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Why longer sleep'st thou? Cahorsines and Gascons
Prepare to quaff our blood. O good beginning!
To what a vile conclusion must thou stoop.
But the high providence, which did defend,
Through Scipio, the world's empery for Rome,
Will not delay its succor: and thou, son,
Who through thy mortal weight shall yet again -
Return below, open thy lips, nor hide
What is by me not hidden.” As a flood
Of frozen vapors streams adown the air,
What time the she-goat with her skyey horn
Touches the sun; so saw I there stream wide
The vapors, who with us had lingered late,
And with glad triumph deck the ethereal cope,
Onward my sight their semblances pursued ;
So far pursued, as till the space between
From its reach severed them: whereat the guide
Celestial, marking me no more intent
On upward gazing, said, “ Look down, and see
What circuit thou hast compast." From the hour
When I before had cast my view beneath,
All the first region overpast I saw,
Which from the midmost to the boundary winds;
That onward, thence, from Gades, I beheld
The unwise passage of Laertes' son;
And hitherward the shore, where thou, Europa,
Madest thee a joyful burden; and yet more
Of this dim spot had seen, but that the sun,
A constellation off and more, had ta'en
His progress in the zodiac underneath.

Then by the spirit, that doth never leave

Its amorous dalliance with my lady's looks, 53. Pope John XXII. was from Cahors; west, and sees below him the Atlantic Ocean Clement V., his predecessor, was a Gascon. beyond the Strait of Gibraltar. Hell, xix. 86.

74. Region = clima = zone. The old geog54. Blood = the life of the Church.

raphers divided the earth from the equator to 56. It was God who helped Scipio to defeat the poles into zones (climi). The first extended Hannibal.

20° above the equator, and the Twins were on 60. In these words we have the mission of the northern border of this zone, along which Dante's journey to Heaven, - to warn the world Dante had now moved

o the west. and lead it to repent.

76. Gades stands for Spain here. 62. Snowflakes.

77. Strait of Gibraltar, through which Ulys63. She-goat = Capricorn, in which constel- ses sailed. See Hell, xxvi. lation the sun is during mid-winter; here the 78. Phoenicia, whence Jupiter, in the shape time meant is January

of a bull, carried off Europa. Ovid, Met. ii. 832. 65. Vapors = spirits.

80. Dim spot = the earth. 66. Deck the ethereal cope = l'etere adorno 81. Dante is in the Twins; next to this comes farsi = the ether become adorned.

the Bull (Taurus), then Aries, in which the sun 71. Cf. Par. xxii. 124 ff. On entering the now is. heaven of the fixed stars, Dante had found 83. The spirit = la mente innamorata = himself in the sign of the Twins, in the meridian the enamoured mind. of Jerusalem. Now he has moved 90° to the

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Back with redoubled ardor were mine eyes
Led unto her: and from her radiant smiles,
Whenas I turned me, pleasure so divine
Did lighten on me, that whatever bait
Or art or nature in the human flesh,
Or in its limited resemblance, can combine
Through greedy eyes to take the soul withal,
Were, to her beauty, nothing. Its boon influence
From the fair nest of Leda rapt me forth,
And wafted on into the swiftest heaven.

What place for entrance Beatrice chose,
I may not say, so uniform was all,
Liveliest and loftiest. She my secret wish
Divined ; and, with such gladness, that God's love
Seemed from her visage shining, thus began:
“ Here is the goal, whence motion on his race
Starts : motionless the centre, and the rest
All moved around. Except the soul divine,
Place in this heaven is none; the soul divine,
Wherein the love, which ruleth o'er its orb,
Is kindled, and the virtue, that it sheds :
One circle, light and love, enclasping it,
As this doth clasp the others; and to Him,
Who draws the bound, its limit only known.
Measured itself by none, it doth divide
Motion to all, counted unto them forth,
As by the fifth or half ye count forth ten.
The vase, wherein time's roots are plunged, thou seest;
Look elsewhere for the leaves. O mortal lust!
That canst not lift thy head above the waves
Which whelm and sink thee down. The will in man
Bears goodly blossoms; but its ruddy promise

93. Castor and Pollux were twin sons of Leda 106. The Empyrean. and Jupiter.

109. God is the source of motion to all the 94. The Primum Mobile.

spheres, but is uninfluenced by outside things 97. Wish to know the properties or nature himself. of the heavens.

