Page images


[ocr errors]



But those that have both intellect and love. The Providence that regulates all this

Makes with its light the heaven forever quiet,

Wherein that turns which has the greatest haste. And thither now, as to a site decreed,

Bears us away the virtue of that cord

Which aims its arrows at a joyous mark. True is it, that as oftentimes the form

Accords not with the intention of the art,

Because in answering is matter deaf, So likewise from this course doth deviate

Sometimes the creature, who the power possesses,

Though thus impelled, to swerve some other way (In the same wise as one may see the fire

Fall from a cloud), if the first impetus

Earthward is wrested by some false delight. Thou shouldst not wonder more, if well I judge,

At thine ascent, than at a rivulet

From some high mount descending to the plain. Marvel it would be in thee, if deprived

Of hindrance, thou wert seated down below,

As if on earth the living fire were quiet." Thereat she heavenward turned again her face.

Line 138. From some high mount descending to the lowland.



[ocr errors]



O ye, who in some pretty little boat,

Eager to listen, have been following

Behind my ship, that singing sails along, Turn back to look again upon your shores ;

Do not put out to sea, lest peradventure,

In losing me, you might yourselves be lost. The sea I sail has never yet been passed :

Minerva breathes, and pilots me Apollo,

And Muses nine point out to me the Bears. Ye other few who have the neck uplifted

Betimes to th' bread of Angels upon which

One liveth here and grows not sated by it, Well may you launch upon the deep salt-sea

Your vessel, keeping still my wake before you

Upon the water that grows smooth again. Those glorious ones who unto Colchos passed

Were not so wonder-struck as you shall be,

When Jason they beheld a ploughman made! The con-created and perpetual thirst

For the realm deiform did bear us on,

As swift almost as ye the heavens behold. Upward gazed Beatrice, and I at her ;

And in such space perchance as strikes a bolt

And Aies, and from the notch unlocks itself,
Arrived I saw me where a wondrous thing

Drew to itself my sight; and therefore she
From whom no care of mine could be concealed,




« PreviousContinue »