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THE DIVINE COMEDY
OF DANTE ALIGHIERI
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
CANTICLE I: INFERNO
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other editions or translations of 'The Divine Comedy.' For this three part
edition of 'The Divine Comedy' please refer to the end of the Paradiso for
Dennis McCarthyJuly 1997
I. The Dark Forest. The Hill of Difficulty. The Panther
the Lionand the Wolf. Virgil.
II. The Descent. Dante's Protest and Virgil's Appeal.
The Intercession of the Three Ladies Benedight.
III. The Gate of Hell. The Inefficient or Indifferent.
Pope Celestine V. The Shores of Acheron. Charon.
The Earthquake and the Swoon.
IV. The First CircleLimbo: Virtuous Pagans and the Unbaptized.
The Four PoetsHomerHoraceOvidand Lucan. The Noble
Castle of Philosophy.
V. The Second Circle: The Wanton. Minos. The Infernal Hurricane.
Francesca da Rimini.
VI. The Third Circle: The Gluttonous. Cerberus. The Eternal Rain.
VII. The Fourth Circle: The Avaricious and the Prodigal.
Plutus. Fortune and her Wheel. The Fifth Circle:
The Irascible and the Sullen. Styx.
VIII. Phlegyas. Philippo Argenti. The Gate of the City of Dis.
IX. The Furies and Medusa. The Angel. The City of Dis.
The Sixth Circle: Heresiarchs.
X. Farinata and Cavalcante de' Cavalcanti. Discourse on the
Knowledge of the Damned.
XI. The Broken Rocks. Pope Anastasius. General Description of
the Inferno and its Divisions.
XII. The Minotaur. The Seventh Circle: The Violent.
The River Phlegethon. The Violent against their Neighbours.
The Centaurs. Tyrants.
XIII. The Wood of Thorns. The Harpies. The Violent
against themselves. Suicides. Pier della Vigna.
Lano and Jacopo da Sant' Andrea.
XIV. The Sand Waste and the Rain of Fire. The Violent against God.
Capaneus. The Statue of Timeand the Four Infernal Rivers.
XV. The Violent against Nature. Brunetto Latini.
XVI. GuidoguerraAldobrandiand Rusticucci. Cataract of
the River of Blood.
XVII. Geryon. The Violent against Art. Usurers. Descent into
the Abyss of Malebolge.
XVIII. The Eighth CircleMalebolge: The Fraudulent and
the Malicious. The First Bolgia: Seducers and Panders.
Venedico Caccianimico. Jason. The Second Bolgia:
Flatterers. Allessio Interminelli. Thais.
XIX. The Third Bolgia: Simoniacs. Pope Nicholas III.
Dante's Reproof of corrupt Prelates.
XX. The Fourth Bolgia: Soothsayers. AmphiarausTiresiasAruns
MantoEryphylusMichael ScottGuido Bonattiand Asdente.
Virgil reproaches Dante's Pity. Mantua's Foundation.
XXI. The Fifth Bolgia: Peculators. The Elder of Santa Zita.
Malacoda and other Devils.
XXII. CiampoloFriar Gomitaand Michael Zanche.
The Malabranche quarrel.
XXIII. Escape from the Malabranche. The Sixth Bolgia: Hypocrites.
Catalano and Loderingo. Caiaphas.
XXIV. The Seventh Bolgia: Thieves. Vanni Fucci. Serpents.
XXV. Vanni Fucci's Punishment. Agnello Brunelleschi
Buoso degli AbatiPuccio SciancatoCianfa de' Donati
and Guercio Cavalcanti.
XXVI. The Eighth Bolgia: Evil Counsellors. Ulysses and Diomed.
Ulysses' Last Voyage.
XXVII. Guido da Montefeltro. His deception by Pope Boniface VIII.
XXVIII. The Ninth Bolgia: Schismatics. Mahomet and Ali.
Pier da MedicinaCurioMoscaand Bertrand de Born.
XXIX. Geri del Bello. The Tenth Bolgia: Alchemists.
Griffolino d' Arezzo and Capocchino.
XXX. Other Falsifiers or Forgers. Gianni SchicchiMyrrha
Adam of BresciaPotiphar's Wifeand Sinon of Troy.
XXXI. The GiantsNimrodEphialtesand Antaeus.
Descent to Cocytus.
XXXII. The Ninth Circle: Traitors. The Frozen Lake of Cocytus.
First DivisionCaina: Traitors to their Kindred.
Camicion de' Pazzi. Second DivisionAntenora:
Traitors to their Country. Dante questions
Bocca degli Abati. Buoso da Duera.
XXXIII. Count Ugolino and the Archbishop Ruggieri. The Death
of Count Ugolino's Sons. Third Division of the Ninth Circle
Ptolomaea: Traitors to their Friends. Friar Alberigo
Branco d' Oria.
XXXIV. Fourth Division of the Ninth Circlethe Judecca:
Traitors to their Lords and Benefactors. Lucifer
Judas IscariotBrutusand Cassius. The Chasm of Lethe.
Incipit Comoedia Dantis Alagherii
Florentini nationenon moribus.
The Divine Comedy
translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(e-text courtesy ILT's Digital Dante Project)
Inferno: Canto I
Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savageroughand stern
Which in the very thought renews the fear.
So bitter is itdeath is little more;
But of the good to treatwhich there I found
Speak will I of the other things I saw there.
I cannot well repeat how there I entered
So full was I of slumber at the moment
In which I had abandoned the true way.
But after I had reached a mountain's foot
At that point where the valley terminated
Which had with consternation pierced my heart
Upward I lookedand I beheld its shoulders
Vested already with that planet's rays
Which leadeth others right by every road.
Then was the fear a little quieted
That in my heart's lake had endured throughout
The nightwhich I had passed so piteously.
And even as hewhowith distressful breath
Forth issued from the sea upon the shore
Turns to the water perilous and gazes;
So did my soulthat still was fleeing onward
Turn itself back to re-behold the pass
Which never yet a living person left.
After my weary body I had rested
The way resumed I on the desert slope
So that the firm foot ever was the lower.
And lo! almost where the ascent began
A panther light and swift exceedingly
Which with a spotted skin was covered o'er!
And never moved she from before my face
Nayrather did impede so much my way
That many times I to return had turned.
The time was the beginning of the morning
And up the sun was mounting with those stars
That with him werewhat time the Love Divine
At first in motion set those beauteous things;
So were to me occasion of good hope
The variegated skin of that wild beast
The hour of timeand the delicious season;
But not so muchthat did not give me fear
A lion's aspect which appeared to me.
He seemed as if against me he were coming
With head upliftedand with ravenous hunger
So that it seemed the air was afraid of him;
And a she-wolfthat with all hungerings
Seemed to be laden in her meagreness
And many folk has caused to live forlorn!
She brought upon me so much heaviness
With the affright that from her aspect came
That I the hope relinquished of the height.
And as he is who willingly acquires
And the time comes that causes him to lose
Who weeps in all his thoughts and is despondent
E'en such made me that beast withouten peace
Whichcoming on against me by degrees
Thrust me back thither where the sun is silent.
While I was rushing downward to the lowland
Before mine eyes did one present himself
Who seemed from long-continued silence hoarse.
When I beheld him in the desert vast
Have pity on me,unto him I cried
Whiche'er thou art, or shade or real man!
He answered me: "Not man; man once I was
And both my parents were of Lombardy
And Mantuans by country both of them.
'Sub Julio' was I bornthough it was late
And lived at Rome under the good Augustus
During the time of false and lying gods.
A poet was Iand I sang that just
Son of Anchiseswho came forth from Troy
After that Ilion the superb was burned.
But thouwhy goest thou back to such annoyance?
Why climb'st thou not the Mount Delectable
Which is the source and cause of every joy?"
Now, art thou that Virgilius and that fountain
Which spreads abroad so wide a river of speech?
I made response to him with bashful forehead.
O, of the other poets honour and light,
Avail me the long study and great love
That have impelled me to explore thy volume!
Thou art my master, and my author thou,
Thou art alone the one from whom I took
The beautiful style that has done honour to me.
Behold the beast, for which I have turned back;
Do thou protect me from her, famous Sage,
For she doth make my veins and pulses tremble.
Thee it behoves to take another road,
Responded hewhen he beheld me weeping
If from this savage place thou wouldst escape;
Because this beast, at which thou criest out,
Suffers not any one to pass her way,
But so doth harass him, that she destroys him;
And has a nature so malign and ruthless,
That never doth she glut her greedy will,
And after food is hungrier than before.
Many the animals with whom she weds,
And more they shall be still, until the Greyhound
Comes, who shall make her perish in her pain.
He shall not feed on either earth or pelf,
But upon wisdom, and on love and virtue;
'Twixt Feltro and Feltro shall his nation be;
Of that low Italy shall he be the saviour,
On whose account the maid Camilla died,
Euryalus, Turnus, Nisus, of their wounds;
Through every city shall he hunt her down,
Until he shall have driven her back to Hell,
There from whence envy first did let her loose.
Therefore I think and judge it for thy best
Thou follow me, and I will be thy guide,
And lead thee hence through the eternal place,
Where thou shalt hear the desperate lamentations,
Shalt see the ancient spirits disconsolate,
Who cry out each one for the second death;
And thou shalt see those who contented are
Within the fire, because they hope to come,
Whene'er it may be, to the blessed people;
To whom, then, if thou wishest to ascend,
A soul shall be for that than I more worthy;
With her at my departure I will leave thee;
Because that Emperor, who reigns above,
In that I was rebellious to his law,
Wills that through me none come into his city.
He governs everywhere, and there he reigns;
There is his city and his lofty throne;
O happy he whom thereto he elects!
And I to him: "PoetI thee entreat
By that same God whom thou didst never know
So that I may escape this woe and worse
Thou wouldst conduct me there where thou hast said
That I may see the portal of Saint Peter
And those thou makest so disconsolate."
Then he moved onand I behind him followed.
Inferno: Canto II
Day was departingand the embrowned air
Released the animals that are on earth
From their fatigues; and I the only one
Made myself ready to sustain the war
Both of the way and likewise of the woe
Which memory that errs not shall retrace.
O MusesO high geniusnow assist me!
O memorythat didst write down what I saw
Here thy nobility shall be manifest!
And I began: "Poetwho guidest me
Regard my manhoodif it be sufficient
Ere to the arduous pass thou dost confide me.
Thou sayestthat of Silvius the parent
While yet corruptibleunto the world
Immortal wentand was there bodily.
But if the adversary of all evil
Was courteousthinking of the high effect
That issue would from himand whoand what
To men of intellect unmeet it seems not;
For he was of great Romeand of her empire
In the empyreal heaven as father chosen;
The which and whatwishing to speak the truth
Were stablished as the holy placewherein
Sits the successor of the greatest Peter.
Upon this journeywhence thou givest him vaunt
Things did he hearwhich the occasion were
Both of his victory and the papal mantle.
Thither went afterwards the Chosen Vessel
To bring back comfort thence unto that Faith
Which of salvation's way is the beginning.
But Iwhy thither comeor who concedes it?
I not Aeneas amI am not Paul
Nor Inor othersthink me worthy of it.
Thereforeif I resign myself to come
I fear the coming may be ill-advised;
Thou'rt wiseand knowest better than I speak."
And as he iswho unwills what he willed
And by new thoughts doth his intention change
So that from his design he quite withdraws
Such I becameupon that dark hillside
Becausein thinkingI consumed the emprise
Which was so very prompt in the beginning.
If I have well thy language understood,
Replied that shade of the Magnanimous
Thy soul attainted is with cowardice,
Which many times a man encumbers so,
It turns him back from honoured enterprise,
As false sight doth a beast, when he is shy.
That thou mayst free thee from this apprehension,
I'll tell thee why I came, and what I heard
At the first moment when I grieved for thee.
Among those was I who are in suspense,
And a fair, saintly Lady called to me
In such wise, I besought her to command me.
Her eyes where shining brighter than the Star;
And she began to say, gentle and low,
With voice angelical, in her own language:
'O spirit courteous of Mantua,
Of whom the fame still in the world endures,
And shall endure, long-lasting as the world;
A friend of mine, and not the friend of fortune,
Upon the desert slope is so impeded
Upon his way, that he has turned through terror,
And may, I fear, already be so lost,
That I too late have risen to his succour,
From that which I have heard of him in Heaven.
Bestir thee now, and with thy speech ornate,
And with what needful is for his release,
Assist him so, that I may be consoled.
Beatrice am I, who do bid thee go;
I come from there, where I would fain return;
Love moved me, which compelleth me to speak.
When I shall be in presence of my Lord,
Full often will I praise thee unto him.'
Then paused she, and thereafter I began:
'O Lady of virtue, thou alone through whom
The human race exceedeth all contained
Within the heaven that has the lesser circles,
So grateful unto me is thy commandment,
To obey, if 'twere already done, were late;
No farther need'st thou ope to me thy wish.
But the cause tell me why thou dost not shun
The here descending down into this centre,
From the vast place thou burnest to return to.'
'Since thou wouldst fain so inwardly discern,
Briefly will I relate,' she answered me,
'Why I am not afraid to enter here.
Of those things only should one be afraid
Which have the power of doing others harm;
Of the rest, no; because they are not fearful.
God in his mercy such created me
That misery of yours attains me not,
Nor any flame assails me of this burning.
A gentle Lady is in Heaven, who grieves
At this impediment, to which I send thee,
So that stern judgment there above is broken.
In her entreaty she besought Lucia,
And said, Thy faithful one now stands in need
Of theeand unto thee I recommend him."
Luciafoe of all that cruel is
Hastened awayand came unto the place
Where I was sitting with the ancient Rachel.
Beatricesaid shethe true praise of God,
Why succourest thou not him, who loved thee so,
For thee he issued from the vulgar herd?
Dost thou not hear the pity of his plaint?
Dost thou not see the death that combats him
Beside that flood, where ocean has no vaunt?
Never were persons in the world so swift
To work their weal and to escape their woe
As Iafter such words as these were uttered
Came hither downward from my blessed seat
Confiding in thy dignified discourse
Which honours theeand those who've listened to it.'
After she thus had spoken unto me
Weepingher shining eyes she turned away;
Whereby she made me swifter in my coming;
And unto thee I cameas she desired;
I have delivered thee from that wild beast
Which barred the beautiful mountain's short ascent.
What is itthen? Whywhy dost thou delay?
Why is such baseness bedded in thy heart?
Daring and hardihood why hast thou not
Seeing that three such Ladies benedight
Are caring for thee in the court of Heaven
And so much good my speech doth promise thee?"
Even as the floweretsby nocturnal chill
Bowed down and closedwhen the sun whitens them
Uplift themselves all open on their stems;
Such I became with my exhausted strength
And such good courage to my heart there coursed
That I beganlike an intrepid person:
O she compassionate, who succoured me,
And courteous thou, who hast obeyed so soon
The words of truth which she addressed to thee!
Thou hast my heart so with desire disposed
To the adventure, with these words of thine,
That to my first intent I have returned.
Now go, for one sole will is in us both,
Thou Leader, and thou Lord, and Master thou.
Thus said I to him; and when he had moved
I entered on the deep and savage way.
Inferno: Canto III
Through me the way is to the city dolent;
Through me the way is to eternal dole;
Through me the way among the people lost.
Justice incited my sublime Creator;
Created me divine Omnipotence,
The highest Wisdom and the primal Love.
Before me there were no created things,
Only eterne, and I eternal last.
All hope abandon, ye who enter in!
These words in sombre colour I beheld
Written upon the summit of a gate;
Whence I: "Their sense isMasterhard to me!"
And he to meas one experienced:
Here all suspicion needs must be abandoned,
All cowardice must needs be here extinct.
We to the place have come, where I have told thee
Thou shalt behold the people dolorous
Who have foregone the good of intellect.
And after he had laid his hand on mine
With joyful mienwhence I was comforted
He led me in among the secret things.
There sighscomplaintsand ululations loud
Resounded through the air without a star
Whence Iat the beginningwept thereat.
Languages diversehorrible dialects
Accents of angerwords of agony
And voices high and hoarsewith sound of hands
Made up a tumult that goes whirling on
For ever in that air for ever black
Even as the sand dothwhen the whirlwind breathes.
And Iwho had my head with horror bound
Said: "Masterwhat is this which now I hear?
What folk is thiswhich seems by pain so vanquished?"
And he to me: "This miserable mode
Maintain the melancholy souls of those
Who lived withouten infamy or praise.
Commingled are they with that caitiff choir
Of Angelswho have not rebellious been
Nor faithful were to Godbut were for self.
The heavens expelled themnot to be less fair;
Nor them the nethermore abyss receives
For glory none the damned would have from them."
And I: "O Masterwhat so grievous is
To thesethat maketh them lament so sore?"
He answered: "I will tell thee very briefly.
These have no longer any hope of death;
And this blind life of theirs is so debased
They envious are of every other fate.
No fame of them the world permits to be;
Misericord and Justice both disdain them.
Let us not speak of thembut lookand pass."
And Iwho looked againbeheld a banner
Whichwhirling roundran on so rapidly
That of all pause it seemed to me indignant;
And after it there came so long a train
Of peoplethat I ne'er would have believed
That ever Death so many had undone.
When some among them I had recognised
I lookedand I beheld the shade of him
Who made through cowardice the great refusal.
