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Although the world thereby may be destroyed. And he whom in the downward arc thou seest

Guglielmo was, whom the same land deplores

That weepeth Charles and Frederick yet alive; Now knoweth he how heaven enamored is

With a just king; and in the outward show

Of his effulgence he reveals it still.
Who would believe, down in the errant world,

That e'er the Trojan Ripheus in this round

Could be the fifth one of the holy lights? Now knoweth he enough of what the world

Has not the power to see of grace divine,

Although his sight may not discern the bottom. Like as a lark that in the air expatiates,

First singing and then silent with content

Of the last sweetness that doth satisfy her, Such seemed to me the image of the imprint

Of the eternal pleasure, by whose will

Doth everything become the thing it is. And notwithstanding to my doubt I was

As glass is to the color that invests it,

To wait the time in silence it endured not, But forth from out my mouth, “ What things are

these ? Extorted with the force of its own weight;

Whereat I saw great joy of coruscation. Thereafterward with eye still more enkindled

The blessed standard made to me reply,

To keep me not in wonderment suspended : " I see that thou believest in these things

Because I say them, but thou seest not how;
So that, although believed in, they are hidden.







Thou doest as he doth who a thing by name

Well apprehendeth, but its quiddity

Cannot perceive, unless another show it. Regnum coelorum suffereth violence

From fervent love, and from that living hope

That overcometh the Divine volition; Not in the guise that man o'ercometh man,

But conquers it because it will be conquered,

And conquered conquers by benignity. The first life of the eyebrow and the fifth

Cause thee astonishment, because with them

Thou seest the region of the angels painted. They passed not from their bodies, as thou thinkest,

Gentiles, but Christians in the steadfast faith

Of feet that were to suffer and had suffered. For one from Hell, where no one e'er turns back

Unto good will, returned unto his bones,

And that of living hope was the reward, — Of living hope, that placed its efficacy

In prayers to God made to resuscitate him,

So that 't were possible to move his will. The glorious soul concerning which I speak,

Returning to the Aesh, where brief its stay,

Believed in Him who had the power to aid it; And, in believing, kindled to such fire

Of genuine love, that at the second death

Worthy it was to come unto this joy.
The other one, through grace, that from so deep

A fountain wells that never hath the eye

Of any creature reached its primal wave, Set all his love below on righteousness; Wherefore from grace to grace did God unclose







His eye to our redemption yet to be, Whence he believed therein, and suffered not

From that day forth the stench of Paganism,

And he reproved therefor the folk perverse. Those Maidens three, whom at the right-hand wheel

Thou didst behold, were unto him for baptism

More than a thousand years before baptizing. O thou predestination, how remote

Thy root is from the aspect of all those

Who the First Cause do not behold entire ! And you, O mortals ! hold yourselves restrained

In judging; for ourselves, who look on God,

We do not know as yet all the elect; And sweet to us is such a deprivation,

Because our good in this good is made perfect,

That whatsoe'er God wills, we also will." After this manner by that shape divine,

To make clear in me my short-sightedness,

Was given to me a pleasant medicine; And as good singer a good lutanist

Accompanies with vibrations of the chords,

Whereby more pleasantness the song acquires, So, while it spake, do I remember me

That I beheld both of those blessed lights,

Even as the winking of the eyes concords, Moving unto the words their little flames.






ALREADY on my Lady's face mine eyes

Again were fastened, and with these my mind,

And from all other purpose was withdrawn; And she smiled not; but “If I were to smile,”

She unto me began, “thou wouldst become

Like Semele, when she was turned to ashes. Because my beauty, that along the stairs

Of the eternal palace more enkindles,

As thou hast seen, the farther we ascend, If it were tempered not, is so resplendent

That all thy mortal power in its effulgence

Would seem a leaflet that the thunder crushes. We are uplifted to the seventh splendor,

That underneath the burning Lion's breast

Now radiates downward mingled with his power. Fix in direction of thine eyes the mind,

And make of them a mirror for the figure

That in this mirror shall appear to thee.” He who could know what was the pasturage

My sight had in that blessed countenance,

When I transferred me to another care, Would recognize how grateful was to me

Obedience unto my celestial escort,

By counterposing one side with the other.
Within the crystal which, around the world

Revolving, bears the name of its dear leader,
Under whom every wickedness lay dead,







Colored like gold, on which the sunshine gleams,

A stairway I beheld to such a height

Uplifted, that mine eye pursued it not. Likewise beheld I down the steps descending

So many splendors, that I thought each light

That in the heaven appears was there diffused. And as accordant with their natural custom

The rooks together at the break of day

Bestir themselves to warm their feathers cold; Then some of them Ay off without return,

Others come back to where they started from,

And others, wheeling round, still keep at home; Such fashion it appeared to me was there

Within the sparkling that together came,

As soon as on a certain step it struck, And that which nearest unto us remained

Became so clear, that in my thought I said, “Well I perceive the love thou showest me; But she, from whom I wait the how and when

Of speech and silence, standeth still; whence I

Against desire do well if I ask not.”
She thereupon, who saw my silentness

In the sight of Him who seeth everything,
Said unto me,

« Let loose thy warm desire." And I began : “ No merit of my own

Renders me worthy of response from thee ;

But for her sake who granteth me the asking, Thou blessed life that dost remain concealed

In thy beatitude, make known to me

The cause which draweth thee so near my side; And tell me why is silent in this wheel The dulcet symphony of Paradise,




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