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My Master and myself, we two alone
Were going upward, and I thought, in going,
Some profit to acquire from words of his; And I to him directed me, thus asking :
“What did the spirit of Romagna mean,
Mentioning interdict and partnership ?” Whence he to me: “Of his own greatest failing
He knows the harm; and therefore wonder not
If he reprove us, that we less may rue it. Because are thither pointed your desires
Where by companionship each share is lessened,
Envy doth ply the bellows to your sighs. But if the love of the supernal sphere
Should upwardly direct your aspiration,
There would not be that fear within your breas! ; For there, as much the more as one says Our,
So much the more of good each one possesses,
And more of charity in that cloister burns.” “I am more hungering to be satisfied,"
I said, “than if I had before been silent,
And more of doubt within my mind I gather. How can it be, that boon distributed
The more possessors can more wealthy make
Therein, than if by few it be possessed?" And he to me: “ Because thou fixest still
Thy mind entirely upon earthly things,
Thou pluckest darkness from the very light. That goodness infinite and ineffable
Which is above there, runneth unto love,
As to a lucid body comes the sunbeam. So much it gives itself as it finds ardour,
So that as far as charity extends,
O’er it increases the eternal valour. And the more people thitherward aspire,
More are there to love well, and more they love there,
And, as a mirror, one reflects the other. And if my reasoning appease thee not,
Thou shalt see Beatrice ; and she will fully
Take from thee this and every other longing. Endeavour, then, that soon may be extinct,
As are the two already, the five wounds
That close themselves again by being painful."
I saw that I had reached another circle,
There it appeared to me that in a vision
Ecstatic on a sudden I was rapt,
And in a temple many persons saw ; And at the door a woman, with the sweet
Behaviour of a mother, saying: “Son,
Why in this manner hast thou dealt with us? Lo, sorrowing, thy father and myself
Were seeking for thee;"—and as here she ceased,
That which appeared at first had disappeared. Then I beheld another with those waters
Adown her cheeks which grief distils whenever
From great disdain of others it is born, And saying: “If of that city thou art lord,
For whose name was such strife among the gods,
And whence doth every science scintillate, Avenge thyself on those audacious arms
That clasped our daughter, O Pisistratus ;"
And the lord seemed to me benign and mild To answer her with aspect temperate :
“What shall we do to those who wish us ill,
If he who loves us be by us condemned ?" Then saw I people hot in fire of wrath,
With stones a young man slaying, clamorously
Still crying to each other, “ Kill him ! kill him !" And him I saw bow down, because of death
That weighed already on him, to the earth,
But of his eyes made ever gates to heaven, Imploring the high Lord, in so great strife,
That he would pardon those his persecutors,
With such an aspect as unlocks compassion. Soon as my soul had outwardly returned
To things external to it which are true,
Did I my not false errors recognize. My Leader, who could see me bear myself
Like to a man that rouses him from sleep,
Exclaimed: “What ails thee, that thou canst not stand? But hast been coming more than half a league
Veiling thine eyes, and with thy legs entangled,
In guise of one whom wine or sleep subdues ?” "O my sweet Father, if thou listen to me,
I'll tell thee,” said I, “what appeared to me,
When thus from me my legs-were ta’en away.”
Upon thy face, from me would not be shut
What thou hast seen was that thou mayst not fail
To ope thy heart unto the waters of peace,
Which from the eternal fountain are diffused.
Who only looketh with the eyes that see not
When of the soul bereft the body lies,
Thus must we needs urge on the sluggards, slow
To use their wakefulness when it returns."
Forward as far as ever eye could stretch
Against the sunbeams serotine and lucent;
In our direction, sombre as the night,
Nor was there place to hide one's self therefrom.
DARKNESS of hell, and of a night deprived
Of every planet under a poor sky,
As much as may be tenebrous with cloud,
As did that smoke which there enveloped us,
Nor to the feeling of so rough a texture;
Whereat mine escort, faithful and sagacious,
Drew near to me and offered me his shoulder.
Lest he should wander, or should strike against
Aught that may harm or peradventure kill him,
Listening unto my Leader, who said only,
“Look that from me thou be not separated.” Voices I heard, and every one appeared
To supplicate for peace and misericord
The Lamb of God who takes away our sins.
One word there was in all, and metre one,
So that all harmony appeared among them.
And he to me: “Thou apprehendest truly,
"Now who art thou, that cleavest through our smoke,
And art discoursing of us even as though
Thou didst by calends still divide the time?” After this manner by a voice was spoken;
Whereon my Master said : “Do thou reply,
And ask if on this side the way go upward.” And I: “O creature that dost cleanse thyself
To return beautiful to Him who made thee,
Thou shalt hear marvels if thou follow me.” “Thec will I follow far as is allowed me,”
He answered ; “ and if smoke prevent our seeing,
Hearing shall keep us joined instead thereof." Thereon began I: “With that swathing band
Which death unwindeth am I going upward,
And hither came I through the infernal anguish. And if God in his grace has me infolded,
So that he wills that I behold his court
By method wholly out of modern usage, Conceal not from me who ere death thou wast,
But tell it me, and tell me if I go
Right for the pass, and be thy words our escort.” " Lombard was I, and I was Marco called ;
The world I knew, and loved that excellence,
At which has each one now unbent his bow. For mounting upward, thou art going right."
Thus he made answer, and subjoined: “I pray thee
To pray for me when thou shalt be above." And I to him: “My faith I pledge to thee
To do what thou dost ask me; but am bursting
Inly with doubt, unless I rid me of it. First it was simple, and is now made double
By thy opinion, which makes certain to me,
Here and elsewhere, that which I couple with it. The world forsooth is utterly deserted
By every virtue, as thou tellest me,
And with iniquity is big and covered ; But I beseech thee point me out the cause,
That I may see it, and to others show it;
For one in the heavens, and here below one puts it." A sigh profound, that grief forced into Ai!
He first sent forth, and then began he: “ Brother,
The world is blind, and sooth thou comest from it ! l'e who are living every cause refer
Still upward to the heavens, as if all things
If this were so, in you would be destroyed
Free will, nor any justice would there be
In having joy for good, or grief for evi!.
I say not all; but granting that I say it,
Light has been given you for good and evil,
In the first battles with the heavens it suffers,
Afterwards conquers all, if well 'tis nurtured.
Though free, ye subject are, and that creates
The mind in you the heavens have not in charge.
In you the cause is, be it sought in you;
And I therein will now be thy true spy.
Before it is, like to a little girl
Weeping and laughing in her childish sport,
Save that, proceeding from a joyous Maker,
Gladly it turns to that which gives it pleasure.
Is cheated by it, and runs after it,
If guide or rein turn not aside its love.
Behoved a king to have, who at the least
Of the true city should discern the tower.
No one; because the shepherd who precedes
Can ruminate, but cleaveth not the hoof;
Strike only at the good for which it hankers,
Feeds upon that, and farther seeketh not.
The cause is that has made the world depraveil,
And not that nature is corrupt in you.
Two suns to have, which one road and the other,
Of God and of the world, made manifest.
The sword is joined, and ill beseemeth it
That by main force one with the other go,
If thou believe not, think upon the grain,