Forthwith I comprehendedand was certain
That this the sect was of the caitiff wretches
Hateful to God and to his enemies.
These miscreantswho never were alive
Were nakedand were stung exceedingly
By gadflies and by hornets that were there.
These did their faces irrigate with blood
Whichwith their tears commingledat their feet
By the disgusting worms was gathered up.
And when to gazing farther I betook me.
People I saw on a great river's bank;
Whence said I: "Masternow vouchsafe to me
That I may know who these areand what law
Makes them appear so ready to pass over
As I discern athwart the dusky light."
And he to me: "These things shall all be known
To theeas soon as we our footsteps stay
Upon the dismal shore of Acheron."
Then with mine eyes ashamed and downward cast
Fearing my words might irksome be to him
From speech refrained I till we reached the river.
And lo! towards us coming in a boat
An old manhoary with the hair of eld
Crying: "Woe unto youye souls depraved!
Hope nevermore to look upon the heavens;
I come to lead you to the other shore
To the eternal shades in heat and frost.
And thouthat yonder standestliving soul
Withdraw thee from these peoplewho are dead!"
But when he saw that I did not withdraw
He said: "By other waysby other ports
Thou to the shore shalt comenot herefor passage;
A lighter vessel needs must carry thee."
And unto him the Guide: "Vex thee notCharon;
It is so willed there where is power to do
That which is willed; and farther question not."
Thereat were quieted the fleecy cheeks
Of him the ferryman of the livid fen
Who round about his eyes had wheels of flame.
But all those souls who weary were and naked
Their colour changed and gnashed their teeth together
As soon as they had heard those cruel words.
God they blasphemed and their progenitors
The human racethe placethe timethe seed
Of their engendering and of their birth!
Thereafter all together they drew back
Bitterly weepingto the accursed shore
Which waiteth every man who fears not God.
Charon the demonwith the eyes of glede
Beckoning to themcollects them all together
Beats with his oar whoever lags behind.
As in the autumn-time the leaves fall off
First one and then anothertill the branch
Unto the earth surrenders all its spoils;
In similar wise the evil seed of Adam
Throw themselves from that margin one by one
At signalsas a bird unto its lure.
So they depart across the dusky wave
And ere upon the other side they land
Again on this side a new troop assembles.
My son,the courteous Master said to me
All those who perish in the wrath of God
Here meet together out of every land;
And ready are they to pass o'er the river,
Because celestial Justice spurs them on,
So that their fear is turned into desire.
This way there never passes a good soul;
And hence if Charon doth complain of thee,
Well mayst thou know now what his speech imports.
This being finishedall the dusk champaign
Trembled so violentlythat of that terror
The recollection bathes me still with sweat.
The land of tears gave forth a blast of wind
And fulminated a vermilion light
Which overmastered in me every sense
And as a man whom sleep hath seized I fell.
Inferno: Canto IV
Broke the deep lethargy within my head
A heavy thunderso that I upstarted
Like to a person who by force is wakened;
And round about I moved my rested eyes
Uprisen erectand steadfastly I gazed
To recognise the place wherein I was.
True is itthat upon the verge I found me
Of the abysmal valley dolorous
That gathers thunder of infinite ululations.
Obscureprofound it wasand nebulous
So that by fixing on its depths my sight
Nothing whatever I discerned therein.
Let us descend now into the blind world,
Began the Poetpallid utterly;
I will be first, and thou shalt second be.
And Iwho of his colour was aware
Said: "How shall I comeif thou art afraid
Who'rt wont to be a comfort to my fears?"
And he to me: "The anguish of the people
Who are below here in my face depicts
That pity which for terror thou hast taken.
Let us go onfor the long way impels us."
Thus he went inand thus he made me enter
The foremost circle that surrounds the abyss.
Thereas it seemed to me from listening
Were lamentations nonebut only sighs
That tremble made the everlasting air.
And this arose from sorrow without torment
Which the crowds hadthat many were and great
Of infants and of women and of men.
To me the Master good: "Thou dost not ask
What spirits thesewhich thou beholdestare?
Now will I have thee knowere thou go farther
That they sinned not; and if they merit had
'Tis not enoughbecause they had not baptism
Which is the portal of the Faith thou holdest;
And if they were before Christianity
In the right manner they adored not God;
And among such as these am I myself.
For such defectsand not for other guilt
Lost are we and are only so far punished
That without hope we live on in desire."
Great grief seized on my heart when this I heard
Because some people of much worthiness
I knewwho in that Limbo were suspended.
Tell me, my Master, tell me, thou my Lord,
Began Iwith desire of being certain
Of that Faith which o'ercometh every error
Came any one by his own merit hence,
Or by another's, who was blessed thereafter?
And hewho understood my covert speech
Replied: "I was a novice in this state
When I saw hither come a Mighty One
With sign of victory incoronate.
Hence he drew forth the shade of the First Parent
And that of his son Abeland of Noah
Of Moses the lawgiverand the obedient
Israel with his father and his children
And Rachelfor whose sake he did so much
And others manyand he made them blessed;
And thou must knowthat earlier than these
Never were any human spirits saved."
We ceased not to advance because he spake
But still were passing onward through the forest
The forestsay Iof thick-crowded ghosts.
Not very far as yet our way had gone
This side the summitwhen I saw a fire
That overcame a hemisphere of darkness.
We were a little distant from it still
But not so far that I in part discerned not
That honourable people held that place.
O thou who honourest every art and science,
Who may these be, which such great honour have,
That from the fashion of the rest it parts them?
And he to me: "The honourable name
That sounds of them above there in thy life
Wins grace in Heaventhat so advances them."
In the mean time a voice was heard by me:
All honour be to the pre-eminent Poet;
His shade returns again, that was departed.
After the voice had ceased and quiet was
Four mighty shades I saw approaching us;
Semblance had they nor sorrowful nor glad.
To say to me began my gracious Master:
Him with that falchion in his hand behold,
Who comes before the three, even as their lord.
That one is Homer, Poet sovereign;
He who comes next is Horace, the satirist;
The third is Ovid, and the last is Lucan.
Because to each of these with me applies
The name that solitary voice proclaimed,
They do me honour, and in that do well.
Thus I beheld assemble the fair school
Of that lord of the song pre-eminent
Who o'er the others like an eagle soars.
When they together had discoursed somewhat
They turned to me with signs of salutation
And on beholding thismy Master smiled;
And more of honour stillmuch morethey did me
In that they made me one of their own band;
So that the sixth was I'mid so much wit.
Thus we went on as far as to the light
Things saying 'tis becoming to keep silent
As was the saying of them where I was.
We came unto a noble castle's foot
Seven times encompassed with lofty walls
Defended round by a fair rivulet;
This we passed over even as firm ground;
Through portals seven I entered with these Sages;
We came into a meadow of fresh verdure.
People were there with solemn eyes and slow
Of great authority in their countenance;
They spake but seldomand with gentle voices.
Thus we withdrew ourselves upon one side
Into an opening luminous and lofty
So that they all of them were visible.
There oppositeupon the green enamel
Were pointed out to me the mighty spirits
Whom to have seen I feel myself exalted.
I saw Electra with companions many
'Mongst whom I knew both Hector and Aeneas
Caesar in armour with gerfalcon eyes;
I saw Camilla and Penthesilea
On the other sideand saw the King Latinus
Who with Lavinia his daughter sat;
I saw that Brutus who drove Tarquin forth
And saw aloneapartthe Saladin.
When I had lifted up my brows a little
The Master I beheld of those who know
Sit with his philosophic family.
All gaze upon himand all do him honour.
There I beheld both Socrates and Plato
Who nearer him before the others stand;
Democrituswho puts the world on chance
Of qualities I saw the good collector
Hight Dioscorides; and Orpheus saw I
Tully and Livyand moral Seneca
Averroeswho the great Comment made.
I cannot all of them pourtray in full
Because so drives me onward the long theme
That many times the word comes short of fact.
The sixfold company in two divides;
Another way my sapient Guide conducts me
Forth from the quiet to the air that trembles;
And to a place I come where nothing shines.
Inferno: Canto V
Thus I descended out of the first circle
Down to the secondthat less space begirds
And so much greater dolethat goads to wailing.
There standeth Minos horriblyand snarls;
Examines the transgressions at the entrance;
Judgesand sends according as he girds him.
I saythat when the spirit evil-born
Cometh before himwholly it confesses;
And this discriminator of transgressions
Seeth what place in Hell is meet for it;
Girds himself with his tail as many times
As grades he wishes it should be thrust down.
Always before him many of them stand;
They go by turns each one unto the judgment;
They speakand hearand then are downward hurled.
O thou, that to this dolorous hostelry
Comest,said Minos to mewhen he saw me
Leaving the practice of so great an office
Look how thou enterest, and in whom thou trustest;
Let not the portal's amplitude deceive thee.
And unto him my Guide: "Why criest thou too?
Do not impede his journey fate-ordained;
It is so willed there where is power to do
That which is willed; and ask no further question."
And now begin the dolesome notes to grow
Audible unto me; now am I come
There where much lamentation strikes upon me.
I came into a place mute of all light
Which bellows as the sea does in a tempest
If by opposing winds 't is combated.
The infernal hurricane that never rests
Hurtles the spirits onward in its rapine;
Whirling them roundand smitingit molests them.
When they arrive before the precipice
There are the shrieksthe plaintsand the laments
There they blaspheme the puissance divine.
I understood that unto such a torment
The carnal malefactors were condemned
Who reason subjugate to appetite.
And as the wings of starlings bear them on
In the cold season in large band and full
So doth that blast the spirits maledict;
It hitherthitherdownwardupwarddrives them;
No hope doth comfort them for evermore
Not of reposebut even of lesser pain.
And as the cranes go chanting forth their lays
Making in air a long line of themselves
So saw I cominguttering lamentations
Shadows borne onward by the aforesaid stress.
Whereupon said I: "Masterwho are those
Peoplewhom the black air so castigates?"
The first of those, of whom intelligence
Thou fain wouldst have,then said he unto me
The empress was of many languages.
To sensual vices she was so abandoned,
That lustful she made licit in her law,
To remove the blame to which she had been led.
She is Semiramis, of whom we read
That she succeeded Ninus, and was his spouse;
She held the land which now the Sultan rules.
The next is she who killed herself for love,
And broke faith with the ashes of Sichaeus;
Then Cleopatra the voluptuous.
Helen I sawfor whom so many ruthless
Seasons revolved; and saw the great Achilles
Who at the last hour combated with Love.
Paris I sawTristan; and more than a thousand
Shades did he name and point out with his finger
Whom Love had separated from our life.
After that I had listened to my Teacher
Naming the dames of eld and cavaliers
Pity prevailedand I was nigh bewildered.
And I began: "O Poetwillingly
Speak would I to those twowho go together
And seem upon the wind to be so light."
Andhe to me: "Thou'lt markwhen they shall be
Nearer to us; and then do thou implore them
By love which leadeth themand they will come."
Soon as the wind in our direction sways them
My voice uplift I: "O ye weary souls!
Come speak to usif no one interdicts it."
As turtle-dovescalled onward by desire
With open and steady wings to the sweet nest
Fly through the air by their volition borne
So came they from the band where Dido is
Approaching us athwart the air malign
So strong was the affectionate appeal.
O living creature gracious and benignant,
Who visiting goest through the purple air
Us, who have stained the world incarnadine,
If were the King of the Universe our friend,
We would pray unto him to give thee peace,
Since thou hast pity on our woe perverse.
Of what it pleases thee to hear and speak,
That will we hear, and we will speak to you,
While silent is the wind, as it is now.
Sitteth the city, wherein I was born,
Upon the sea-shore where the Po descends
To rest in peace with all his retinue.
Love, that on gentle heart doth swiftly seize,
Seized this man for the person beautiful
That was ta'en from me, and still the mode offends me.
Love, that exempts no one beloved from loving,
Seized me with pleasure of this man so strongly,
That, as thou seest, it doth not yet desert me;
Love has conducted us unto one death;
Caina waiteth him who quenched our life!
These words were borne along from them to us.
As soon as I had heard those souls tormented
I bowed my faceand so long held it down
Until the Poet said to me: "What thinkest?"
When I made answerI began: "Alas!
How many pleasant thoughtshow much desire
Conducted these unto the dolorous pass!"
Then unto them I turned meand I spake
And I began: "Thine agoniesFrancesca
Sad and compassionate to weeping make me.
But tell meat the time of those sweet sighs
By what and in what manner Love conceded
That you should know your dubious desires?"
And she to me: "There is no greater sorrow
Than to be mindful of the happy time
In miseryand that thy Teacher knows.
Butif to recognise the earliest root
Of love in us thou hast so great desire
I will do even as he who weeps and speaks.
One day we reading were for our delight
Of Launcelothow Love did him enthral.
Alone we were and without any fear.
Full many a time our eyes together drew
That readingand drove the colour from our faces;
But one point only was it that o'ercame us.
When as we read of the much-longed-for smile
Being by such a noble lover kissed
This onewho ne'er from me shall be divided
Kissed me upon the mouth all palpitating.
Galeotto was the book and he who wrote it.
That day no farther did we read therein."
And all the while one spirit uttered this
The other one did weep sothatfor pity
I swooned away as if I had been dying
And felleven as a dead body falls.
Inferno: Canto VI
At the return of consciousnessthat closed
Before the pity of those two relations
Which utterly with sadness had confused me
New torments I beholdand new tormented
Around mewhichsoever way I move
And whichsoever way I turnand gaze.
In the third circle am I of the rain
Eternalmaledictand coldand heavy;
Its law and quality are never new.
Huge hailand water sombre-huedand snow
Athwart the tenebrous air pour down amain;
Noisome the earth isthat receiveth this.
Cerberusmonster cruel and uncouth
With his three gullets like a dog is barking
Over the people that are there submerged.
Red eyes he hasand unctuous beard and black
And belly largeand armed with claws his hands;
He rends the spiritsflaysand quarters them.
Howl the rain maketh them like unto dogs;
One side they make a shelter for the other;
Oft turn themselves the wretched reprobates.
When Cerberus perceived usthe great worm!
His mouths he openedand displayed his tusks;
Not a limb had he that was motionless.
And my Conductorwith his spans extended
Took of the earthand with his fists well filled
He threw it into those rapacious gullets.
Such as that dog iswho by barking craves
And quiet grows soon as his food he gnaws
For to devour it he but thinks and struggles
The like became those muzzles filth-begrimed
Of Cerberus the demonwho so thunders
Over the souls that they would fain be deaf.
We passed across the shadowswhich subdues
The heavy rain-stormand we placed our feet
Upon their vanity that person seems.
They all were lying prone upon the earth
Excepting onewho sat upright as soon
As he beheld us passing on before him.
O thou that art conducted through this Hell,
He said to merecall me, if thou canst;
Thyself wast made before I was unmade.
And I to him: "The anguish which thou hast
Perhaps doth draw thee out of my remembrance
So that it seems not I have ever seen thee.
But tell me who thou artthat in so doleful
A place art putand in such punishment
If some are greaternone is so displeasing."
And he to me: "Thy citywhich is full
Of envy so that now the sack runs over
Held me within it in the life serene.
You citizens were wont to call me Ciacco;
For the pernicious sin of gluttony
Ias thou seestam battered by this rain.
And Isad soulam not the only one
For all these suffer the like penalty
For the like sin;" and word no more spake he.
I answered him: "Ciaccothy wretchedness
Weighs on me so that it to weep invites me;
But tell meif thou knowestto what shall come
The citizens of the divided city;
If any there be just; and the occasion
Tell me why so much discord has assailed it."
And he to me: "Theyafter long contention
Will come to bloodshed; and the rustic party
Will drive the other out with much offence.
Then afterwards behoves it this one fall
Within three sunsand rise again the other
By force of him who now is on the coast.
High will it hold its forehead a long while
Keeping the other under heavy burdens
Howe'er it weeps thereat and is indignant.
The just are twoand are not understood there;
Envy and Arrogance and Avarice
Are the three sparks that have all hearts enkindled."
Here ended he his tearful utterance;
And I to him: "I wish thee still to teach me
And make a gift to me of further speech.
Farinata and Tegghiaioonce so worthy
Jacopo RusticucciArrigoand Mosca
And others who on good deeds set their thoughts
Say where they areand cause that I may know them;
For great desire constraineth me to learn
If Heaven doth sweeten themor Hell envenom."
And he: "They are among the blacker souls;
A different sin downweighs them to the bottom;
If thou so far descendestthou canst see them.
But when thou art again in the sweet world
I pray thee to the mind of others bring me;
No more I tell thee and no more I answer."
Then his straightforward eyes he turned askance
Eyed me a littleand then bowed his head;
He fell therewith prone like the other blind.
And the Guide said to me: "He wakes no more
This side the sound of the angelic trumpet;
When shall approach the hostile Potentate
Each one shall find again his dismal tomb
Shall reassume his flesh and his own figure
Shall hear what through eternity re-echoes."
So we passed onward o'er the filthy mixture
Of shadows and of rain with footsteps slow
Touching a little on the future life.
Wherefore I said: "Masterthese torments here
Will they increase after the mighty sentence
Or lesser beor will they be as burning?"
And he to me: "Return unto thy science
Which willsthat as the thing more perfect is
The more it feels of pleasure and of pain.
