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Departs, when those, who in the Hebrew land
Were dwellers, saw it towards the warmer part.
But if it please thee, I would gladly know,
How far we have to journey: for the hill
Mounts higher, than this sight of mine can mount."
He thus to me: “ Such is this steep ascent,
That it is ever difficult at first,
But more a man proceeds, less evil grows.10
When pleasant it shall seem to thee, so much
That upward going shall be easy to thee
As in a vessel to go down the tide,
Then of this path thou wilt have reach'd the end.
There hope to rest thee from thy toil. No more
I answer, and thus far from certain know."
As he his words had spoken, near to us
A voice there sounded: “ Yet ye first perchance
May to repose you by constraint be led.”
At sound thereof each turn'd; and on the left
A huge stone we beheld, of which nor I
Nor he before was ware. Thither we drew;
And there were some, who in the shady place
Behind the rock were standing, as a man
Through idleness might stand. Among them one,
Who seem'd to be much wearied, sat him down,
And with his arms did fold his knees about,
Holding his face between them downward bent.
“Sweet Sir!” I cried, “ behold that man who shows
Himself more idle than if laziness
Were sister to him.” Straight he turn'd to us,
And, o'er the thigh lifting his face, observed,
Then in these accents spake: “Up then, proceed,
Thou valiant one." Straight who it was I knew;
Nor could the pain I felt (for want of breath
Still somewhat urged me) hinder my approach.
And when I came to him, he scarce his head
Uplifted, saying, “Well hast thou discern'd,
How from the left the sun his chariot leads ?”
His lazy acts and broken words my lips To laughter somewhat moved; when I began: 10 Because in ascending he gets rid of the weight of his sins.
“Belacqua," now for thee I grieve no more.
But tell, why thou art seated upright there.
Waitest thou escort to conduct thee hence ?
Or blame I only thine accustom'd ways ? "
Then he: “My brother ! of what use to mount,
When, to my suffering, would not let me pass
The bird of God, who at the portal sits ?
Behoves so long that Heaven first bear me round
Without its limits, as in life it bore;
Because I, to the end, repentant sighs
Delay'd; if prayer do not aid me first,
That riseth up from heart which lives in grace.
What other kind avails, not heard in Heaven?”
Before me now the poet, up the mount
Ascending, cried: “ Haste thee: for see the sun
Has touch'd the point meridian; and the night
Now covers with her foot Marocco's shore."
CANTO V ARGUMENT.-They meet with others, who had deferred their repentance till overtaken by a violent death, when sufficient space being allowed them, they were then saved; and among these, Giacopo del Cassero, Buonconte da Montefeltro, and Pia, a lady of Siena.
COW had I left those spirits, and pursued
The steps of my conductor; when behind,
Pointing the finger at me, one exclaim'd:
“ See, how it seems as if the light not shone
From the left hand? of him beneath, and he,
As living, seems to be led on.” Mine eyes,
I at that sound reverting, saw them gaze,
Through wonder, first at me; and then at me
And the light broken underneath, by turns.
“ Why are thy thoughts thus riveted," my guide.
Exclaim’d, " that thou hast slack'd thy pace? or how 4. In the margin of the Monte right of our travellers. For, as beCasino MS. there is found this fore, when seated and looking to the brief notice: “This Belacqua was east whence they had ascended, the an excellent master of the harp and sun was on their left; so now that lute, but very negligent in his af. they are again going forward, it fairs both spiritual and temporal.”. must be on the opposite side of them.
The sun was, therefore, on the Of Dante, following Virgil.
Imports it thee, what thing is whisper'd here?
Come after me, and to their babblings leave
The crowd. Be as a tower, that, firmly set,
Shakes not its top for any blast that blows.
He, in whose bosom thought on thought shoots out,
Still of his aim is wide, in that the one
Sicklies and wastes to naught the other's strength.”
What other could I answer, save “I come "?
I said it, somewhat with that color tinged,
Which oft-times pardon meriteth for man.
Meanwhile traverse along the hill there came,
A little way before us, some who sang
The “Miserere ” in responsive strains.
When they perceived that through my body I
Gave way not for the rays to pass, their song
Straight to a long and hoarse exclaim they changed;
And two of them, in guise of messengers,
Ran on to meet us, and inquiring ask'd:
“Of your condition we would gladly learn.”
