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Above us there are mirrors, Thrones you call them,

From which shines out on us God Judicant,

So that this utterance seems good to us.” Here it was silent, and it had the semblance

Of being turned elsewhither, by the wheel

On which it entered as it was before. The other joy, already known to me,

Became a thing transplendent in my sight,

As a fine ruby smitten by the sun. Through joy effulgence is acquired above,

As here a smile; but down below, the shade

Outwardly darkens, as the mind is sad. "God seeth all things, and in Him, blest spirit,

Thy sight is,” said I, “ so that never will

Of his can possibly from thee be hidden; Thy voice, then, that for ever makes the heavens

Glad, with the singing of those holy fires

Which of their six wings make themselves a cowl, Wherefore does it not satisfy my longings ?

Indeed, I would not wait thy questioning

If I in thee were as thou art in me." “ The greatest of the valleys where the water

Expands itself,” forthwith its words began,

“ That sea excepted which the earth engarlands, Between discordant shores against the sun

Extends so far, that it meridian makes

Where it was wont before to make the horizon. I was a dweller on that valley's shore

'Twixt Ebro and Magra that with journey short

Doth from the Tuscan part the Genoese. With the same sunset and same sunrise nearly

Sit Buggia and the city whence I was,

That with its blood once made the harbour hot. Folco that people called me unto whom

My name was known; and now with me this heaven

Imprints itself, as I did once with it;
For more the daughter of Belus never burned,

Offending both Sichæus and Creusa,

Than I, so long as it became my locks, Nor yet that Rodophean, who deluded

Was by Demophoon, nor yet Alcides,

When Iole he in his heart had locked.
Yet here is no repenting, but we smile,

Not at the fault, which comes not back to mind,
But at the power which ordered and foresaw.

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Ilere we behold the art that doth adorn

With such affection, and the good discover

Whereby the world above turns that below. But that thou wholly satisfied mayst bear

Thy wishes hence which in this sphere are born,

Still farther to proceed behoveth me.
Thou fain wouldst know who is within this light

That here beside me thus is scintillating,

Even as a sunbeam in the limpid water. Then know thou, that within there is at rest

Rahab, and being to our order joined,

With her in its supremest grade 'tis sealed. Into this heaven, where ends the shadowy cone

Cast by your world, before all other souls

First of Christ's triumph was she taken up. Full meet it was to leave her in some heaven,

Even as a palm of the high victory

Which he acquired with one palm and the other, Because she favoured the first glorious deed

Of Joshua upon the Holy Land,

That little stirs the memory of the Pope. Thy city, which an offshoot is of him

Who first upon his Maker turned his back,

And whose ambition is so sorely wept, Brings forth and scatters the accursed flower

Which both the sheep and lambs hath led astray,

Since it has turned the shepherd to a wolf. For this the Evangel and the mighty Doctors

Are derelict, and only the Decretals

So studied that it shows upon their margins. On this are Pope and Cardinals intent;

Their meditations reach not Nazareth,

There where his pinions Gabriel unsoliled; But Vatican and the other parts elect

Of Rome, which have a cemetery becr.

Unto the soldiery that followed Peter, Shall soon be free from this adultery.”

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LOOKING into his Son with all the Love

Which each of them eternally breathes forth,
The Primal and unutterable Power

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Whate'er before the mind or eye revolves

With so much order made, there can be none

Who this beholds without enjoying Him. Lift up then, Reader, to the lofty wheels

With me thy vision straight unto that part

Where the one motion on the other strikes, And there begin to contemplate with joy

That Master's art, who in himself so loves it

That never doth his eye depart therefrom. Behold how from that point goes branching off

The oblique circle, which conveys the planets,

To satisfy the world that calls upon them ; And if their pathway were not thus inflected,

Much virtue in the heavens would be in vain,

And almost every power below here dead. If from the straight line distant more or less

Were the departure, much would wanting be

Above and underneath of mundane order. Remain now, Reader, still upon thy bench,

In thought pursuing that which is foretasted,

If thou wouldst jocund be instead of weary. I've set before thee; henceforth feed thyself,

For to itself diverteth all my care

That theme whereof I have been made the scribe. The greatest of the ministers of nature,

Who with the power of heaven the world imprints

And measures with his light the time for us, With that part which above is called to mind

Conjoined, along the spirals was revolving,

Where each time earlier he presents himself; And I was with him ; but of the ascending

I was not conscious, saving as a man

Of a first thought is conscious ere it come ; And Beatrice, she who is seen to pass

From good to better, and so suddenly

That not by time her action is expressed, How lucent in herself must she have been !