Albeit that this people maledict
To true perfection never can attain
Hereafter more than now they look to be."
Round in a circle by that road we went
Speaking much morewhich I do not repeat;
We came unto the point where the descent is;
There we found Plutus the great enemy.
Inferno: Canto VII
Pape Satan, Pape Satan, Aleppe!
Thus Plutus with his clucking voice began;
And that benignant Sagewho all things knew
Saidto encourage me: "Let not thy fear
Harm thee; for any power that he may have
Shall not prevent thy going down this crag."
Then he turned round unto that bloated lip
And said: "Be silentthou accursed wolf;
Consume within thyself with thine own rage.
Not causeless is this journey to the abyss;
Thus is it willed on highwhere Michael wrought
Vengeance upon the proud adultery."
Even as the sails inflated by the wind
Involved together fall when snaps the mast
So fell the cruel monster to the earth.
Thus we descended into the fourth chasm
Gaining still farther on the dolesome shore
Which all the woe of the universe insacks.
Justice of Godah! who heaps up so many
New toils and sufferings as I beheld?
And why doth our transgression waste us so?
As doth the billow there upon Charybdis
That breaks itself on that which it encounters
So here the folk must dance their roundelay.
Here saw I peoplemore than elsewheremany
On one side and the otherwith great howls
Rolling weights forward by main force of chest.
They clashed togetherand then at that point
Each one turned backwardrolling retrograde
CryingWhy keepest?andWhy squanderest thou?
Thus they returned along the lurid circle
On either hand unto the opposite point
Shouting their shameful metre evermore.
Then eachwhen he arrived therewheeled about
Through his half-circle to another joust;
And Iwho had my heart pierced as it were
Exclaimed: "My Masternow declare to me
What people these areand if all were clerks
These shaven crowns upon the left of us."
And he to me: "All of them were asquint
In intellect in the first lifeso much
That there with measure they no spending made.
Clearly enough their voices bark it forth
Whene'er they reach the two points of the circle
Where sunders them the opposite defect.
Clerks those were who no hairy covering
Have on the headand Popes and Cardinals
In whom doth Avarice practise its excess."
And I: "My Masteramong such as these
I ought forsooth to recognise some few
Who were infected with these maladies."
And he to me: "Vain thought thou entertainest;
The undiscerning life which made them sordid
Now makes them unto all discernment dim.
Forever shall they come to these two buttings;
These from the sepulchre shall rise again
With the fist closedand these with tresses shorn.
Ill giving and ill keeping the fair world
Have ta'en from themand placed them in this scuffle;
Whate'er it beno words adorn I for it.
Now canst thouSonbehold the transient farce
Of goods that are committed unto Fortune
For which the human race each other buffet;
For all the gold that is beneath the moon
Or ever has beenof these weary souls
Could never make a single one repose."
Master,I said to himnow tell me also
What is this Fortune which thou speakest of,
That has the world's goods so within its clutches?
And he to me: "O creatures imbecile
What ignorance is this which doth beset you?
Now will I have thee learn my judgment of her.
He whose omniscience everything transcends
The heavens createdand gave who should guide them
That every part to every part may shine
Distributing the light in equal measure;
He in like manner to the mundane splendours
Ordained a general ministress and guide
That she might change at times the empty treasures
From race to racefrom one blood to another
Beyond resistance of all human wisdom.
Therefore one people triumphsand another
Languishesin pursuance of her judgment
Which hidden isas in the grass a serpent.
Your knowledge has no counterstand against her;
She makes provisionjudgesand pursues
Her governanceas theirs the other gods.
Her permutations have not any truce;
Necessity makes her precipitate
So often cometh who his turn obtains.
And this is she who is so crucified
Even by those who ought to give her praise
Giving her blame amissand bad repute.
But she is blissfuland she hears it not;
Among the other primal creatures gladsome
She turns her sphereand blissful she rejoices.
Let us descend now unto greater woe;
Already sinks each star that was ascending
When I set outand loitering is forbidden."
We crossed the circle to the other bank
Near to a fount that boilsand pours itself
Along a gully that runs out of it.
The water was more sombre far than perse;
And wein company with the dusky waves
Made entrance downward by a path uncouth.
A marsh it makeswhich has the name of Styx
This tristful brookletwhen it has descended
Down to the foot of the malign gray shores.
And Iwho stood intent upon beholding
Saw people mud-besprent in that lagoon
All of them naked and with angry look.
They smote each other not alone with hands
But with the head and with the breast and feet
Tearing each other piecemeal with their teeth.
Said the good Master: "Sonthou now beholdest
The souls of those whom anger overcame;
And likewise I would have thee know for certain
Beneath the water people are who sigh
And make this water bubble at the surface
As the eye tells thee wheresoe'er it turns.
Fixed in the mire they say'We sullen were
In the sweet airwhich by the sun is gladdened
Bearing within ourselves the sluggish reek;
Now we are sullen in this sable mire.'
This hymn do they keep gurgling in their throats
For with unbroken words they cannot say it."
Thus we went circling round the filthy fen
A great arc 'twixt the dry bank and the swamp
With eyes turned unto those who gorge the mire;
Unto the foot of a tower we came at last.
Inferno: Canto VIII
I saycontinuingthat long before
We to the foot of that high tower had come
Our eyes went upward to the summit of it
By reason of two flamelets we saw placed there
And from afar another answer them
So farthat hardly could the eye attain it.
Andto the sea of all discernment turned
I said: "What sayeth thisand what respondeth
That other fire? and who are they that made it?"
And he to me: "Across the turbid waves
What is expected thou canst now discern
If reek of the morass conceal it not."
Cord never shot an arrow from itself
That sped away athwart the air so swift
As I beheld a very little boat
Come o'er the water tow'rds us at that moment
Under the guidance of a single pilot
Who shoutedNow art thou arrived, fell soul?
Phlegyas, Phlegyas, thou criest out in vain
For this once,said my Lord; "thou shalt not have us
Longer than in the passing of the slough."
As he who listens to some great deceit
That has been done to himand then resents it
Such became Phlegyasin his gathered wrath.
My Guide descended down into the boat
And then he made me enter after him
And only when I entered seemed it laden.
Soon as the Guide and I were in the boat
The antique prow goes on its waydividing
More of the water than 'tis wont with others.
While we were running through the dead canal
Uprose in front of me one full of mire
And saidWho 'rt thou that comest ere the hour?
And I to him: "Although I comeI stay not;
But who art thou that hast become so squalid?"
Thou seest that I am one who weeps,he answered.
And I to him: "With weeping and with wailing
Thou spirit maledictdo thou remain;
For thee I knowthough thou art all defiled."
Then stretched he both his hands unto the boat;
Whereat my wary Master thrust him back
SayingAway there with the other dogs!
Thereafter with his arms he clasped my neck;
He kissed my faceand said: "Disdainful soul
Blessed be she who bore thee in her bosom.
That was an arrogant person in the world;
Goodness is nonethat decks his memory;
So likewise here his shade is furious.
How many are esteemed great kings up there
Who here shall be like unto swine in mire
Leaving behind them horrible dispraises!"
And I: "My Mastermuch should I be pleased
If I could see him soused into this broth
Before we issue forth out of the lake."
And he to me: "Ere unto thee the shore
Reveal itselfthou shalt be satisfied;
Such a desire 'tis meet thou shouldst enjoy."
A little after thatI saw such havoc
Made of him by the people of the mire
That still I praise and thank my God for it.
They all were shoutingAt Philippo Argenti!
And that exasperate spirit Florentine
Turned round upon himself with his own teeth.
We left him thereand more of him I tell not;
But on mine ears there smote a lamentation
Whence forward I intent unbar mine eyes.
And the good Master said: "Even nowmy Son
The city draweth near whose name is Dis
With the grave citizenswith the great throng."
And I: "Its mosques alreadyMasterclearly
Within there in the valley I discern
Vermilionas if issuing from the fire
They were." And he to me: "The fire eternal
That kindles them within makes them look red
As thou beholdest in this nether Hell."
Then we arrived within the moats profound
That circumvallate that disconsolate city;
The walls appeared to me to be of iron.
Not without making first a circuit wide
We came unto a place where loud the pilot
Cried out to usDebark, here is the entrance.
More than a thousand at the gates I saw
Out of the Heavens rained downwho angrily
Were sayingWho is this that without death
Goes through the kingdom of the people dead?
And my sagacious Master made a sign
Of wishing secretly to speak with them.
A little then they quelled their great disdain
And said: "Come thou aloneand he begone
Who has so boldly entered these dominions.
Let him return alone by his mad road;
Tryif he can; for thou shalt here remain
Who hast escorted him through such dark regions."
ThinkReaderif I was discomforted
At utterance of the accursed words;
For never to return here I believed.
O my dear Guide, who more than seven times
Hast rendered me security, and drawn me
From imminent peril that before me stood,
Do not desert me,said Ithus undone;
And if the going farther be denied us,
Let us retrace our steps together swiftly.
And that Lordwho had led me thitherward
Said unto me: "Fear not; because our passage
None can take from usit by Such is given.
But here await meand thy weary spirit
Comfort and nourish with a better hope;
For in this nether world I will not leave thee."
So onward goes and there abandons me
My Father sweetand I remain in doubt
For No and Yes within my head contend.
I could not hear what he proposed to them;
But with them there he did not linger long
Ere each within in rivalry ran back.
They closed the portalsthose our adversaries
On my Lord's breastwho had remained without
And turned to me with footsteps far between.
His eyes cast downhis forehead shorn had he
Of all its boldnessand he saidwith sighs
Who has denied to me the dolesome houses?
And unto me: "Thoubecause I am angry
Fear notfor I will conquer in the trial
Whatever for defence within be planned.
This arrogance of theirs is nothing new;
For once they used it at less secret gate
Which finds itself without a fastening still.
O'er it didst thou behold the dead inscription;
And now this side of it descends the steep
Passing across the circles without escort
One by whose means the city shall be opened."
Inferno: Canto IX
That hue which cowardice brought out on me
Beholding my Conductor backward turn
Sooner repressed within him his new colour.
He stopped attentivelike a man who listens
Because the eye could not conduct him far
Through the black airand through the heavy fog.
Still it behoveth us to win the fight,
Began he; "Else. . .Such offered us herself. . .
O how I long that some one here arrive!"
Well I perceivedas soon as the beginning
He covered up with what came afterward
That they were words quite different from the first;
But none the less his saying gave me fear
Because I carried out the broken phrase
Perhaps to a worse meaning than he had.
Into this bottom of the doleful conch
Doth any e'er descend from the first grade,
Which for its pain has only hope cut off?
This question put I; and he answered me:
Seldom it comes to pass that one of us
Maketh the journey upon which I go.
True is it, once before I here below
Was conjured by that pitiless Erictho,
Who summoned back the shades unto their bodies.
Naked of me short while the flesh had been,
Before within that wall she made me enter,
To bring a spirit from the circle of Judas;
That is the lowest region and the darkest,
And farthest from the heaven which circles all.
Well know I the way; therefore be reassured.
This fen, which a prodigious stench exhales,
Encompasses about the city dolent,
Where now we cannot enter without anger.
And more he saidbut not in mind I have it;
Because mine eye had altogether drawn me
Tow'rds the high tower with the red-flaming summit
Where in a moment saw I swift uprisen
The three infernal Furies stained with blood
Who had the limbs of women and their mien
And with the greenest hydras were begirt;
Small serpents and cerastes were their tresses
Wherewith their horrid temples were entwined.
And he who well the handmaids of the Queen
Of everlasting lamentation knew
Said unto me: "Behold the fierce Erinnys.
This is Megaeraon the left-hand side;
She who is weeping on the rightAlecto;
Tisiphone is between;" and then was silent.
Each one her breast was rending with her nails;
They beat them with their palmsand cried so loud
That I for dread pressed close unto the Poet.
Medusa come, so we to stone will change him!
All shouted looking down; "in evil hour
Avenged we not on Theseus his assault!"
Turn thyself round, and keep thine eyes close shut,
For if the Gorgon appear, and thou shouldst see it,
No more returning upward would there be.
Thus said the Master; and he turned me round
Himselfand trusted not unto my hands
So far as not to blind me with his own.
O ye who have undistempered intellects
Observe the doctrine that conceals itself
Beneath the veil of the mysterious verses!
And now there came across the turbid waves
The clangour of a sound with terror fraught
Because of which both of the margins trembled;
Not otherwise it was than of a wind
Impetuous on account of adverse heats
That smites the forestandwithout restraint
The branches rendsbeats downand bears away;
Right onwardladen with dustit goes superb
And puts to flight the wild beasts and the shepherds.
Mine eyes he loosedand said: "Direct the nerve
Of vision now along that ancient foam
There yonder where that smoke is most intense."
Even as the frogs before the hostile serpent
Across the water scatter all abroad
Until each one is huddled in the earth.
More than a thousand ruined souls I saw
Thus fleeing from before one who on foot
Was passing o'er the Styx with soles unwet.
From off his face he fanned that unctuous air
Waving his left hand oft in front of him
And only with that anguish seemed he weary.
Well I perceived one sent from Heaven was he
And to the Master turned; and he made sign
That I should quiet standand bow before him.
Ah! how disdainful he appeared to me!
He reached the gateand with a little rod
He opened itfor there was no resistance.
O banished out of Heaven, people despised!
Thus he began upon the horrid threshold;
Whence is this arrogance within you couched?
Wherefore recalcitrate against that will,
From which the end can never be cut off,
And which has many times increased your pain?
What helpeth it to butt against the fates?
Your Cerberus, if you remember well,
For that still bears his chin and gullet peeled.
Then he returned along the miry road
And spake no word to usbut had the look
Of one whom other care constrains and goads
Than that of him who in his presence is;
And we our feet directed tow'rds the city
After those holy words all confident.
Within we entered without any contest;
And Iwho inclination had to see
What the condition such a fortress holds
Soon as I was withincast round mine eye
And see on every hand an ample plain
Full of distress and torment terrible.
Even as at Arleswhere stagnant grows the Rhone
Even as at Pola near to the Quarnaro
That shuts in Italy and bathes its borders
The sepulchres make all the place uneven;
So likewise did they there on every side
Saving that there the manner was more bitter;
For flames between the sepulchres were scattered
By which they so intensely heated were
That iron more so asks not any art.
All of their coverings uplifted were
And from them issued forth such dire laments
Sooth seemed they of the wretched and tormented.
And I: "My Masterwhat are all those people
Whohaving sepulture within those tombs
Make themselves audible by doleful sighs?"
And he to me: "Here are the Heresiarchs
With their disciples of all sectsand much
More than thou thinkest laden are the tombs.
Here like together with its like is buried;
And more and less the monuments are heated."
And when he to the right had turnedwe passed
Between the torments and high parapets.
Inferno: Canto X
Now onward goesalong a narrow path
Between the torments and the city wall
My Masterand I follow at his back.
O power supreme, that through these impious circles
Turnest me,I beganas pleases thee,
Speak to me, and my longings satisfy;
The people who are lying in these tombs,
Might they be seen? already are uplifted
The covers all, and no one keepeth guard.
And he to me: "They all will be closed up
When from Jehoshaphat they shall return
Here with the bodies they have left above.
Their cemetery have upon this side
With Epicurus all his followers
Who with the body mortal make the soul;
But in the question thou dost put to me
Within here shalt thou soon be satisfied
And likewise in the wish thou keepest silent."
And I: "Good LeaderI but keep concealed
From thee my heartthat I may speak the less
Nor only now hast thou thereto disposed me."
O Tuscan, thou who through the city of fire
Goest alive, thus speaking modestly,
Be pleased to stay thy footsteps in this place.
Thy mode of speaking makes thee manifest
A native of that noble fatherland,
To which perhaps I too molestful was.
Upon a sudden issued forth this sound
From out one of the tombs; wherefore I pressed
Fearinga little nearer to my Leader.
And unto me he said: "Turn thee; what dost thou?
Behold there Farinata who has risen;
From the waist upwards wholly shalt thou see him."
I had already fixed mine eyes on his
And he uprose erect with breast and front
E'en as if Hell he had in great despite.
And with courageous hands and prompt my Leader
Thrust me between the sepulchres towards him
ExclaimingLet thy words explicit be.
As soon as I was at the foot of his tomb
Somewhat he eyed meandas if disdainful
Then asked of meWho were thine ancestors?
Iwho desirous of obeying was
Concealed it notbut all revealed to him;
Whereat he raised his brows a little upward.
Then said he: "Fiercely adverse have they been
To meand to my fathersand my party;
So that two several times I scattered them."
If they were banished, they returned on all sides,
I answered himthe first time and the second;
But yours have not acquired that art aright.
Then there uprose upon the sightuncovered
Down to the china shadow at his side;
I think that he had risen on his knees.
Round me he gazedas if solicitude
He had to see if some one else were with me
But after his suspicion was all spent
Weepinghe said to me: "If through this blind
Prison thou goest by loftiness of genius
Where is my son? and why is he not with thee?"
And I to him: "I come not of myself;
He who is waiting yonder leads me here
Whom in disdain perhaps your Guido had."
His language and the mode of punishment
Already unto me had read his name;
On that account my answer was so full.
Up starting suddenlyhe cried out: "How
Saidst thou--he had? Is he not still alive?
