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And in that part whereat is first received
Our alimert, it one of them transfixed;
Then downward fell in front of him extended. The one transfixed looked at it, but said naught;
Nay, rather with feet motionless he yawned,
Just as if sleep or fever had assailed him. He at the serpent gazed, and it at him ;
One through the wound, the other through the inouth
Smoked violently, and the smoke commingled. Henceforth be silent Lucan, where he mentions
Wretched Sabellus and Nassidius,
And wait to hear what now shall be shot forth. Be silent Ovid, of Cadmus and Arethusa ;
For if him to a snake, her to a fountain,
Converts he fabling, that I grudge him not; Because two natures never front to front
Has he transmuted, so that both the forms
To interchange their matter ready were. Together they responded in such wise,
That to a fork the serpent cleft his tail,
And eke the wounded drew his feet together. The legs together with the thighs themselves
Adhered so, that in little time the juncture
No sign whatever made that was apparent He with the cloven tail assumed the figure
The other one was losing, and his skin
Became elastic, and the other's hard.
And both feet of the reptile, that were short,
Lengthen as much as those contracted were. Thereafter the hind feet, together twisted,
Became the member that a man conceals,
And of his own the wretch had two created. While both of them the exhalation veils
With a new colour, and engenders hair
On one of them and depilates the other, The one uprose and down the other fell,
Though turning not away their impious lamps,
Underneath which each one his muzzle changed. He who was standing drew it tow'rds the temples,
And from excess of matter, which came thither,
Issued the ears from out the hollow cheeks;
Of that excess made to the face a nose,
He who lay prostrate thrusts his muzzle forward,
And backward draws the ears into his head,
In the same manner as the snail its horns ;
For speech before, is cleft, and the bi-forked
In the other closes up, and the smoke ceases.
Along the valley hissing takes to flight,
And after him the other speaking sputters.
And said to the other: “ I'll have Buoso run,
Crawling as I have done, along this road.”
Shift and reshift, and here be my excuse
The novelty, if aught my pen transgress.
Somewhat bewildered, and my mind dismayed,
They could not flee away so secretly
And he it was who sole of three companions,
Which came in the beginning, was not changed; The other was he whom thou, Gaville, weepest.
REJOICE, O Florence, since thou art so great,
That over sea and land thou beatest thy wings,
And throughout Hell thy name is spread abroad! Among the thieves five citizens of thine
Like these I found, whence shame comes unto me,
And thou thereby to no great honour risest.
Feel shalt thou in a little time from now
What Prato, if none other, craves for thee.
Would that it were, seeing it needs must be,
For 'twill aggrieve me more the more I age.
The bourns had made us to descend before,
Remounted my Conductor and drew me.
Among the rocks and ridges of the crag,
Then sorrowed I, and sorrow now again,
When I direct my mind to what I saw,
And more my genius curb than I am wont, That it may run not unless virtue guide it ;
So that if some good star, or better thing,
Have given me good, I may myself not grudge it. As many as the hind (who on the hill
Rests at the time when he who lights the world
His countenance keeps least concealed from us, While as the fly gives place unto the gnat)
Seeth the glow-worms down along the valley,
Perchance there where he ploughs and makes his vintage : With flames as manifold resplendent all
Was the eighth Bolgia, as I grew aware
As soon as I was where the depth appeared. And such as he who with the bears avenged him
Beheld Elijah's chariot at departing,
What time the steeds to heaven erect uprose, For with his eye he could not follow it
So as to see aught else than flame alone,
Even as a little cloud ascending upward, Thus each along the gorge of the intrenchment
Was moving ; for not one reveals the theft,
And every flame a sinner steals away. I stood upon the bridge uprisen to see,
So that, if I had seized.not on a rock,
Down had I fallen without being pushed. And the Leader, who beheld me so attent,
Exclaimed: “Within the fires the spirits are ;
Each swathes himself with that wherewith he burns." "My Master," I replied, “ by hearing thee
I ain more sure ; but I surmised already
It might be so, and already wished to ask thee Who is within that fire, which comes so cleft
At top, it seems uprising from the pyre
Where was Eteocles with his brother placed." He answered me: “Within there are tormented
Ulysses and Diomed, and thus together
They unto vengeance run as unto wrath.
The ambush of the horse, which made the door
59 Therein is wept the craft, for which being dead
Deidamia still deplores Achilles,
“If they within those sparks possess the power
To speak,” I said, “thee, Master, much I pray,
And re-pray, that the prayer be worth a thousand, Chat thou make no denial of awaiting
Until the hornöd flame shall hither come ;
Thou seest that with desire I lean towards it." And he to me: “Worthy is thy entreaty
Of much applause, and therefore I accept it;
But take heed that thy tongue restrain itself. Leave me to speak, because I have conceived
That which thou wishest ; for they might disdain
Perchance, since they were Greeks, discourse of thinc.” 1 When now the flame had come unto that point,
Where to my Leader it seemed time and place,
After this fashion did I hear him speak: “Oye, who are twofold within one fire,
If I deserved of you, while I was living,
If I deserved of you or much or little When in the world I wrote the lofty verses,
Do not move on, but one of you declare
Whither, being lost, he went away to die." Then of the antique flame the greater horn,
Murmuring, began to wave itself about
Even as a flame doth which the wind fatigues. Thereafterward, the summit to and fro
Moving as if it were the tongue that spake,
It uttered forth a voice, and said : “When I From Circe had departed, who concealed me
More than a year there near unto Gaëta.
Or ever yet Æneas named it so, Nor fondness for my son, nor reverence
For my old father, nor the due affection
Which joyous should have made Penelope, Could overcome within me the desire
I had to be experienced of the world,
And of the vice and virtue of mankind; But I put forth on the high open sea
With one sole ship, and that small company
By which I never had deserted been. Both of the shores I saw as far as Spain,
Far as Morocco, and the isle of Sardes,
And the others which that sea bathes round about
When at that narrow passage we arrived
That man no farther onward should adventure.
On the right hand behind me left I Seville,
And on the other already had left Ceuta.
Perils,' I said, “have come unto the West,
To this so inconsiderable vigil
Be ye unwilling to deny the knowledge,
Following the sun, of the unpeopled world.
Ye were not made to live like unto brutes,
But for pursuit of virtue and of knowledge.'
With this brief exhortation, for the voyage,
That then I hardly could have held them back.
We of the oars made wings for our mad flight,
Evermore gaining on the larboard side.
The night beheld, and ours so very low
It did not rise above the ocean floor.
Had been the splendour underneath the moon,
Since we had entered into the deep pass,
From distance, and it seemed to me so high
As I had never any one beheld.
For out of the new land a whirlwind rose,
And smote upon the fore part of the ship.
At the fourth time it made the stern uplift,
And the prow downward go, as pleased Another,
ALREADY was the flame erect and quiet,
To speak no more, and now departed from us
With the permission of the gentle Poet ;
Caused us to turn our eyes upon its top