To them my guide: “Ye may return, and bear
Tidings to them who sent you, that his frame
Is real flesh. If, as I deem, to view
His shade they paused, enough is answer'd them:
Him let them honor: they may prize him well.”
Ne'er saw I fiery vapors with such speed
Cut through the serene air at fall of night,
Nor August's clouds athwart the setting sun,
That upward these did not in shorter space
Return; and, there arriving, with the rest
Wheel back on us, as with loose rein a troop.
“Many," exclaim'd the bard, “are these, who throng Around us: to petition thee, they come. Go therefore on, and listen as thou go'st.”
“O spirit! who go'st on to blessedness,
With the same limbs that clad thee at thy birth,”
Shouting they came: "a little rest thy step.
Look if thou any one amongst our tribe
Hast e'er beheld, that tidings of him there
Thou mayst report. Ah, wherefore go'st thou on?
3" There." Upon the earth.
Ah, wherefore tarriest thou not?
By violence died, and to our latest hour
Were sinners, but then warn’d by light from Heaven;
So that, repenting and forgiving, we
Did issue out of life at peace with God,
Who, with desire to see Him, fills our heart.”
Then I: “The visages of all I scan,
That I can do may please you, gentle spirits!
Speak, and I will perform it; by that peace,
Which, on the steps of guide so excellent
Following, from world to world, intent I seek.”
Thy kindness, though not promised with an oath;
So as the will fail not for want of power.
Whence I, who sole before the other speak,
Entreat thee, if thou ever see that land"
Which lies between Romagna and the realm
Of Charles, that of thy courtesy thou pray
Those who inhabit Fano, that for me
Their adorations duly be put up,
By which I may purge off my grievous sins.
Whence issued out the blood" wherein I dwelt,
Upon my bosom in Antenor's land"
Were made, where to be more secure I thought.
The author of the deed was Este's prince,
Who, more than right could warrant, with his wrath
When overta'en at Oriaco, still
Might I have breathed. But to the marsh I sped;
And in the mire and rushes tangled there
Fell, and beheld my life-blood float the plain.”
Then said another: “Ah! so may the wish,
* The Marca d’ Ancona, between Romagna and Apulia, the kingdom of Charles of Anjou.
* Giacopo del Cassero, a citizen of Fano, who having spoken ill of Azzo da Este, Marquis of Ferrara, was by his orders put to death. Giacopo was overtaken by the assassins at Oriaco, near the Brenta, whence, if
he had fled toward Mira, higher up
on that river, instead of making for
the marsh on the sea-shore, he might
have escaped. -
• Supposed to be the seat of life.
7 Padua, said to be founded by An-
tenor. This implies a reflection on the Paduans. See “Hell,” xxxii. 89.
That takes thee o'er the mountain, be fulfill'd,
As thou shalt graciously give aid to mine.
Of Montefeltro I;8 Buonconte I:
Giovannao nor none else have care for me;
Sorrowing with these I therefore go." I thus :
“From Campaldino's field what force or chance
Drew thee, that ne'er thy sepulture was known?”
“Oh!” answer'd he, “at Casentino's foot
A stream there courseth, named Archiano, sprung
In Apennine above the hermit's seat.10
E’en where its name is cancel'd," there came I,
Pierced in the throat, fleeing away on foot,
And bloodying the plain. Here sight and speech
Faild me; and, finishing with Mary's name,
I fell, and tenantless my flesh remain'd.
I will report the truth; which thou again
Tell to the living. Me God's angel took,
Whilst he of Hell exclaim'd: 'O thou from Heaven!
Say wherefore hast thou robb'd me? Thou of him
The eternal portion bear'st with thee away,
For one poor tear that he deprives me of.
But of the other, other rule I make.'
“Thou know'st how in the atmosphere collects
That vapour dank, returning into water
Soon as it mounts where cold condenses it.
That evil will, which in his intellect
Still follows evil, came; and raised the wind
And smoky mist, by virtue of the power
Given by his nature. Thence the valley, soon
As day was spent, he cover'd o'er with cloud,
From Pratomagno to the mountain range; 18
And stretch'd the sky above; so that the air
Impregnate changed to water. Fell the rain;