Does not the sweet light strike upon his eyes?"
When he became aware of some delay
Which I before my answer madesupine
He fell againand forth appeared no more.
But the othermagnanimousat whose desire
I had remaineddid not his aspect change
Neither his neck he movednor bent his side.
And if,continuing his first discourse
They have that art,he saidnot learned aright,
That more tormenteth me, than doth this bed.
But fifty times shall not rekindled be
The countenance of the Lady who reigns here,
Ere thou shalt know how heavy is that art;
And as thou wouldst to the sweet world return,
Say why that people is so pitiless
Against my race in each one of its laws?
Whence I to him: "The slaughter and great carnage
Which have with crimson stained the Arbiacause
Such orisons in our temple to be made."
After his head he with a sigh had shaken
There I was not alone,he saidnor surely
Without a cause had with the others moved.
But there I was alone, where every one
Consented to the laying waste of Florence,
He who defended her with open face.
Ah! so hereafter may your seed repose,
I him entreatedsolve for me that knot,
Which has entangled my conceptions here.
It seems that you can see, if I hear rightly,
Beforehand whatsoe'er time brings with it,
And in the present have another mode.
We see, like those who have imperfect sight,
The things,he saidthat distant are from us;
So much still shines on us the Sovereign Ruler.
When they draw near, or are, is wholly vain
Our intellect, and if none brings it to us,
Not anything know we of your human state.
Hence thou canst understand, that wholly dead
Will be our knowledge from the moment when
The portal of the future shall be closed.
Then Ias if compunctious for my fault
Said: "Nowthenyou will tell that fallen one
That still his son is with the living joined.
And if just nowin answeringI was dumb
Tell him I did it because I was thinking
Already of the error you have solved me."
And now my Master was recalling me
Wherefore more eagerly I prayed the spirit
That he would tell me who was with him there.
He said: "With more than a thousand here I lie;
Within here is the second Frederick
And the Cardinaland of the rest I speak not."
Thereon he hid himself; and I towards
The ancient poet turned my stepsreflecting
Upon that sayingwhich seemed hostile to me.
He moved along; and afterward thus going
He said to meWhy art thou so bewildered?
And I in his inquiry satisfied him.
Let memory preserve what thou hast heard
Against thyself,that Sage commanded me
And now attend here;and he raised his finger.
When thou shalt be before the radiance sweet
Of her whose beauteous eyes all things behold,
From her thou'lt know the journey of thy life.
Unto the left hand then he turned his feet;
We left the walland went towards the middle
Along a path that strikes into a valley
Which even up there unpleasant made its stench.
Inferno: Canto XI
Upon the margin of a lofty bank
Which great rocks broken in a circle made
We came upon a still more cruel throng;
And thereby reason of the horrible
Excess of stench the deep abyss throws out
We drew ourselves aside behind the cover
Of a great tombwhereon I saw a writing
Which said: "Pope Anastasius I hold
Whom out of the right way Photinus drew."
Slow it behoveth our descent to be,
So that the sense be first a little used
To the sad blast, and then we shall not heed it.
The Master thus; and unto him I said
Some compensation find, that the time pass not
Idly;and he: "Thou seest I think of that.
My sonupon the inside of these rocks
Began he then to say, are three small circles
From grade to gradelike those which thou art leaving.
They all are full of spirits maledict;
But that hereafter sight alone suffice thee
Hear how and wherefore they are in constraint.
Of every malice that wins hate in Heaven
Injury is the end; and all such end
Either by force or fraud afflicteth others.
But because fraud is man's peculiar vice
More it displeases God; and so stand lowest
The fraudulentand greater dole assails them.
All the first circle of the Violent is;
But since force may be used against three persons
In three rounds 'tis divided and constructed.
To Godto ourselvesand to our neighbour can we
Use force; I say on them and on their things
As thou shalt hear with reason manifest.
A death by violenceand painful wounds
Are to our neighbour given; and in his substance
Ruinand arsonand injurious levies;
Whence homicidesand he who smites unjustly
Maraudersand freebootersthe first round
Tormenteth all in companies diverse.
Man may lay violent hands upon himself
And his own goods; and therefore in the second
Round must perforce without avail repent
Whoever of your world deprives himself
Who gamesand dissipates his property
And weepeth therewhere he should jocund be.
Violence can be done the Deity
In heart denying and blaspheming Him
And by disdaining Nature and her bounty.
And for this reason doth the smallest round
Seal with its signet Sodom and Cahors
And whodisdaining Godspeaks from the heart.
Fraudwherewithal is every conscience stung
A man may practise upon him who trusts
And him who doth no confidence imburse.
This latter modeit would appeardissevers
Only the bond of love which Nature makes;
Wherefore within the second circle nestle
Hypocrisyflatteryand who deals in magic
Pandersand barratorsand the like filth.
By the other modeforgotten is that love
Which Nature makesand what is after added
From which there is a special faith engendered.
Hence in the smallest circlewhere the point is
Of the Universeupon which Dis is seated
Whoe'er betrays for ever is consumed."
And I: "My Masterclear enough proceeds
Thy reasoningand full well distinguishes
This cavern and the people who possess it.
But tell methose within the fat lagoon
Whom the wind drivesand whom the rain doth beat
And who encounter with such bitter tongues
Wherefore are they inside of the red city
Not punishedif God has them in his wrath
And if he has notwherefore in such fashion?"
And unto me he said: "Why wanders so
Thine intellect from that which it is wont?
Orsooththy mind where is it elsewhere looking?
Hast thou no recollection of those words
With which thine Ethics thoroughly discusses
The dispositions threethat Heaven abides not--
Incontinenceand Maliceand insane
Bestiality? and how Incontinence
Less God offendethand less blame attracts?
If thou regardest this conclusion well
And to thy mind recallest who they are
That up outside are undergoing penance
Clearly wilt thou perceive why from these felons
They separated areand why less wroth
Justice divine doth smite them with its hammer."
O Sun, that healest all distempered vision,
Thou dost content me so, when thou resolvest,
That doubting pleases me no less than knowing!
Once more a little backward turn thee,said I
There where thou sayest that usury offends
Goodness divine, and disengage the knot.
Philosophy,he saidto him who heeds it,
Noteth, not only in one place alone,
After what manner Nature takes her course
From Intellect Divine, and from its art;
And if thy Physics carefully thou notest,
After not many pages shalt thou find,
That this your art as far as possible
Follows, as the disciple doth the master;
So that your art is, as it were, God's grandchild.
From these two, if thou bringest to thy mind
Genesis at the beginning, it behoves
Mankind to gain their life and to advance;
And since the usurer takes another way,
Nature herself and in her follower
Disdains he, for elsewhere he puts his hope.
But follow, now, as I would fain go on,
For quivering are the Fishes on the horizon,
And the Wain wholly over Caurus lies,
And far beyond there we descend the crag.
Inferno: Canto XII
The place where to descend the bank we came
Was alpineand from what was theremoreover
Of such a kind that every eye would shun it.
Such as that ruin is which in the flank
Smoteon this side of Trentthe Adige
Either by earthquake or by failing stay
For from the mountain's topfrom which it moved
Unto the plain the cliff is shattered so
Some path 'twould give to him who was above;
Even such was the descent of that ravine
And on the border of the broken chasm
The infamy of Crete was stretched along
Who was conceived in the fictitious cow;
And when he us beheldhe bit himself
Even as one whom anger racks within.
My Sage towards him shouted: "Peradventure
Thou think'st that here may be the Duke of Athens
Who in the world above brought death to thee?
Get thee gonebeastfor this one cometh not
Instructed by thy sisterbut he comes
In order to behold your punishments."
As is that bull who breaks loose at the moment
In which he has received the mortal blow
Who cannot walkbut staggers here and there
The Minotaur beheld I do the like;
And hethe warycried: "Run to the passage;
While he wroth'tis well thou shouldst descend."
Thus down we took our way o'er that discharge
Of stoneswhich oftentimes did move themselves
Beneath my feetfrom the unwonted burden.
Thoughtful I went; and he said: "Thou art thinking
Perhaps upon this ruinwhich is guarded
By that brute anger which just now I quenched.
Now will I have thee knowthe other time
I here descended to the nether Hell
This precipice had not yet fallen down.
But trulyif I well discerna little
Before His coming who the mighty spoil
Bore off from Disin the supernal circle
Upon all sides the deep and loathsome valley
Trembled sothat I thought the Universe
Was thrilled with loveby which there are who think
The world ofttimes converted into chaos;
And at that moment this primeval crag
Both here and elsewhere made such overthrow.
But fix thine eyes below; for draweth near
The river of bloodwithin which boiling is
Whoe'er by violence doth injure others."
O blind cupidityO wrath insane
That spurs us onward so in our short life
And in the eternal then so badly steeps us!
I saw an ample moat bent like a bow
As one which all the plain encompasses
Conformable to what my Guide had said.
And between this and the embankment's foot
Centaurs in file were runningarmed with arrows
As in the world they used the chase to follow.
Beholding us descendeach one stood still
And from the squadron three detached themselves
With bows and arrows in advance selected;
And from afar one cried: "Unto what torment
Come yewho down the hillside are descending?
Tell us from there; if notI draw the bow."
My Master said: "Our answer will we make
To Chironnear you there; in evil hour
That will of thine was evermore so hasty."
Then touched he meand said: "This one is Nessus
Who perished for the lovely Dejanira
And for himselfhimself did vengeance take.
And he in the midstwho at his breast is gazing
Is the great Chironwho brought up Achilles;
That other Pholus iswho was so wrathful.
Thousands and thousands go about the moat
Shooting with shafts whatever soul emerges
Out of the bloodmore than his crime allots."
Near we approached unto those monsters fleet;
Chiron an arrow tookand with the notch
Backward upon his jaws he put his beard.
After he had uncovered his great mouth
He said to his companions: "Are you ware
That he behind moveth whate'er he touches?
Thus are not wont to do the feet of dead men."
And my good Guidewho now was at his breast
Where the two natures are together joined
Replied: "Indeed he livesand thus alone
Me it behoves to show him the dark valley;
Necessityand not delightimpels us.
Some one withdrew from singing Halleluja
Who unto me committed this new office;
No thief is henor I a thievish spirit.
But by that virtue through which I am moving
My steps along this savage thoroughfare
Give us some one of thineto be with us
And who may show us where to pass the ford
And who may carry this one on his back;
For 'tis no spirit that can walk the air."
Upon his right breast Chiron wheeled about
And said to Nessus: "Turn and do thou guide them
And warn asideif other band may meet you."
We with our faithful escort onward moved
Along the brink of the vermilion boiling
Wherein the boiled were uttering loud laments.
People I saw within up to the eyebrows
And the great Centaur said: "Tyrants are these
Who dealt in bloodshed and in pillaging.
Here they lament their pitiless mischiefs; here
Is Alexanderand fierce Dionysius
Who upon Sicily brought dolorous years.
That forehead there which has the hair so black
Is Azzolin; and the other who is blond
Obizzo is of Estiwhoin truth
Up in the world was by his stepson slain."
Then turned I to the Poet; and he said
Now he be first to thee, and second I.
A little farther on the Centaur stopped
Above a folkwho far down as the throat
Seemed from that boiling stream to issue forth.
A shade he showed us on one side alone
Saying: "He cleft asunder in God's bosom
The heart that still upon the Thames is honoured."
Then people saw Iwho from out the river
Lifted their heads and also all the chest;
And many among these I recognised.
Thus ever more and more grew shallower
That bloodso that the feet alone it covered;
And there across the moat our passage was.
Even as thou here upon this side beholdest
The boiling stream, that aye diminishes,
The Centaur saidI wish thee to believe
That on this other more and more declines
Its bed, until it reunites itself
Where it behoveth tyranny to groan.
Justice divine, upon this side, is goading
That Attila, who was a scourge on earth,
And Pyrrhus, and Sextus; and for ever milks
The tears which with the boiling it unseals
In Rinier da Corneto and Rinier Pazzo,
Who made upon the highways so much war.
Then back he turnedand passed again the ford.
Inferno: Canto XIII
Not yet had Nessus reached the other side
When we had put ourselves within a wood
That was not marked by any path whatever.
Not foliage greenbut of a dusky colour
Not branches smoothbut gnarled and intertangled
Not apple-trees were therebut thorns with poison.
Such tangled thickets have notnor so dense
Those savage wild beaststhat in hatred hold
'Twixt Cecina and Corneto the tilled places.
There do the hideous Harpies make their nests
Who chased the Trojans from the Strophades
With sad announcement of impending doom;
Broad wings have theyand necks and faces human
And feet with clawsand their great bellies fledged;
They make laments upon the wondrous trees.
And the good Master: "Ere thou enter farther
Know that thou art within the second round
Thus he began to say, and shalt betill
Thou comest out upon the horrible sand;
Therefore look well aroundand thou shalt see
Things that will credence give unto my speech."
I heard on all sides lamentations uttered
And person none beheld I who might make them
Whenceutterly bewilderedI stood still.
I think he thought that I perhaps might think
So many voices issued through those trunks
From people who concealed themselves from us;
Therefore the Master said: "If thou break off
Some little spray from any of these trees
The thoughts thou hast will wholly be made vain."
Then stretched I forth my hand a little forward
And plucked a branchlet off from a great thorn;
And the trunk criedWhy dost thou mangle me?
After it had become embrowned with blood
It recommenced its cry: "Why dost thou rend me?
Hast thou no spirit of pity whatsoever?
Men once we wereand now are changed to trees;
Indeedthy hand should be more pitiful
Even if the souls of serpents we had been."
As out of a green brandthat is on fire
At one of the endsand from the other drips
And hisses with the wind that is escaping;
So from that splinter issued forth together
Both words and blood; whereat I let the tip
Falland stood like a man who is afraid.
Had he been able sooner to believe,
My Sage made answerO thou wounded soul,
What only in my verses he has seen,
Not upon thee had he stretched forth his hand;
Whereas the thing incredible has caused me
To put him to an act which grieveth me.
But tell him who thou wast, so that by way
Of some amends thy fame he may refresh
Up in the world, to which he can return.
And the trunk said: "So thy sweet words allure me
I cannot silent be; and you be vexed not
That I a little to discourse am tempted.
I am the one who both keys had in keeping
Of Frederick's heartand turned them to and fro
So softly in unlocking and in locking
That from his secrets most men I withheld;
Fidelity I bore the glorious office
So greatI lost thereby my sleep and pulses.
The courtesan who never from the dwelling
Of Caesar turned aside her strumpet eyes
Death universal and the vice of courts
Inflamed against me all the other minds
And theyinflameddid so inflame Augustus
That my glad honours turned to dismal mournings.
My spiritin disdainful exultation
Thinking by dying to escape disdain
Made me unjust against myselfthe just.
Iby the roots unwonted of this wood
Do swear to you that never broke I faith
Unto my lordwho was so worthy of honour;
And to the world if one of you return
Let him my memory comfortwhich is lying
Still prostrate from the blow that envy dealt it."
Waited awhileand then: "Since he is silent
The Poet said to me, lose not the time
But speakand question himif more may please thee."
Whence I to him: "Do thou again inquire
Concerning what thou thinks't will satisfy me;
For I cannotsuch pity is in my heart."
Therefore he recommenced: "So may the man
Do for thee freely what thy speech implores
Spirit incarcerateagain be pleased
To tell us in what way the soul is bound
Within these knots; and tell usif thou canst
If any from such members e'er is freed."
Then blew the trunk amainand afterward
The wind was into such a voice converted:
With brevity shall be replied to you.
When the exasperated soul abandons
The body whence it rent itself away,
Minos consigns it to the seventh abyss.
It falls into the forest, and no part
Is chosen for it; but where Fortune hurls it,
There like a grain of spelt it germinates.
It springs a sapling, and a forest tree;
The Harpies, feeding then upon its leaves,
Do pain create, and for the pain an outlet.
Like others for our spoils shall we return;
But not that any one may them revest,
For 'tis not just to have what one casts off.
Here we shall drag them, and along the dismal
Forest our bodies shall suspended be,
Each to the thorn of his molested shade.
We were attentive still unto the trunk
Thinking that more it yet might wish to tell us
When by a tumult we were overtaken
In the same way as he is who perceives
The boar and chase approaching to his stand
Who hears the crashing of the beasts and branches;
And two behold! upon our left-hand side
Naked and scratchedfleeing so furiously
That of the forestevery fan they broke.
He who was in advance: "Now helpDeathhelp!"
And the other onewho seemed to lag too much
Was shouting: "Lanowere not so alert
Those legs of thine at joustings of the Toppo!"
And thenperchance because his breath was failing
He grouped himself together with a bush.
Behind them was the forest full of black
She-mastiffsravenousand swift of foot
As greyhoundswho are issuing from the chain.
On him who had crouched down they set their teeth
And him they lacerated piece by piece
Thereafter bore away those aching members.
Thereat my Escort took me by the hand
And led me to the bushthat all in vain
Was weeping from its bloody lacerations.
O Jacopo,it saidof Sant' Andrea,
What helped it thee of me to make a screen?
What blame have I in thy nefarious life?
When near him had the Master stayed his steps
He said: "Who wast thouthat through wounds so many
Art blowing out with blood thy dolorous speech?"
