here of such pride is paid the forfeiture;

And yet I should not be here, were it not

That, having power to sin, I turned to God. O thou vain glory of the human powers,

How little green upon thy summit lingers,

If’t be not followed by an age of grossness ! In painting Cimabue thought that he

Should hold the field, now Giotto has the cry,

So that the other's fame is growing dim. So has one Guido from the other taken

The glory of our tongue, and he perchance

Is born, who from the nest shall chase them both. Naught is this mundane rumour but a breath

Of wind, that comes now this way and now that,

And changes name, because it changes side.
What fame shalt thou have more, if old peel off

From thee thy flesh, than if thou hadst been dead
Before thou left the pagpo and the dindi,




Ere pass a thousand years ? which is a shorter

Space to the eterne, than twinkling of an eye

Unto the circle that in heaven wheels slowest. With him, who takes so little of the road

In front of me, all Tuscany resounded;

And now he scarce is lisped of in Siena, Where he was lord, what time was overthrown

The Florentine delirium, that superb

Was at that day as now 'tis prostitute. Your reputation is the colour of grass

Which comes and goes, and that discolours it

By which it issues green from out the earth." And I : “ Thy true speech fills my heart with good

Humility, and great tumour thou assuagest;

But who is he, of whom just now thou spakest ? " “ That,” he replied, “is Provenzan Salvani,

And he is here because he had presumed

To bring Siena all into his hands.
He has gone thus, and goeth without rest

E'er since he died; such money renders back

In payment he who is on earth too daring." And I: “If every spirit who awaits

The verge of life before that he repent,

Remains below there and ascends not hither, Unless good orison shall him bestead,)

Until as much time as he lived be passed,

How was the coming granted him in largess ? " “When he in greatest splendour lived," said he,

“Freely upon the Campo of Siena,

All shame being laid aside, he placed himself; And there to draw his friend from the duress

Which in the prison-house of Charles he suffered,

He brought himself to tremble in each vein. I say no more, and know that I speak darkly;

Yet little time shall pass before thy neighbours

Will so demean themselves that thou canst gloss it This action has released him from those confines."

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ALREAST, like oxen going in a yoke,

I with that heavy-laden soul went on,
As long as the sweet pedagogue permitted ;

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But when he said, " Leave him, and onward pass,

For here 'tis good that with the sail and oars,

As much as may be, each push on his barque ;” pright, as walking wills it, I redressed

My person, notwithstanding that my thoughts

Remained within me downcast and abashed. I had moved on, and followed willingly

The footsteps of my Master, and we both

Already showed how light of foot we were, When unto me he said: “Cast down thine eyes;

'Twere well for thee, to alleviate the way,

To look upon the bed beneath thy feet.” As, that some memory may exist of them,

Above the buried dead their tombs in earth

Bear sculptured on them what they were before; Whence often there we weep for them afresh,

From pricking of remembrance, which alone

To the compassionate doth set its spur ; So saw I there, but of a better semblance

In point of artifice, with figures covered

Whate'er as pathway from the mount projects. I saw that one who was created noble

More than all other creatures, down from heaven

Flaming with lightnings fall upon one side. I saw Briareus smitten by the dart

Celestial, lying on the other side,

Heavy upon the earth by mortal frost. I saw Thymbræus, Pallas saw, and Mars,

Still clad in armour round about their father,

Gaze at the scattered members of the giants. I saw, at foot of his great labour, Nimrod,

As if bewildered, looking at the people

Who had been proud with him in Sennaar. O Niobe! with what afflicted eyes

Thee I beheld upon the pathway traced,

Between thy seven and seven children slain ! O Saul! how fallen upon thy proper sword

Didst thou appear there lifeless in Gilboa,

That felt thereaster neither rain nor dew ! O mad Arachne ! so I thee beheld

E’en then half spider, sad upon the shreds

Of fabric wrought in evil hour for thee ! 0 Rehoboam ! no more seems to threaten

Thine image there; but full of consternation
A chariot bears it off, when none pursues !

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