111. As 2 and 5 (fifth and half) are contained 100. The Primum Mobile is the swiftest in 10, so all things are contained in God. heaven, that which contains all the others, and 112. Vase = the Primum Mobile, which begives motion to them, causing them to revolve gins (is root of) the revolutions of the heavens, around the earth (centre), which is motionless. by means of which time is told.

102. Except the soul, etc. is not clear. The 113. Elsewhere = in the other heavens. original is,

Leaves = the motions visible to us. The Pri“E questo cielo non ha altro dove mum Mobile, the root of these motions, is not Che la mente divina."

visible to us. “And this heaven has no place (locality) except o mortal lust! Exclamation of pity for the divine mind.” I.e. each heaven is contained men who, in spite of the celestial things above in the heaven above it. The Primum Mobile, them, run after merely transient things. being the highest heaven, is contained only in 116. Ruddy promise, in the original = le the Empyrean, which stretches out to infinity, susine vere = true pears. and is filled with God's light and love.

Is, by the dripping of perpetual rain,
Made mere abortion : faith and innocence
Are met with but in babes; each taking leave,
Ere cheeks with down are sprinkled : he, that fasts
While yet a stammerer, with his tongue let loose
Gluts every food alike in every moon:
One, yet a babbler, loves and listens to
His mother; but no sooner hath free use
Of speech, than he doth wish her in her grave.
So suddenly doth the fair child of him,
Whose welcome is the morn and eve his parting,
To negro blackness change her virgin white.

• Thou, to abate thy wonder, note, that none
Bears rule in earth; and its frail family
Are therefore wanderers. Yet before the date,
When, through the hundredth in his reckoning dropt,
Pale January must be shoved aside
From winter's calendar, these heavenly spheres
Shall roar so loud, that fortune shall be fain
To turn the poop, where she hath now the prow;
So that the feet run onward: and true fruit,
Expected long, shall crown at last the bloom."


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Still in the ninth heaven, our Poet is permitted to behold the Divine Essence; and then

sees, in three hierarchies, the nine choirs of angels. Beatrice clears some difficulties which occur to him on this occasion.

So she, who doth imparadise my soul,
Had drawn the veil from off our present life,
And bared the truth of poor mortality :
When lo! as one who, in a mirror, spies

118. Abortion = bozzacchioni= pears bitten the sight of God (see line 32), and Italy is withby insects, and thus spoiled.

out her emperor (hence none bears rule), the 120. Ere they grow up.

evil condition of Church and State ought not to 122. At every season of the year, whether it cause wonder. is in Lent or not.

132. Allusion to the error in Cæsar's calen126. The Church, daughter of the spiritual Sun. dar of eleven minutes in a year (corrected by 128. The original is,

Gregory XIII.), which, in the course of time, “Si fa la pelle bianca, nera,

would have made January fall in spring. Nel primo aspetto,"

135. Beatrice prophesies that all these evils “ The white skin is made black in the first shall be changed before long. sight," i.e. the early purity of the Church has 2. Referring to the rebuke of the corruption become corrupt in the sight of God.

in the world, given by Beatrice at the end of 130. Since the papal seat is really empty in last Canto.

The shining of a flambeau at his back,
Lit sudden ere he deem of its approach,
And turneth to resolve him, if the glass
Have told him true, and sees the record faithful
As note is to its metre; even thus,
I well remember, did befall to me,
Looking upon the beauteous eyes, whence love
Had made the leash to take me. As I turned :
And that which none, who in that volume looks,
Can miss of, in itself apparent, struck
My view; a point I saw, that darted light
So sharp, no lid, unclosing, may bear up
Against its keenness. The least star we ken
From hence, had seemed a moon; set by its side,
As star by side of star. And so far off,
Perchance, as is the halo from the light
Which paints it, when most dense the vapor spreads;

There wheeled about the point a circle of fire,
More rapid than the motion which surrounds,
Speediest, the world. Another this enringed;
And that a third; the third a fourth, and that
A fifth encompassed; which a sixth next bound;
And over this, a seventh, following, reached
Circumference so ample, that its bow,
Within the span of Juno's messenger,
Had scarce been held entire. Beyond the seventh,
Ensued yet other two. And every one,
As more in number distant from the first,
Was tardier in motion : and that glowed
With flame most pure, that to the sparkle of truth,
Was nearest; as partaking most, methinks,
Of its reality. The guide beloved
Saw me in anxious thought suspense, and spake :

“Heaven, and all nature, hangs upon that point.