And he to us: "O soulsthat hither come
To look upon the shameful massacre
That has so rent away from me my leaves
Gather them up beneath the dismal bush;
I of that city was which to the Baptist
Changed its first patronwherefore he for this
Forever with his art will make it sad.
And were it not that on the pass of Arno
Some glimpses of him are remaining still
Those citizenswho afterwards rebuilt it
Upon the ashes left by Attila
In vain had caused their labour to be done.
Of my own house I made myself a gibbet."
Inferno: Canto XIV
Because the charity of my native place
Constrained megathered I the scattered leaves
And gave them back to himwho now was hoarse.
Then came we to the confinewhere disparted
The second round is from the thirdand where
A horrible form of Justice is beheld.
Clearly to manifest these novel things
I say that we arrived upon a plain
Which from its bed rejecteth every plant;
The dolorous forest is a garland to it
All round aboutas the sad moat to that;
There close upon the edge we stayed our feet.
The soil was of an arid and thick sand
Not of another fashion made than that
Which by the feet of Cato once was pressed.
Vengeance of GodO how much oughtest thou
By each one to be dreadedwho doth read
That which was manifest unto mine eyes!
Of naked souls beheld I many herds
Who all were weeping very miserably
And over them seemed set a law diverse.
Supine upon the ground some folk were lying;
And some were sitting all drawn up together
And others went about continually.
Those who were going round were far the more
And those were less who lay down to their torment
But had their tongues more loosed to lamentation.
O'er all the sand-wastewith a gradual fall
Were raining down dilated flakes of fire
As of the snow on Alp without a wind.
As Alexanderin those torrid parts
Of Indiabeheld upon his host
Flames fall unbroken till they reached the ground.
Whence he provided with his phalanxes
To trample down the soilbecause the vapour
Better extinguished was while it was single;
Thus was descending the eternal heat
Whereby the sand was set on firelike tinder
Beneath the steelfor doubling of the dole.
Without repose forever was the dance
Of miserable handsnow therenow here
Shaking away from off them the fresh gleeds.
Master,began Ithou who overcomest
All things except the demons dire, that issued
Against us at the entrance of the gate,
Who is that mighty one who seems to heed not
The fire, and lieth lowering and disdainful,
So that the rain seems not to ripen him?
And he himselfwho had become aware
That I was questioning my Guide about him
Cried: "Such as I was livingam Idead.
If Jove should weary out his smithfrom whom
He seized in anger the sharp thunderbolt
Wherewith upon the last day I was smitten
And if he wearied out by turns the others
In Mongibello at the swarthy forge
Even as he did there at the fight of Phlegra
And shot his bolts at me with all his might
He would not have thereby a joyous vengeance."
Then did my Leader speak with such great force
That I had never heard him speak so loud:
O Capaneus, in that is not extinguished
Thine arrogance, thou punished art the more;
Not any torment, saving thine own rage,
Would be unto thy fury pain complete.
Then he turned round to me with better lip
Saying: "One of the Seven Kings was he
Who Thebes besiegedand heldand seems to hold
God in disdainand little seems to prize him;
Butas I said to himhis own despites
Are for his breast the fittest ornaments.
Now follow meand mind thou do not place
As yet thy feet upon the burning sand
But always keep them close unto the wood."
Speaking no wordwe came to where there gushes
Forth from the wood a little rivulet
Whose redness makes my hair still stand on end.
As from the Bulicame springs the brooklet
The sinful women later share among them
So downward through the sand it went its way.
The bottom of itand both sloping banks
Were made of stoneand the margins at the side;
Whence I perceived that there the passage was.
In all the rest which I have shown to thee
Since we have entered in within the gate
Whose threshold unto no one is denied,
Nothing has been discovered by thine eyes
So notable as is the present river,
Which all the little flames above it quenches.
These words were of my Leader; whence I prayed him
That he would give me largess of the food
For which he had given me largess of desire.
In the mid-sea there sits a wasted land,
Said he thereafterwardwhose name is Crete,
Under whose king the world of old was chaste.
There is a mountain there, that once was glad
With waters and with leaves, which was called Ida;
Now 'tis deserted, as a thing worn out.
Rhea once chose it for the faithful cradle
Of her own son; and to conceal him better,
Whene'er he cried, she there had clamours made.
A grand old man stands in the mount erect,
Who holds his shoulders turned tow'rds Damietta,
And looks at Rome as if it were his mirror.
His head is fashioned of refined gold,
And of pure silver are the arms and breast;
Then he is brass as far down as the fork.
From that point downward all is chosen iron,
Save that the right foot is of kiln-baked clay,
And more he stands on that than on the other.
Each part, except the gold, is by a fissure
Asunder cleft, that dripping is with tears,
Which gathered together perforate that cavern.
From rock to rock they fall into this valley;
Acheron, Styx, and Phlegethon they form;
Then downward go along this narrow sluice
Unto that point where is no more descending.
They form Cocytus; what that pool may be
Thou shalt behold, so here 'tis not narrated.
And I to him: "If so the present runnel
Doth take its rise in this way from our world
Why only on this verge appears it to us?"
And he to me: "Thou knowest the place is round
And notwithstanding thou hast journeyed far
Still to the left descending to the bottom
Thou hast not yet through all the circle turned.
Therefore if something new appear to us
It should not bring amazement to thy face."
And I again: "Masterwhere shall be found
Lethe and Phlegethonfor of one thou'rt silent
And sayest the other of this rain is made?"
In all thy questions truly thou dost please me,
Replied he; "but the boiling of the red
Water might well solve one of them thou makest.
Thou shalt see Lethebut outside this moat
There where the souls repair to lave themselves
When sin repented of has been removed."
Then said he: "It is time now to abandon
The wood; take heed that thou come after me;
A way the margins make that are not burning
And over them all vapours are extinguished."
Inferno: Canto XV
Now bears us onward one of the hard margins
And so the brooklet's mist o'ershadows it
From fire it saves the water and the dikes.
Even as the Flemings'twixt Cadsand and Bruges
Fearing the flood that tow'rds them hurls itself
Their bulwarks build to put the sea to flight;
And as the Paduans along the Brenta
To guard their villas and their villages
Or ever Chiarentana feel the heat;
In such similitude had those been made
Albeit not so lofty nor so thick
Whoever he might bethe master made them.
Now were we from the forest so remote
I could not have discovered where it was
Even if backward I had turned myself
When we a company of souls encountered
Who came beside the dikeand every one
Gazed at usas at evening we are wont
To eye each other under a new moon
And so towards us sharpened they their brows
As an old tailor at the needle's eye.
Thus scrutinised by such a family
By some one I was recognisedwho seized
My garment's hemand cried outWhat a marvel!
And Iwhen he stretched forth his arm to me
On his baked aspect fastened so mine eyes
That the scorched countenance prevented not
His recognition by my intellect;
And bowing down my face unto his own
I made replyAre you here, Ser Brunetto?
And he: "May't not displease theeO my son
If a brief space with thee Brunetto Latini
Backward return and let the trail go on."
I said to him: "With all my power I ask it;
And if you wish me to sit down with you
I willif he pleasefor I go with him."
O son,he saidwhoever of this herd
A moment stops, lies then a hundred years,
Nor fans himself when smiteth him the fire.
Therefore go on; I at thy skirts will come,
And afterward will I rejoin my band,
Which goes lamenting its eternal doom.
I did not dare to go down from the road
Level to walk with him; but my head bowed
I held as one who goeth reverently.
And he began: "What fortune or what fate
Before the last day leadeth thee down here?
And who is this that showeth thee the way?"
Up there above us in the life serene,
I answered himI lost me in a valley,
Or ever yet my age had been completed.
But yestermorn I turned my back upon it;
This one appeared to me, returning thither,
And homeward leadeth me along this road.
And he to me: "If thou thy star do follow
Thou canst not fail thee of a glorious port
If well I judged in the life beautiful.
And if I had not died so prematurely
Seeing Heaven thus benignant unto thee
I would have given thee comfort in the work.
But that ungrateful and malignant people
Which of old time from Fesole descended
And smacks still of the mountain and the granite
Will make itselffor thy good deedsthy foe;
And it is right; for among crabbed sorbs
It ill befits the sweet fig to bear fruit.
Old rumour in the world proclaims them blind;
A people avariciousenviousproud;
Take heed that of their customs thou do cleanse thee.
Thy fortune so much honour doth reserve thee
One party and the other shall be hungry
For thee; but far from goat shall be the grass.
Their litter let the beasts of Fesole
Make of themselvesnor let them touch the plant
If any still upon their dunghill rise
In which may yet revive the consecrated
Seed of those Romanswho remained there when
The nest of such great malice it became."
If my entreaty wholly were fulfilled,
Replied I to himnot yet would you be
In banishment from human nature placed;
For in my mind is fixed, and touches now
My heart the dear and good paternal image
Of you, when in the world from hour to hour
You taught me how a man becomes eternal;
And how much I am grateful, while I live
Behoves that in my language be discerned.
What you narrate of my career I write,
And keep it to be glossed with other text
By a Lady who can do it, if I reach her.
This much will I have manifest to you;
Provided that my conscience do not chide me,
For whatsoever Fortune I am ready.
Such handsel is not new unto mine ears;
Therefore let Fortune turn her wheel around
As it may please her, and the churl his mattock.
My Master thereupon on his right cheek
Did backward turn himselfand looked at me;
Then said: "He listeneth well who noteth it."
Nor speaking less on that accountI go
With Ser Brunettoand I ask who are
His most known and most eminent companions.
And he to me: "To know of some is well;
Of others it were laudable to be silent
For short would be the time for so much speech.
Know them in sumthat all of them were clerks
And men of letters great and of great fame
In the world tainted with the selfsame sin.
Priscian goes yonder with that wretched crowd
And Francis of Accorso; and thou hadst seen there
If thou hadst had a hankering for such scurf
That onewho by the Servant of the Servants
From Arno was transferred to Bacchiglione
Where he has left his sin-excited nerves.
More would I saybut coming and discoursing
Can be no longer; for that I behold
New smoke uprising yonder from the sand.
A people comes with whom I may not be;
Commended unto thee be my Tesoro
In which I still liveand no more I ask."
Then he turned roundand seemed to be of those
Who at Verona run for the Green Mantle
Across the plain; and seemed to be among them
The one who winsand not the one who loses.
Inferno: Canto XVI
Now was I where was heard the reverberation
Of water falling into the next round
Like to that humming which the beehives make
When shadows three together started forth
Runningfrom out a company that passed
Beneath the rain of the sharp martyrdom.
Towards us came theyand each one cried out:
Stop, thou; for by thy garb to us thou seemest
To be some one of our depraved city.
Ah me! what wounds I saw upon their limbs
Recent and ancient by the flames burnt in!
It pains me still but to remember it.
Unto their cries my Teacher paused attentive;
He turned his face towards meand "Now wait
He said; to these we should be courteous.
And if it were not for the fire that darts
The nature of this regionI should say
That haste were more becoming thee than them."
As soon as we stood stillthey recommenced
The old refrainand when they overtook us
Formed of themselves a wheelall three of them.
As champions stripped and oiled are wont to do
Watching for their advantage and their hold
Before they come to blows and thrusts between them
Thuswheeling rounddid every one his visage
Direct to meso that in opposite wise
His neck and feet continual journey made.
AndIf the misery of this soft place
Bring in disdain ourselves and our entreaties,
Began oneand our aspect black and blistered,
Let the renown of us thy mind incline
To tell us who thou art, who thus securely
Thy living feet dost move along through Hell.
He in whose footprints thou dost see me treading,
Naked and skinless though he now may go,
Was of a greater rank than thou dost think;
He was the grandson of the good Gualdrada;
His name was Guidoguerra, and in life
Much did he with his wisdom and his sword.
The other, who close by me treads the sand,
Tegghiaio Aldobrandi is, whose fame
Above there in the world should welcome be.
And I, who with them on the cross am placed,
Jacopo Rusticucci was; and truly
My savage wife, more than aught else, doth harm me.
Could I have been protected from the fire
Below I should have thrown myself among them
And think the Teacher would have suffered it;
But as I should have burned and baked myself
My terror overmastered my good will
Which made me greedy of embracing them.
Then I began: "Sorrow and not disdain
Did your condition fix within me so
That tardily it wholly is stripped off
As soon as this my Lord said unto me
Wordson account of which I thought within me
That people such as you are were approaching.
I of your city am; and evermore
Your labours and your honourable names
I with affection have retraced and heard.
I leave the galland go for the sweet fruits
Promised to me by the veracious Leader;
But to the centre first I needs must plunge."
So may the soul for a long while conduct
Those limbs of thine,did he make answer then
And so may thy renown shine after thee,
Valour and courtesy, say if they dwell
Within our city, as they used to do,
Or if they wholly have gone out of it;
For Guglielmo Borsier, who is in torment
With us of late, and goes there with his comrades,
Doth greatly mortify us with his words.
The new inhabitants and the sudden gains,
Pride and extravagance have in thee engendered,
Florence, so that thou weep'st thereat already!
In this wise I exclaimed with face uplifted;
And the threetaking that for my reply
Looked at each otheras one looks at truth.
If other times so little it doth cost thee,
Replied they allto satisfy another,
Happy art thou, thus speaking at thy will!
Therefore, if thou escape from these dark places,
And come to rebehold the beauteous stars,
When it shall pleasure thee to say, 'I was,'
See that thou speak of us unto the people.
Then they broke up the wheeland in their flight
It seemed as if their agile legs were wings.
Not an Amen could possibly be said
So rapidly as they had disappeared;
Wherefore the Master deemed best to depart.
I followed himand little had we gone
Before the sound of water was so near us
That speaking we should hardly have been heard.
Even as that stream which holdeth its own course
The first from Monte Veso tow'rds the East
Upon the left-hand slope of Apennine
Which is above called Acquachetaere
It down descendeth into its low bed
And at Forli is vacant of that name
Reverberates there above San Benedetto
From Alpsby falling at a single leap
Where for a thousand there were room enough;
Thus downward from a bank precipitate
We found resounding that dark-tinted water
So that it soon the ear would have offended.
I had a cord around about me girt
And therewithal I whilom had designed
To take the panther with the painted skin.
After I this had all from me unloosed
As my Conductor had commanded me
I reached it to himgathered up and coiled
Whereat he turned himself to the right side
And at a little distance from the verge
He cast it down into that deep abyss.
It must needs be some novelty respond,
I said within myselfto the new signal
The Master with his eye is following so.
Ah me! how very cautious men should be
With those who not alone behold the act
But with their wisdom look into the thoughts!
He said to me: "Soon there will upward come
What I await; and what thy thought is dreaming
Must soon reveal itself unto thy sight."
Aye to that truth which has the face of falsehood
A man should close his lips as far as may be
Because without his fault it causes shame;
But here I cannot; andReaderby the notes
Of this my Comedy to thee I swear
So may they not be void of lasting favour
Athwart that dense and darksome atmosphere
I saw a figure swimming upward come
Marvellous unto every steadfast heart
Even as he returns who goeth down
Sometimes to clear an anchorwhich has grappled
Reefor aught else that in the sea is hidden
Who upward stretchesand draws in his feet.
Inferno: Canto XVII
Behold the monster with the pointed tail,
Who cleaves the hills, and breaketh walls and weapons,
Behold him who infecteth all the world.
Thus unto me my Guide began to say
And beckoned him that he should come to shore
Near to the confine of the trodden marble;
And that uncleanly image of deceit
Came up and thrust ashore its head and bust
But on the border did not drag its tail.
The face was as the face of a just man
Its semblance outwardly was so benign
And of a serpent all the trunk beside.
Two paws it hadhairy unto the armpits;
The backand breastand both the sides it had
Depicted o'er with nooses and with shields.
With colours moregroundwork or broidery
Never in cloth did Tartars make nor Turks
Nor were such tissues by Arachne laid.
As sometimes wherries lie upon the shore
That part are in the waterpart on land;
And as among the guzzling Germans there
The beaver plants himself to wage his war;
So that vile monster lay upon the border
Which is of stoneand shutteth in the sand.
His tail was wholly quivering in the void
Contorting upwards the envenomed fork
That in the guise of scorpion armed its point.
The Guide said: "Now perforce must turn aside
Our way a littleeven to that beast
Malevolentthat yonder coucheth him."
We therefore on the right side descended
And made ten steps upon the outer verge
Completely to avoid the sand and flame;
And after we are come to himI see
A little farther off upon the sand
A people sitting near the hollow place.
Then said to me the Master: "So that full
Experience of this round thou bear away
Now go and see what their condition is.
There let thy conversation be concise;
Till thou returnest I will speak with him
That he concede to us his stalwart shoulders."
Thus farther still upon the outermost
Head of that seventh circle all alone
I wentwhere sat the melancholy folk.
Out of their eyes was gushing forth their woe;
This waythat waythey helped them with their hands
Now from the flames and now from the hot soil.
Not otherwise in summer do the dogs
Now with the footnow with the muzzlewhen
By fleasor fliesor gadfliesthey are bitten.
When I had turned mine eyes upon the faces
Of someon whom the dolorous fire is falling
Not one of them I knew; but I perceived
That from the neck of each there hung a pouch
Which certain colour hadand certain blazon;
And thereupon it seems their eyes are feeding.
And as I gazing round me come among them
Upon a yellow pouch I azure saw
That had the face and posture of a lion.