And what was in the sun, wherein I entered,

Apparent not by colour but by light,
I, though I call on genius, art, and practice,

Cannot so tell that it could be imagined ;

Believe one can, and let him long to see it.
And if our fantasies too lowly are

For altitude so great, it is no marvel,
Since o'er the sun was never eye could go


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Such in this place was the fourth family

Of the high Father, who forever sates it,

Showing how he breathes forth and how begets. And Beatrice began : “Give thanks, give thanks

Unto the Sun of Angels, who to this

Sensible one has raised thee by his grace!” Never was heart of mortal so disposed

To worship, nor to give itself to God

With all its gratitude was it so ready, As at those words did I myself become;

And all my love was so absorbed in Him,

That in oblivion Beatrice was eclipsed. Nor this displeased her ; but she smiled at it

So that the splendour of her laughing eyes

My single mind on many things divided. Lights many saw I, vivid and triumphant,

Make us a centre and themselves a circle,

More sweet in voice than luminous in aspect. Thus girt about the daughter of Latona

We sometimes see, when pregnant is the air,

So that it holds the thread which makes her zone. Within the court of Heaven, whence I return,

Are many jewels found, so fair and precious

They cannot be transported from the realm; And of them was the singing of those lights.

Who takes not wings that he may fly up thither,

The tidings thence may from the dumb await ! As soon as singing thus those burning suns

Had round about us whirled themselves three times,

Like unto stars neighbouring the steadfast poles, Ladies they seemed, not from the dance released,

But who stop short, in silence listening

Till they have gathered the new melody. And within one I heard beginning : “When

The radiance of grace, by which is kindled

True love, and which thereafter grows by loving, Within thee multiplied is so resplendent

That it conducts thee upward by that stair,

Where without reascending none descends, Who should deny the wine out of his vial

Unto thy thirst, in liberty were not

Except as water which descends not seaward.
Fain wouldst thou know with what plants is enflowered

This garland that encircles with delight
The Lady fair who makes thee strong for heaven.


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Of the lambs was I of the holy flock

Which Dominic conducteth by a road

Where well one fattens if he strayeth not. He who is nearest to me on the right

My brother and master was; and he Albertus

Is of Cologne, I Thomas of Aquinum. If thou of all the others wouldst be certain,

Follow behind my speaking with thy sight

Upward along the blessed garland turning, That next effulgence issues from the smile

Of Gratian, who assisted both the courts

In such wise that it pleased in Paradise. The other which near by adorns our choir

That Peter was who, e'en as the poor widow,

Offered his treasure unto Holy Church. The fifth light, that among us is the fairest,

Breathes forth from such a love, that all the worl!

Below is greedy to learn tidings of it. Within it is the lofty mind, where knowledge

So deep was put, that, if the true be true,

To see so much there never rose a second. Thou seest next the lustre of that taper,

Which in the flesh below looked most within

The angelic nature and its ministry. Within that other little light is smiling

The advocate of the Christian centuries,

Out of whose rhetoric Augustine was furnished. Now if thou trainest thy mind's eye along

From light to light pursuant of my praise,

With thirst already of the eighth thou waitest. By seeing every good therein exults

The sainted soul, which the fallacious world

Makes manifest to him who listeneth well; The body whence 'twas hunted forth is lying

Down in Cieldauro, and from martyrdom

And banishment it came unto this peace. See farther onward flame the burning breath

Of Isidore, of Beda, and of Richard

Who was in contemplation more than man. This, whence to me returneth thy regard,

The light is of a spirit unto whom

In his grave meditations death seemed slow.
It is the light eternal of Sigier,

Who, reading lectures in the Street of Straw,
Did syllogize invidious verities."

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