9. As the words of a song follow the air. point of light, Dante endeavors to render the Dante sees reflected in the eyes of Beatrice a incorporeal nature of God; this point so small brilliant point of light, and turns to see what it nevertheless fills infinity with light. is. This point is God. Allegorically, Beatrice 20. As the Sun and Moon are surrounded by represents Divine Wisdom, or Theology, and halos, so around this point of light revolve the the contemplative spirit first sees God's glory Seraphim, and about these latter the rest of the reflected in her, before seeing it in actuality. nine orders of the celestial hierarchy, those

12. Obscure in the translation. The origi- nearest the point moving most swiftly. nal is,

22. Circle of fire = the Seraphim. “E com' io mi rivolsi, e furon tocchi

23. The Primum Mobile. Li miei da ciò che pare in quel volume, 25. The Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations,

Quandunque nel suo giro ben s' adocchi," Virtues, Powers. And as I turned and my eyes were struck by 27. Seventh = Principalities, whose circumthat (light) which appears in that heaven (vo- ference is larger than that of the rainbow. lume = the Empyrean), whenever one gazes 31. Yet other two = l'ottavo e il nono = the well (keenly) into its circling."

eighth and the ninth = Archangels and Angels. 17. By means of the infinitesimal size of the 38. ék Tolaútns ápa ápxñs ñpmntai ó oupavos

The circle thereto most conjoined observe;
And know, that by intenser love its course
Is, to this swiftness, winged.” To whom I thus :
“It were enough; nor should I further seek,
Had I but witnessed order, in the world
Appointed, such as in these wheels is seen.
But in the sensible world such difference is,
That in each round shows more divinity,
As each is wider from the centre. Hence,
If in this wondrous and angelic temple,
That hath, for confine, only light and love,
My wish may have completion, I must know,
Wherefore such disagreement is between
The exemplar and its copy: for myself,
Contemplating, I fail to pierce the cause."

“ It is no marvel, if thy fingers foiled
Do leave the knot untied: so hard 't is grown
For want of tenting.” Thus she said : “ But take,"
She added, “if thou wish thy cure, my words,
And entertain them subtly. Every orb,
Corporeal, doth proportion its extent
Unto the virtue through its parts diffused.
The greater blessedness preserves the more.
The greater is the body (if all parts
Share equally) the more is to preserve.
Therefore the circle, whose swift course enwheels
The universal frame, answers to that
Which is supreme in knowledge and in love.
Thus by the virtue, not the seeming breadth
Of substance, measuring, thou shalt see the heavens,
Each to the intelligence that ruleth it,
Greater to more, and smaller unto less,

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kai ý súors. “From that beginning depend 58. Every orb = the nine heavens. These heaven and nature.” Aristot. Metaph. xii. 7. are more or less ample, according to the virtue

39. The circle = that of the Seraphim. they receive from God (which virtue they trans

40. The motion of the different circles de- mit to the heavens below them). Hence the pends on the intensity of their love toward God. larger the heaven, the more virtue is in it; and

41. Dante says he cannot understand why hence the Primum Mobile, which is the largest here in heaven the smallest circle, that nearest and contains most virtue, corresponds to the the point of light, has swiftest motion; while Seraphim, who, being nearest to God, receive the contrary is true of the nine spheres, of most of his virtue. In similar manner, the which the Primum Mobile, farthest from the Cherubim corresponds to the Heaven of Fixed centre, is yet the swiftest.

Stars, the Thrones to Saturn, etc. 46. Divinity = swiftness.

64. Primum Mobile. 47. Centre = earth.

65. That = the Seraphim. 48. Heaven.

67. The true measure, both of angelic orders 52. Exemplar = the revolution of the nine and heavens, is the amount of divine virtue in orders of angels about God. Copy = that of the them, not their size. nine heavens about the earth.

69. The heavens are moved by the different 55. No one has yet tried to solve this prob- orders of angels (intelligence). Cf. Convito, lem; no wonder, then, that Dante finds it hard. ii. 6.

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