Proceeding then the current of my sight
Another of them saw Ired as blood
Display a goose more white than butter is.
And onewho with an azure sow and gravid
Emblazoned had his little pouch of white
Said unto me: "What dost thou in this moat?
Now get thee gone; and since thou'rt still alive
Know that a neighbour of mineVitaliano
Will have his seat here on my left-hand side.
A Paduan am I with these Florentines;
Full many a time they thunder in mine ears
Exclaiming'Come the sovereign cavalier
He who shall bring the satchel with three goats;'"
Then twisted he his mouthand forth he thrust
His tonguelike to an ox that licks its nose.
And fearing lest my longer stay might vex
Him who had warned me not to tarry long
Backward I turned me from those weary souls.
I found my Guidewho had already mounted
Upon the back of that wild animal
And said to me: "Now be both strong and bold.
Now we descend by stairways such as these;
Mount thou in frontfor I will be midway
So that the tail may have no power to harm thee."
Such as he is who has so near the ague
Of quartan that his nails are blue already
And trembles allbut looking at the shade;
Even such became I at those proffered words;
But shame in me his menaces produced
Which maketh servant strong before good master.
I seated me upon those monstrous shoulders;
I wished to sayand yet the voice came not
As I believedTake heed that thou embrace me.
But hewho other times had rescued me
In other perilsoon as I had mounted
Within his arms encircled and sustained me
And said: "NowGeryonbestir thyself;
The circles largeand the descent be little;
Think of the novel burden which thou hast."
Even as the little vessel shoves from shore
Backwardstill backwardso he thence withdrew;
And when he wholly felt himself afloat
There where his breast had been he turned his tail
And that extended like an eel he moved
And with his paws drew to himself the air.
A greater fear I do not think there was
What time abandoned Phaeton the reins
Whereby the heavensas still appearswere scorched;
Nor when the wretched Icarus his flanks
Felt stripped of feathers by the melting wax
His father cryingAn ill way thou takest!
Than was my ownwhen I perceived myself
On all sides in the airand saw extinguished
The sight of everything but of the monster.
Onward he goethswimming slowlyslowly;
Wheels and descendsbut I perceive it only
By wind upon my face and from below.
I heard already on the right the whirlpool
Making a horrible crashing under us;
Whence I thrust out my head with eyes cast downward.
Then was I still more fearful of the abyss;
Because I fires beheldand heard laments
Whereat Itremblingall the closer cling.
I saw thenfor before I had not seen it
The turning and descendingby great horrors
That were approaching upon divers sides.
As falcon who has long been on the wing
Whowithout seeing either lure or bird
Maketh the falconer sayAh me, thou stoopest,
Descendeth wearywhence he started swiftly
Thorough a hundred circlesand alights
Far from his mastersullen and disdainful;
Even thus did Geryon place us on the bottom
Close to the bases of the rough-hewn rock
And being disencumbered of our persons
He sped away as arrow from the string.
Inferno: Canto XVIII
There is a place in Hell called Malebolge
Wholly of stone and of an iron colour
As is the circle that around it turns.
Right in the middle of the field malign
There yawns a well exceeding wide and deep
Of which its place the structure will recount.
Roundthenis that enclosure which remains
Between the well and foot of the highhard bank
And has distinct in valleys ten its bottom.
As where for the protection of the walls
Many and many moats surround the castles
The part in which they are a figure forms
Just such an image those presented there;
And as about such strongholds from their gates
Unto the outer bank are little bridges
So from the precipice's base did crags
Projectwhich intersected dikes and moats
Unto the well that truncates and collects them.
Within this placedown shaken from the back
Of Geryonwe found us; and the Poet
Held to the leftand I moved on behind.
Upon my right hand I beheld new anguish
New tormentsand new wielders of the lash
Wherewith the foremost Bolgia was replete.
Down at the bottom were the sinners naked;
This side the middle came they facing us
Beyond itwith usbut with greater steps;
Even as the Romansfor the mighty host
The year of Jubileeupon the bridge
Have chosen a mode to pass the people over;
For all upon one side towards the Castle
Their faces haveand go unto St. Peter's;
On the other side they go towards the Mountain.
This side and thatalong the livid stone
Beheld I horned demons with great scourges
Who cruelly were beating them behind.
Ah me! how they did make them lift their legs
At the first blows! and sooth not any one
The second waited fornor for the third.
While I was going onmine eyes by one
Encountered were; and straight I said: "Already
With sight of this one I am not unfed."
Therefore I stayed my feet to make him out
And with me the sweet Guide came to a stand
And to my going somewhat back assented;
And hethe scourged onethought to hide himself
Lowering his facebut little it availed him;
For said I: "Thou that castest down thine eyes
If false are not the features which thou bearest
Thou art Venedico Caccianimico;
But what doth bring thee to such pungent sauces?"
And he to me: "Unwillingly I tell it;
But forces me thine utterance distinct
Which makes me recollect the ancient world.
I was the one who the fair Ghisola
Induced to grant the wishes of the Marquis
Howe'er the shameless story may be told.
Not the sole Bolognese am I who weeps here;
Nayrather is this place so full of them
That not so many tongues to-day are taught
'Twixt Reno and Savena to say 'sipa;'
And if thereof thou wishest pledge or proof
Bring to thy mind our avaricious heart."
While speaking in this mannerwith his scourge
A demon smote himand said: "Get thee gone
Panderthere are no women here for coin."
I joined myself again unto mine Escort;
Thereafterward with footsteps few we came
To where a crag projected from the bank.
This very easily did we ascend
And turning to the right along its ridge
From those eternal circles we departed.
When we were therewhere it is hollowed out
Beneathto give a passage to the scourged
The Guide said: "Waitand see that on thee strike
The vision of those others evil-born
Of whom thou hast not yet beheld the faces
Because together with us they have gone."
From the old bridge we looked upon the train
Which tow'rds us came upon the other border
And which the scourges in like manner smite.
And the good Masterwithout my inquiring
Said to me: "See that tall one who is coming
And for his pain seems not to shed a tear;
Still what a royal aspect he retains!
That Jason iswho by his heart and cunning
The Colchians of the Ram made destitute.
He by the isle of Lemnos passed along
After the daring women pitiless
Had unto death devoted all their males.
There with his tokens and with ornate words
Did he deceive Hypsipylethe maiden
Who firstherselfhad all the rest deceived.
There did he leave her pregnant and forlorn;
Such sin unto such punishment condemns him
And also for Medea is vengeance done.
With him go those who in such wise deceive;
And this sufficient be of the first valley
To knowand those that in its jaws it holds."
We were already where the narrow path
Crosses athwart the second dikeand forms
Of that a buttress for another arch.
Thence we heard peoplewho are making moan
In the next Bolgiasnorting with their muzzles
And with their palms beating upon themselves
The margins were incrusted with a mould
By exhalation from belowthat sticks there
And with the eyes and nostrils wages war.
The bottom is so deepno place suffices
To give us sight of itwithout ascending
The arch's backwhere most the crag impends.
Thither we cameand thence down in the moat
I saw a people smothered in a filth
That out of human privies seemed to flow;
And whilst below there with mine eye I search
I saw one with his head so foul with ordure
It was not clear if he were clerk or layman.
He screamed to me: "Wherefore art thou so eager
To look at me more than the other foul ones?"
And I to him: "Becauseif I remember
I have already seen thee with dry hair
And thou'rt Alessio Interminei of Lucca;
Therefore I eye thee more than all the others."
And he thereonbelabouring his pumpkin:
The flatteries have submerged me here below,
Wherewith my tongue was never surfeited.
Then said to me the Guide: "See that thou thrust
Thy visage somewhat farther in advance
That with thine eyes thou well the face attain
Of that uncleanly and dishevelled drab
Who there doth scratch herself with filthy nails
And crouches nowand now on foot is standing.
Thais the harlot is itwho replied
Unto her paramourwhen he said'Have I
Great gratitude from thee?'--'Naymarvellous;'
And herewith let our sight be satisfied."
Inferno: Canto XIX
O Simon MagusO forlorn disciples
Ye who the things of Godwhich ought to be
The brides of holinessrapaciously
For silver and for gold do prostitute
Now it behoves for you the trumpet sound
Because in this third Bolgia ye abide.
We had already on the following tomb
Ascended to that portion of the crag
Which o'er the middle of the moat hangs plumb.
Wisdom supremeO how great art thou showest
In heavenin earthand in the evil world
And with what justice doth thy power distribute!
I saw upon the sides and on the bottom
The livid stone with perforations filled
All of one sizeand every one was round.
To me less ample seemed they notnor greater
Than those that in my beautiful Saint John
Are fashioned for the place of the baptisers
And one of whichnot many years ago
I broke for some onewho was drowning in it;
Be this a seal all men to undeceive.
Out of the mouth of each one there protruded
The feet of a transgressorand the legs
Up to the calfthe rest within remained.
In all of them the soles were both on fire;
Wherefore the joints so violently quivered
They would have snapped asunder withes and bands.
Even as the flame of unctuous things is wont
To move upon the outer surface only
So likewise was it there from heel to point.
Master, who is that one who writhes himself,
More than his other comrades quivering,
I saidand whom a redder flame is sucking?
And he to me: "If thou wilt have me bear thee
Down there along that bank which lowest lies
From him thou'lt know his errors and himself."
And I: "What pleases theeto me is pleasing;
Thou art my Lordand knowest that I depart not
From thy desireand knowest what is not spoken."
Straightway upon the fourth dike we arrived;
We turnedand on the left-hand side descended
Down to the bottom full of holes and narrow.
And the good Master yet from off his haunch
Deposed me nottill to the hole he brought me
Of him who so lamented with his shanks.
Whoe'er thou art, that standest upside down,
O doleful soul, implanted like a stake,
To say began Iif thou canst, speak out.
I stood even as the friar who is confessing
The false assassinwhowhen he is fixed
Recalls himso that death may be delayed.
And he cried out: "Dost thou stand there already
Dost thou stand there alreadyBoniface?
By many years the record lied to me.
Art thou so early satiate with that wealth
For which thou didst not fear to take by fraud
The beautiful Ladyand then work her woe?"
Such I becameas people are who stand
Not comprehending what is answered them
As if bemockedand know not how to answer.
Then said Virgilius: "Say to him straightway
'I am not heI am not he thou thinkest.'"
And I replied as was imposed on me.
Whereat the spirit writhed with both his feet
Thensighingwith a voice of lamentation
Said to me: "Then what wantest thou of me?
If who I am thou carest so much to know
That thou on that account hast crossed the bank
Know that I vested was with the great mantle;
And truly was I son of the She-bear
So eager to advance the cubsthat wealth
Aboveand here myselfI pocketed.
Beneath my head the others are dragged down
Who have preceded me in simony
Flattened along the fissure of the rock.
Below there I shall likewise fallwhenever
That one shall come who I believed thou wast
What time the sudden question I proposed.
But longer I my feet already toast
And here have been in this way upside down
Than he will planted stay with reddened feet;
For after him shall come of fouler deed
From tow'rds the west a Pastor without law
Such as befits to cover him and me.
New Jason will he beof whom we read
In Maccabees; and as his king was pliant
So he who governs France shall be to this one."
I do not know if I were here too bold
That him I answered only in this metre:
I pray thee tell me now how great a treasure
Our Lord demanded of Saint Peter first,
Before he put the keys into his keeping?
Truly he nothing asked but 'Follow me.'
Nor Peter nor the rest asked of Matthias
Silver or gold, when he by lot was chosen
Unto the place the guilty soul had lost.
Therefore stay here, for thou art justly punished,
And keep safe guard o'er the ill-gotten money,
Which caused thee to be valiant against Charles.
And were it not that still forbids it me
The reverence for the keys superlative
Thou hadst in keeping in the gladsome life,
I would make use of words more grievous still;
Because your avarice afflicts the world,
Trampling the good and lifting the depraved.
The Evangelist you Pastors had in mind,
When she who sitteth upon many waters
To fornicate with kings by him was seen;
The same who with the seven heads was born,
And power and strength from the ten horns received,
So long as virtue to her spouse was pleasing.
Ye have made yourselves a god of gold and silver;
And from the idolater how differ ye,
Save that he one, and ye a hundred worship?
Ah, Constantine! of how much ill was mother,
Not thy conversion, but that marriage dower
Which the first wealthy Father took from thee!
And while I sang to him such notes as these
Either that anger or that conscience stung him
He struggled violently with both his feet.
I think in sooth that it my Leader pleased
With such contented lip he listened ever
Unto the sound of the true words expressed.
Therefore with both his arms he took me up
And when he had me all upon his breast
Remounted by the way where he descended.
Nor did he tire to have me clasped to him;
But bore me to the summit of the arch
Which from the fourth dike to the fifth is passage.
There tenderly he laid his burden down
Tenderly on the crag uneven and steep
That would have been hard passage for the goats:
Thence was unveiled to me another valley.
Inferno: Canto XX
Of a new pain behoves me to make verses
And give material to the twentieth canto
Of the first songwhich is of the submerged.
I was already thoroughly disposed
To peer down into the uncovered depth
Which bathed itself with tears of agony;
And people saw I through the circular valley
Silent and weepingcoming at the pace
Which in this world the Litanies assume.
As lower down my sight descended on them
Wondrously each one seemed to be distorted
From chin to the beginning of the chest;
For tow'rds the reins the countenance was turned
And backward it behoved them to advance
As to look forward had been taken from them.
Perchance indeed by violence of palsy
Some one has been thus wholly turned awry;
But I ne'er saw itnor believe it can be.
As God may let theeReadergather fruit
From this thy readingthink now for thyself
How I could ever keep my face unmoistened
When our own image near me I beheld
Distorted sothe weeping of the eyes
Along the fissure bathed the hinder parts.
Truly I weptleaning upon a peak
Of the hard cragso that my Escort said
To me: "Art thoutooof the other fools?
Here pity lives when it is wholly dead;
Who is a greater reprobate than he
Who feels compassion at the doom divine?
Lift uplift up thy headand see for whom
Opened the earth before the Thebans' eyes;
Wherefore they all cried: 'Whither rushest thou
Amphiaraus? Why dost leave the war?'
And downward ceased he not to fall amain
As far as Minoswho lays hold on all.
Seehe has made a bosom of his shoulders!
Because he wished to see too far before him
Behind he looksand backward goes his way:
Behold Tiresiaswho his semblance changed
When from a male a female he became
His members being all of them transformed;
And afterwards was forced to strike once more
The two entangled serpents with his rod
Ere he could have again his manly plumes.
That Aruns iswho backs the other's belly
Who in the hills of Lunithere where grubs
The Carrarese who houses underneath
Among the marbles white a cavern had
For his abode; whence to behold the stars
And seathe view was not cut off from him.
And she therewho is covering up her breasts
Which thou beholdest notwith loosened tresses
And on that side has all the hairy skin
Was Mantowho made quest through many lands
Afterwards tarried there where I was born;
Whereof I would thou list to me a little.
After her father had from life departed
And the city of Bacchus had become enslaved
She a long season wandered through the world.
Above in beauteous Italy lies a lake
At the Alp's foot that shuts in Germany
Over Tyroland has the name Benaco.
By a thousand springsI thinkand moreis bathed
'Twixt Garda and Val CamonicaPennino
With water that grows stagnant in that lake.
Midway a place is where the Trentine Pastor
And he of Bresciaand the Veronese
Might give his blessingif he passed that way.
Sitteth Peschierafortress fair and strong
To front the Brescians and the Bergamasks
Where round about the bank descendeth lowest.
There of necessity must fall whatever
In bosom of Benaco cannot stay
And grows a river down through verdant pastures.
Soon as the water doth begin to run
No more Benaco is it calledbut Mincio
Far as Governowhere it falls in Po.
Not far it runs before it finds a plain
In which it spreads itselfand makes it marshy
And oft 'tis wont in summer to be sickly.
Passing that way the virgin pitiless
Land in the middle of the fen descried
Untilled and naked of inhabitants;
There to escape all human intercourse
She with her servants stayedher arts to practise
And livedand left her empty body there.
The menthereafterwho were scattered round
Collected in that placewhich was made strong
By the lagoon it had on every side;
They built their city over those dead bones
Andafter her who first the place selected
Mantua named itwithout other omen.
Its people once within more crowded were
Ere the stupidity of Casalodi
From Pinamonte had received deceit.
Therefore I caution theeif e'er thou hearest
Originate my city otherwise
No falsehood may the verity defraud."
And I: "My Masterthy discourses are
To me so certainand so take my faith
That unto me the rest would be spent coals.
But tell me of the people who are passing
If any one note-worthy thou beholdest
For only unto that my mind reverts."
Then said he to me: "He who from the cheek
Thrusts out his beard upon his swarthy shoulders
Wasat the time when Greece was void of males
So that there scarce remained one in the cradle
An augurand with Calchas gave the moment
In Auliswhen to sever the first cable.
Eryphylus his name wasand so sings
My lofty Tragedy in some part or other;
That knowest thou wellwho knowest the whole of it.
The nextwho is so slender in the flanks
Was Michael Scottwho of a verity
Of magical illusions knew the game.
Behold Guido Bonattibehold Asdente
Who now unto his leather and his thread
Would fain have stuckbut he too late repents.
Behold the wretched oneswho left the needle
The spool and rockand made them fortune-tellers;
They wrought their magic spells with herb and image.
