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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 splendor 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, 65

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 neighboring 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.


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Saint Thomas Aquinas and other Fathers of the Church

in the Heaven of the Sun

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