But come nowfor already holds the confines
Of both the hemispheresand under Seville
Touches the ocean-waveCain and the thorns
And yesternight the moon was round already;
Thou shouldst remember well it did not harm thee
From time to time within the forest deep."
Thus spake he to meand we walked the while.
Inferno: Canto XXI
From bridge to bridge thusspeaking other things
Of which my Comedy cares not to sing
We came alongand held the summitwhen
We halted to behold another fissure
Of Malebolge and other vain laments;
And I beheld it marvellously dark.
As in the Arsenal of the Venetians
Boils in the winter the tenacious pitch
To smear their unsound vessels o'er again
For sail they cannot; and instead thereof
One makes his vessel newand one recaulks
The ribs of that which many a voyage has made;
One hammers at the prowone at the stern
This one makes oarsand that one cordage twists
Another mends the mainsail and the mizzen;
Thusnot by firebut by the art divine
Was boiling down below there a dense pitch
Which upon every side the bank belimed.
I saw itbut I did not see within it
Aught but the bubbles that the boiling raised
And all swell up and resubside compressed.
The while below there fixedly I gazed
My Leadercrying out: "Bewarebeware!"
Drew me unto himself from where I stood.
Then I turned roundas one who is impatient
To see what it behoves him to escape
And whom a sudden terror doth unman
Whowhile he looksdelays not his departure;
And I beheld behind us a black devil
Running along upon the cragapproach.
Ahhow ferocious was he in his aspect!
And how he seemed to me in action ruthless
With open wings and light upon his feet!
His shoulderswhich sharp-pointed were and high
A sinner did encumber with both haunches
And he held clutched the sinews of the feet.
From off our bridgehe said: "O Malebranche
Behold one of the elders of Saint Zita;
Plunge him beneathfor I return for others
Unto that townwhich is well furnished with them.
All there are barratorsexcept Bonturo;
No into Yes for money there is changed."
He hurled him downand over the hard crag
Turned roundand never was a mastiff loosened
In so much hurry to pursue a thief.
The other sankand rose again face downward;
But the demonsunder cover of the bridge
Cried: "Here the Santo Volto has no place!
Here swims one otherwise than in the Serchio;
Thereforeif for our gaffs thou wishest not
Do not uplift thyself above the pitch."
They seized him then with more than a hundred rakes;
They said: "It here behoves thee to dance covered
Thatif thou canstthou secretly mayest pilfer."
Not otherwise the cooks their scullions make
Immerse into the middle of the caldron
The meat with hooksso that it may not float.
Said the good Master to me: "That it be not
Apparent thou art herecrouch thyself down
Behind a jagthat thou mayest have some screen;
And for no outrage that is done to me
Be thou afraidbecause these things I know
For once before was I in such a scuffle."
Then he passed on beyond the bridge's head
And as upon the sixth bank he arrived
Need was for him to have a steadfast front.
With the same furyand the same uproar
As dogs leap out upon a mendicant
Who on a sudden begswhere'er he stops
They issued from beneath the little bridge
And turned against him all their grappling-irons;
But he cried out: "Be none of you malignant!
Before those hooks of yours lay hold of me
Let one of you step forwardwho may hear me
And then take counsel as to grappling me."
They all cried out: "Let Malacoda go;"
Whereat one startedand the rest stood still
And he came to himsaying: "What avails it?"
Thinkest thou, Malacoda, to behold me
Advanced into this place,my Master said
Safe hitherto from all your skill of fence,
Without the will divine, and fate auspicious?
Let me go on, for it in Heaven is willed
That I another show this savage road.
Then was his arrogance so humbled in him
That he let fall his grapnel at his feet
And to the others said: "Now strike him not."
And unto me my Guide: "O thouwho sittest
Among the splinters of the bridge crouched down
Securely now return to me again."
Wherefore I started and came swiftly to him;
And all the devils forward thrust themselves
So that I feared they would not keep their compact.
And thus beheld I once afraid the soldiers
Who issued under safeguard from Caprona
Seeing themselves among so many foes.
Close did I press myself with all my person
Beside my Leaderand turned not mine eyes
From off their countenancewhich was not good.
They lowered their rakesand "Wilt thou have me hit him
They said to one another, on the rump?"
And answered: "Yes; see that thou nick him with it."
But the same demon who was holding parley
With my Conductor turned him very quickly
And said: "Be quietbe quietScarmiglione;"
Then said to us: "You can no farther go
Forward upon this cragbecause is lying
All shatteredat the bottomthe sixth arch.
And if it still doth please you to go onward
Pursue your way along upon this rock;
Near is another crag that yields a path.
Yesterdayfive hours later than this hour
One thousand and two hundred sixty-six
Years were completethat here the way was broken.
I send in that direction some of mine
To see if any one doth air himself;
Go ye with them; for they will not be vicious.
Step forwardAlichino and Calcabrina
Began he to cry out, and thouCagnazzo;
And Barbaricciado thou guide the ten.
Come forwardLibicocco and Draghignazzo
And tusked Ciriatto and Graffiacane
And Farfarello and mad Rubicante;
Search ye all round about the boiling pitch;
Let these be safe as far as the next crag
That all unbroken passes o'er the dens."
O me! what is it, Master, that I see?
Pray let us go,I saidwithout an escort,
If thou knowest how, since for myself I ask none.
If thou art as observant as thy wont is,
Dost thou not see that they do gnash their teeth,
And with their brows are threatening woe to us?
And he to me: "I will not have thee fear;
Let them gnash onaccording to their fancy
Because they do it for those boiling wretches."
Along the left-hand dike they wheeled about;
But first had each one thrust his tongue between
His teeth towards their leader for a signal;
And he had made a trumpet of his rump.
Inferno: Canto XXII
I have erewhile seen horsemen moving camp
Begin the stormingand their muster make
And sometimes starting off for their escape;
Vaunt-couriers have I seen upon your land
O Aretinesand foragers go forth
Tournaments strickenand the joustings run
Sometimes with trumpets and sometimes with bells
With kettle-drumsand signals of the castles
And with our ownand with outlandish things
But never yet with bagpipe so uncouth
Did I see horsemen movenor infantry
Nor ship by any sign of land or star.
We went upon our way with the ten demons;
Ahsavage company! but in the church
With saintsand in the tavern with the gluttons!
Ever upon the pitch was my intent
To see the whole condition of that Bolgia
And of the people who therein were burned.
Even as the dolphinswhen they make a sign
To mariners by arching of the back
That they should counsel take to save their vessel
Thus sometimesto alleviate his pain
One of the sinners would display his back
And in less time conceal it than it lightens.
As on the brink of water in a ditch
The frogs stand only with their muzzles out
So that they hide their feet and other bulk
So upon every side the sinners stood;
But ever as Barbariccia near them came
Thus underneath the boiling they withdrew.
I sawand still my heart doth shudder at it
One waiting thuseven as it comes to pass
One frog remainsand down another dives;
And Graffiacanwho most confronted him
Grappled him by his tresses smeared with pitch
And drew him upso that he seemed an otter.
I knewbeforethe names of all of them
So had I noted them when they were chosen
And when they called each otherlistened how.
O Rubicante, see that thou do lay
Thy claws upon him, so that thou mayst flay him,
Cried all together the accursed ones.
And I: "My Mastersee to itif thou canst
That thou mayst know who is the luckless wight
Thus come into his adversaries' hands."
Near to the side of him my Leader drew
Asked of him whence he was; and he replied:
I in the kingdom of Navarre was born;
My mother placed me servant to a lord,
For she had borne me to a ribald knave,
Destroyer of himself and of his things.
Then I domestic was of good King Thibault;
I set me there to practise barratry,
For which I pay the reckoning in this heat.
And Ciriattofrom whose mouth projected
On either sidea tuskas in a boar
Caused him to feel how one of them could rip.
Among malicious cats the mouse had come;
But Barbariccia clasped him in his arms
And said: "Stand ye asidewhile I enfork him."
And to my Master he turned round his head;
Ask him again,he saidif more thou wish
To know from him, before some one destroy him.
The Guide: "Now tell then of the other culprits;
Knowest thou any one who is a Latian
Under the pitch?" And he: "I separated
Lately from one who was a neighbour to it;
Would that I still were covered up with him
For I should fear not either claw nor hook!"
And Libicocco: "We have borne too much;"
And with his grapnel seized him by the arm
So thatby rendinghe tore off a tendon.
Eke Draghignazzo wished to pounce upon him
Down at the legs; whence their Decurion
Turned round and round about with evil look.
When they again somewhat were pacified
Of himwho still was looking at his wound
Demanded my Conductor without stay:
Who was that one, from whom a luckless parting
Thou sayest thou hast made, to come ashore?
And he replied: "It was the Friar Gomita
He of Galluravessel of all fraud
Who had the enemies of his Lord in hand
And dealt so with them each exults thereat;
Money he tookand let them smoothly off
As he says; and in other offices
A barrator was henot mean but sovereign.
Foregathers with him one Don Michael Zanche
Of Logodoro; and of Sardinia
To gossip never do their tongues feel tired.
O me! see that onehow he grinds his teeth;
Still farther would I speakbut am afraid
Lest he to scratch my itch be making ready."
And the grand Provostturned to Farfarello
Who rolled his eyes about as if to strike
Said: "Stand aside therethou malicious bird."
If you desire either to see or hear,
The terror-stricken recommenced thereon
Tuscans or Lombards, I will make them come.
But let the Malebranche cease a little,
So that these may not their revenges fear,
And I, down sitting in this very place,
For one that I am will make seven come,
When I shall whistle, as our custom is
To do whenever one of us comes out.
Cagnazzo at these words his muzzle lifted
Shaking his headand said: "Just hear the trick
Which he has thought ofdown to throw himself!"
Whence hewho snares in great abundance had
Responded: "I by far too cunning am
When I procure for mine a greater sadness."
Alichin held not inbut running counter
Unto the restsaid to him: "If thou dive
I will not follow thee upon the gallop
But I will beat my wings above the pitch;
The height be leftand be the bank a shield
To see if thou alone dost countervail us."
O thou who readestthou shalt hear new sport!
Each to the other side his eyes averted;
He firstwho most reluctant was to do it.
The Navarrese selected well his time;
Planted his feet on landand in a moment
Leapedand released himself from their design.
Whereat each one was suddenly stung with shame
But he most who was cause of the defeat;
Therefore he movedand cried: "Thou art o'ertakern."
But little it availedfor wings could not
Outstrip the fear; the other one went under
Andflyingupward he his breast directed;
Not otherwise the duck upon a sudden
Dives underwhen the falcon is approaching
And upward he returneth cross and weary.
Infuriate at the mockeryCalcabrina
Flying behind him followed closedesirous
The other should escapeto have a quarrel.
And when the barrator had disappeared
He turned his talons upon his companion
And grappled with him right above the moat.
But sooth the other was a doughty sparhawk
To clapperclaw him well; and both of them
Fell in the middle of the boiling pond.
A sudden intercessor was the heat;
But ne'ertheless of rising there was naught
To such degree they had their wings belimed.
Lamenting with the othersBarbariccia
Made four of them fly to the other side
With all their gaffsand very speedily
This side and that they to their posts descended;
They stretched their hooks towards the pitch-ensnared
Who were already baked within the crust
And in this manner busied did we leave them.
Inferno: Canto XXIII
Silentaloneand without company
We wentthe one in frontthe other after
As go the Minor Friars along their way.
Upon the fable of Aesop was directed
My thoughtby reason of the present quarrel
Where he has spoken of the frog and mouse;
For 'mo' and 'issa' are not more alike
Than this one is to thatif well we couple
End and beginning with a steadfast mind.
And even as one thought from another springs
So afterward from that was born another
Which the first fear within me double made.
Thus did I ponder: "These on our account
Are laughed to scornwith injury and scoff
So greatthat much I think it must annoy them.
If anger be engrafted on ill-will
They will come after us more merciless
Than dog upon the leveret which he seizes
I felt my hair stand all on end already
With terror, and stood backwardly intent,
When said I: Masterif thou hidest not
Thyself and me forthwithof Malebranche
I am in dread; we have them now behind us;
I so imagine themI already feel them."
And he: "If I were made of leaded glass
Thine outward image I should not attract
Sooner to me than I imprint the inner.
Just now thy thoughts came in among my own
With similar attitude and similar face
So that of both one counsel sole I made.
If peradventure the right bank so slope
That we to the next Bolgia can descend
We shall escape from the imagined chase."
Not yet he finished rendering such opinion
When I beheld them come with outstretched wings
Not far remotewith will to seize upon us.
My Leader on a sudden seized me up
Even as a mother who by noise is wakened
And close beside her sees the enkindled flames
Who takes her sonand fliesand does not stop
Having more care of him than of herself
So that she clothes her only with a shift;
And downward from the top of the hard bank
Supine he gave him to the pendent rock
That one side of the other Bolgia walls.
Ne'er ran so swiftly water through a sluice
To turn the wheel of any land-built mill
When nearest to the paddles it approaches
As did my Master down along that border
Bearing me with him on his breast away
As his own sonand not as a companion.
Hardly the bed of the ravine below
His feet had reachedere they had reached the hill
Right over us; but he was not afraid;
For the high Providencewhich had ordained
To place them ministers of the fifth moat
The power of thence departing took from all.
A painted people there below we found
Who went about with footsteps very slow
Weeping and in their semblance tired and vanquished.
They had on mantles with the hoods low down
Before their eyesand fashioned of the cut
That in Cologne they for the monks are made.
Withoutthey gilded are so that it dazzles;
But inwardly all leaden and so heavy
That Frederick used to put them on of straw.
O everlastingly fatiguing mantle!
Again we turned usstill to the left hand
Along with themintent on their sad plaint;
But owing to the weightthat weary folk
Came on so tardilythat we were new
In company at each motion of the haunch.
Whence I unto my Leader: "See thou find
Some one who may by deed or name be known
And thus in going move thine eye about."
And onewho understood the Tuscan speech
Cried to us from behind: "Stay ye your feet
Yewho so run athwart the dusky air!
Perhaps thou'lt have from me what thou demandest."
Whereat the Leader turned himand said: "Wait
And then according to his pace proceed."
I stoppedand two beheld I show great haste
Of spiritin their facesto be with me;
But the burden and the narrow way delayed them.
When they came uplong with an eye askance
They scanned me without uttering a word.
Then to each other turnedand said together:
He by the action of his throat seems living;
And if they dead are, by what privilege
Go they uncovered by the heavy stole?
Then said to me: "Tuscanwho to the college
Of miserable hypocrites art come
Do not disdain to tell us who thou art."
And I to them: "Born was Iand grew up
In the great town on the fair river of Arno
And with the body am I've always had.
But who are yein whom there trickles down
Along your cheeks such grief as I behold?
And what pain is upon youthat so sparkles?"
And one replied to me: "These orange cloaks
Are made of lead so heavythat the weights
Cause in this way their balances to creak.
Frati Gaudenti were weand Bolognese;
I Catalanoand he Loderingo
Namedand together taken by thy city
As the wont is to take one man alone
For maintenance of its peace; and we were such
That still it is apparent round Gardingo."
O Friars,began Iyour iniquitous. . .
But said no more; for to mine eyes there rushed
One crucified with three stakes on the ground.
When me he sawhe writhed himself all over
Blowing into his beard with suspirations;
And the Friar Catalanwho noticed this
Said to me: "This transfixed onewhom thou seest
Counselled the Pharisees that it was meet
To put one man to torture for the people.
Crosswise and naked is he on the path
As thou perceivest; and he needs must feel
Whoever passesfirst how much he weighs;
And in like mode his father-in-law is punished
Within this moatand the others of the council
Which for the Jews was a malignant seed."
And thereupon I saw Virgilius marvel
O'er him who was extended on the cross
So vilely in eternal banishment.
Then he directed to the Friar this voice:
Be not displeased, if granted thee, to tell us
If to the right hand any pass slope down
By which we two may issue forth from here,
Without constraining some of the black angels
To come and extricate us from this deep.
Then he made answer: "Nearer than thou hopest
There is a rockthat forth from the great circle
Proceedsand crosses all the cruel valleys
Save that at this 'tis brokenand does not bridge it;
You will be able to mount up the ruin
That sidelong slopes and at the bottom rises."
The Leader stood awhile with head bowed down;
Then said: "The business badly he recounted
Who grapples with his hook the sinners yonder."
And the Friar: "Many of the Devil's vices
Once heard I at Bolognaand among them
That he's a liar and the father of lies."
Thereat my Leader with great strides went on
Somewhat disturbed with anger in his looks;
Whence from the heavy-laden I departed
After the prints of his beloved feet.
Inferno: Canto XXIV
In that part of the youthful year wherein
The Sun his locks beneath Aquarius tempers
And now the nights draw near to half the day
What time the hoar-frost copies on the ground
The outward semblance of her sister white
But little lasts the temper of her pen
The husbandmanwhose forage faileth him
Risesand looksand seeth the champaign
All gleaming whitewhereat he beats his flank
Returns in doorsand up and down laments
Like a poor wretchwho knows not what to do;
Then he returns and hope revives again
Seeing the world has changed its countenance
In little timeand takes his shepherd's crook
And forth the little lambs to pasture drives.
Thus did the Master fill me with alarm
When I beheld his forehead so disturbed
And to the ailment came as soon the plaster.
For as we came unto the ruined bridge
The Leader turned to me with that sweet look
Which at the mountain's foot I first beheld.
His arms he openedafter some advisement
Within himself electedlooking first
Well at the ruinand laid hold of me.
And even as he who acts and meditates
For aye it seems that he provides beforehand
So upward lifting me towards the summit
Of a huge rockhe scanned another crag
Saying: "To that one grapple afterwards
But try first if 'tis such that it will hold thee."
This was no way for one clothed with a cloak;
For hardly wehe lightand I pushed upward
Were able to ascend from jag to jag.
And had it not beenthat upon that precinct
Shorter was the ascent than on the other
He I know notbut I had been dead beat.
But because Malebolge tow'rds the mouth
Of the profoundest well is all inclining
The structure of each valley doth import
That one bank rises and the other sinks.
Still we arrived at length upon the point
Wherefrom the last stone breaks itself asunder.
The breath was from my lungs so milked away
When I was upthat I could go no farther
NayI sat down upon my first arrival.
Now it behoves thee thus to put off sloth,
My Master said; "for sitting upon down
Or under quiltone cometh not to fame
Withouten which whoso his life consumes
Such vestige leaveth of himself on earth
As smoke in air or in the water foam.
And therefore raise thee upo'ercome the anguish
With spirit that o'ercometh every battle
If with its heavy body it sink not.
A longer stairway it behoves thee mount;
'Tis not enough from these to have departed;
Let it avail theeif thou understand me."
Then I uproseshowing myself provided
Better with breath than I did feel myself
And said: "Go onfor I am strong and bold."
Upward we took our way along the crag
Which jagged wasand narrowand difficult
And more precipitous far than that before.
Speaking I wentnot to appear exhausted;
Whereat a voice from the next moat came forth
Not well adapted to articulate words.
I know not what it saidthough o'er the back
I now was of the arch that passes there;
But he seemed moved to anger who was speaking.
I was bent downwardbut my living eyes
Could not attain the bottomfor the dark;
Wherefore I: "Mastersee that thou arrive
At the next roundand let us descend the wall;
For as from hence I hear and understand not
So I look down and nothing I distinguish."
Other response,he saidI make thee not,
Except the doing; for the modest asking
Ought to be followed by the deed in silence.
We from the bridge descended at its head
Where it connects itself with the eighth bank
And then was manifest to me the Bolgia;
And I beheld therein a terrible throng
Of serpentsand of such a monstrous kind
That the remembrance still congeals my blood
Let Libya boast no longer with her sand;
For if ChelydriJaculiand Phareae
She breedswith Cenchri and with Amphisbaena
Neither so many plagues nor so malignant
E'er showed she with all Ethiopia
Nor with whatever on the Red Sea is!
Among this cruel and most dismal throng
People were running naked and affrighted.
Without the hope of hole or heliotrope.
They had their hands with serpents bound behind them;
These riveted upon their reins the tail
And headand were in front of them entwined.
And lo! at one who was upon our side
There darted forth a serpentwhich transfixed him
There where the neck is knotted to the shoulders.
Nor 'O' so quickly e'ernor 'I' was written
As he took fireand burned; and ashes wholly
Behoved it that in falling he became.
And when he on the ground was thus destroyed
The ashes drew togetherand of themselves
Into himself they instantly returned.
Even thus by the great sages 'tis confessed
The phoenix diesand then is born again
When it approaches its five-hundredth year;
On herb or grain it feeds not in its life
But only on tears of incense and amomum
And nard and myrrh are its last winding-sheet.
And as he is who fallsand knows not how
By force of demons who to earth down drag him
Or other oppilation that binds man
When he arises and around him looks
Wholly bewildered by the mighty anguish
Which he has sufferedand in looking sighs;
Such was that sinner after he had risen.
Justice of God! O how severe it is
That blows like these in vengeance poureth down!
The Guide thereafter asked him who he was;
Whence he replied: "I rained from Tuscany
A short time since into this cruel gorge.
A bestial lifeand not a humanpleased me
Even as the mule I was; I'm Vanni Fucci
Beastand Pistoia was my worthy den."
And I unto the Guide: "Tell him to stir not
And ask what crime has thrust him here below
For once a man of blood and wrath I saw him."
And the sinnerwho had hearddissembled not
But unto me directed mind and face
And with a melancholy shame was painted.
Then said: "It pains me more that thou hast caught me
Amid this misery where thou seest me
Than when I from the other life was taken.
What thou demandest I cannot deny;
So low am I put down because I robbed
The sacristy of the fair ornaments
And falsely once 'twas laid upon another;
But that thou mayst not such a sight enjoy
If thou shalt e'er be out of the dark places
Thine ears to my announcement ope and hear:
Pistoia first of Neri groweth meagre;
Then Florence doth renew her men and manners;
Mars draws a vapour up from Val di Magra
Which is with turbid clouds enveloped round
And with impetuous and bitter tempest
Over Campo Picen shall be the battle;
When it shall suddenly rend the mist asunder
So that each Bianco shall thereby be smitten.
And this I've said that it may give thee pain."
Inferno: Canto XXV
At the conclusion of his wordsthe thief
Lifted his hands aloft with both the figs
Crying: "Take thatGodfor at thee I aim them."
From that time forth the serpents were my friends;
For one entwined itself about his neck
As if it said: "I will not thou speak more;"
And round his arms anotherand rebound him
Clinching itself together so in front
That with them he could not a motion make.
PistoiaahPistoia! why resolve not
To burn thyself to ashes and so perish
Since in ill-doing thou thy seed excellest?
Through all the sombre circles of this Hell
Spirit I saw not against God so proud
Not he who fell at Thebes down from the walls!
He fled awayand spake no further word;
And I beheld a Centaur full of rage
Come crying out: "Where iswhere is the scoffer?"
I do not think Maremma has so many
Serpents as he had all along his back
As far as where our countenance begins.
Upon the shouldersjust behind the nape
With wings wide open was a dragon lying
And he sets fire to all that he encounters.
My Master said: "That one is Cacuswho
Beneath the rock upon Mount Aventine
Created oftentimes a lake of blood.
He goes not on the same road with his brothers
By reason of the fraudulent theft he made
Of the great herdwhich he had near to him;
Whereat his tortuous actions ceased beneath
The mace of Herculeswho peradventure
Gave him a hundredand he felt not ten."
While he was speaking thushe had passed by
And spirits three had underneath us come
Of which nor I aware wasnor my Leader
Until what time they shouted: "Who are you?"
On which account our story made a halt
And then we were intent on them alone.
I did not know them; but it came to pass
As it is wont to happen by some chance
That one to name the other was compelled
Exclaiming: "Where can Cianfa have remained?"
Whence Iso that the Leader might attend
Upward from chin to nose my finger laid.
If thou artReaderslow now to believe
What I shall sayit will no marvel be
For I who saw it hardly can admit it.
As I was holding raised on them my brows
Behold! a serpent with six feet darts forth
In front of oneand fastens wholly on him.
With middle feet it bound him round the paunch
And with the forward ones his arms it seized;
Then thrust its teeth through one cheek and the other;
The hindermost it stretched upon his thighs
And put its tail through in between the two
And up behind along the reins outspread it.
Ivy was never fastened by its barbs
Unto a tree soas this horrible reptile
Upon the other's limbs entwined its own.
Then they stuck closeas if of heated wax
They had been madeand intermixed their colour;
Nor one nor other seemed now what he was;
E'en as proceedeth on before the flame
Upward along the paper a brown colour
Which is not black as yetand the white dies.
The other two looked onand each of them
Cried out: "O meAgnellohow thou changest!
Beholdthou now art neither two nor one."
Already the two heads had one become
When there appeared to us two figures mingled
Into one facewherein the two were lost.
Of the four lists were fashioned the two arms
The thighs and legsthe belly and the chest
Members became that never yet were seen.
Every original aspect there was cancelled;
Two and yet none did the perverted image
Appearand such departed with slow pace.
Even as a lizardunder the great scourge
Of days canicularexchanging hedge
Lightning appeareth if the road it cross;
Thus did appearcoming towards the bellies
Of the two othersa small fiery serpent
Livid and black as is a peppercorn.
And in that part whereat is first received
Our alimentit one of them transfixed;
Then downward fell in front of him extended.
The one transfixed looked at itbut said naught;
Nayrather with feet motionless he yawned
Just as if sleep or fever had assailed him.
He at the serpent gazedand it at him;
One through the woundthe other through the mouth
Smoked violentlyand the smoke commingled.
Henceforth be silent Lucanwhere he mentions
Wretched Sabellus and Nassidius
And wait to hear what now shall be shot forth.
Be silent Ovidof Cadmus and Arethusa;
For if him to a snakeher to fountain
Converts he fablingthat I grudge him not;
Because two natures never front to front
Has he transmutedso that both the forms
To interchange their matter ready were.
Together they responded in such wise
That to a fork the serpent cleft his tail
And eke the wounded drew his feet together.
The legs together with the thighs themselves
Adhered sothat in little time the juncture
No sign whatever made that was apparent.
He with the cloven tail assumed the figure
The other one was losingand his skin
Became elasticand the other's hard.
I saw the arms draw inward at the armpits
And both feet of the reptilethat were short
Lengthen as much as those contracted were.
Thereafter the hind feettogether twisted
Became the member that a man conceals
And of his own the wretch had two created.
While both of them the exhalation veils
With a new colourand engenders hair
On one of them and depilates the other
The one uprose and down the other fell
Though turning not away their impious lamps
Underneath which each one his muzzle changed.
He who was standing drew it tow'rds the temples
And from excess of matterwhich came thither
Issued the ears from out the hollow cheeks;
What did not backward run and was retained
Of that excess made to the face a nose
And the lips thickened far as was befitting.
He who lay prostrate thrusts his muzzle forward
And backward draws the ears into his head
In the same manner as the snail its horns;
And so the tonguewhich was entire and apt
For speech beforeis cleftand the bi-forked
In the other closes upand the smoke ceases.
The soulwhich to a reptile had been changed
Along the valley hissing takes to flight
And after him the other speaking sputters.
Then did he turn upon him his new shoulders
And said to the other: "I'll have Buoso run
Crawling as I have donealong this road."
In this way I beheld the seventh ballast
Shift and reshiftand here be my excuse
The noveltyif aught my pen transgress.
And notwithstanding that mine eyes might be
Somewhat bewilderedand my mind dismayed
They could not flee away so secretly
But that I plainly saw Puccio Sciancato;
And he it was who sole of three companions
Which came in the beginningwas not changed;
The other was he whom thouGavilleweepest.
Inferno: Canto XXVI
RejoiceO Florencesince thou art so great
That over sea and land thou beatest thy wings
And throughout Hell thy name is spread abroad!
Among the thieves five citizens of thine
Like these I foundwhence shame comes unto me
And thou thereby to no great honour risest.
But if when morn is near our dreams are true
Feel shalt thou in a little time from now
What Pratoif none othercraves for thee.
And if it now wereit were not too soon;
Would that it wereseeing it needs must be
For 'twill aggrieve me more the more I age.
We went our wayand up along the stairs
The bourns had made us to descend before
Remounted my Conductor and drew me.
And following the solitary path
Among the rocks and ridges of the crag
The foot without the hand sped not at all.
Then sorrowed Iand sorrow now again
When I direct my mind to what I saw
And more my genius curb than I am wont
That it may run not unless virtue guide it;
So that if some good staror better thing
Have given me goodI may myself not grudge it.
As many as the hind (who on the hill
Rests at the time when he who lights the world
His countenance keeps least concealed from us
While as the fly gives place unto the gnat)
Seeth the glow-worms down along the valley
Perchance there where he ploughs and makes his vintage;
With flames as manifold resplendent all
Was the eighth Bolgiaas I grew aware
As soon as I was where the depth appeared.
And such as he who with the bears avenged him
Beheld Elijah's chariot at departing
What time the steeds to heaven erect uprose
For with his eye he could not follow it
So as to see aught else than flame alone
Even as a little cloud ascending upward
Thus each along the gorge of the intrenchment
Was moving; for not one reveals the theft
And every flame a sinner steals away.
I stood upon the bridge uprisen to see
So thatif I had seized not on a rock
Down had I fallen without being pushed.
And the Leaderwho beheld me so attent
Exclaimed: "Within the fires the spirits are;
Each swathes himself with that wherewith he burns."
My Master,I repliedby hearing thee
I am more sure; but I surmised already
It might be so, and already wished to ask thee
Who is within that fire, which comes so cleft
At top, it seems uprising from the pyre
Where was Eteocles with his brother placed.
He answered me: "Within there are tormented
Ulysses and Diomedand thus together
They unto vengeance run as unto wrath.
And there within their flame do they lament
The ambush of the horsewhich made the door
Whence issued forth the Romans' gentle seed;
Therein is wept the craftfor which being dead
Deidamia still deplores Achilles
And pain for the Palladium there is borne."
If they within those sparks possess the power
To speak,I saidthee, Master, much I pray,
And re-pray, that the prayer be worth a thousand,
That thou make no denial of awaiting
Until the horned flame shall hither come;
Thou seest that with desire I lean towards it.
And he to me: "Worthy is thy entreaty
Of much applauseand therefore I accept it;
But take heed that thy tongue restrain itself.
Leave me to speakbecause I have conceived
That which thou wishest; for they might disdain
Perchancesince they were Greeksdiscourse of thine."
When now the flame had come unto that point
Where to my Leader it seemed time and place
After this fashion did I hear him speak:
O ye, who are twofold within one fire,
If I deserved of you, while I was living,
If I deserved of you or much or little
When in the world I wrote the lofty verses,
Do not move on, but one of you declare
Whither, being lost, he went away to die.
Then of the antique flame the greater horn
Murmuringbegan to wave itself about
Even as a flame doth which the wind fatigues.
Thereafterwardthe summit to and fro
Moving as if it were the tongue that spake
It uttered forth a voiceand said: "When I
From Circe had departedwho concealed me
More than a year there near unto Gaeta
Or ever yet Aeneas named it so
Nor fondness for my sonnor reverence
For my old fathernor the due affection
Which joyous should have made Penelope
Could overcome within me the desire
I had to be experienced of the world
And of the vice and virtue of mankind;
But I put forth on the high open sea
With one sole shipand that small company
By which I never had deserted been.
Both of the shores I saw as far as Spain
Far as Moroccoand the isle of Sardes
And the others which that sea bathes round about.
I and my company were old and slow
When at that narrow passage we arrived
Where Hercules his landmarks set as signals
That man no farther onward should adventure.
On the right hand behind me left I Seville
And on the other already had left Ceuta.
'O brotherswho amid a hundred thousand
Perils' I said'have come unto the West
To this so inconsiderable vigil
Which is remaining of your senses still
Be ye unwilling to deny the knowledge
Following the sunof the unpeopled world.
Consider ye the seed from which ye sprang;
Ye were not made to live like unto brutes
But for pursuit of virtue and of knowledge.'
So eager did I render my companions
With this brief exhortationfor the voyage
That then I hardly could have held them back.
And having turned our stern unto the morning
We of the oars made wings for our mad flight
Evermore gaining on the larboard side.
Already all the stars of the other pole
The night beheldand ours so very low
It did not rise above the ocean floor.
Five times rekindled and as many quenched
Had been the splendour underneath the moon
Since we had entered into the deep pass
When there appeared to us a mountaindim
From distanceand it seemed to me so high
As I had never any one beheld.
Joyful were weand soon it turned to weeping;
For out of the new land a whirlwind rose
And smote upon the fore part of the ship.
Three times it made her whirl with all the waters
At the fourth time it made the stern uplift
And the prow downward goas pleased Another
Until the sea above us closed again."
Inferno: Canto XXVII
Already was the flame erect and quiet
To speak no moreand now departed from us
With the permission of the gentle Poet;
When yet anotherwhich behind it came
Caused us to turn our eyes upon its top
By a confused sound that issued from it.
As the Sicilian bull (that bellowed first
With the lament of himand that was right
Who with his file had modulated it)
Bellowed so with the voice of the afflicted
Thatnotwithstanding it was made of brass
Still it appeared with agony transfixed;
Thusby not having any way or issue
At first from out the fireto its own language
Converted were the melancholy words.
But afterwardswhen they had gathered way
Up through the pointgiving it that vibration
The tongue had given them in their passage out
We heard it said: "O thouat whom I aim
My voiceand who but now wast speaking Lombard
Saying'Now go thy wayno more I urge thee'
Because I come perchance a little late
To stay and speak with me let it not irk thee;
Thou seest it irks not meand I am burning.
If thou but lately into this blind world
Hast fallen down from that sweet Latian land
Wherefrom I bring the whole of my transgression
Sayif the Romagnuols have peace or war
For I was from the mountains there between
Urbino and the yoke whence Tiber bursts."
I still was downward bent and listening
When my Conductor touched me on the side
Saying: "Speak thou: this one a Latian is."
And Iwho had beforehand my reply
In readinessforthwith began to speak:
O soul, that down below there art concealed,
Romagna thine is not and never has been
Without war in the bosom of its tyrants;
But open war I none have left there now.
Ravenna stands as it long years has stood;
The Eagle of Polenta there is brooding,
So that she covers Cervia with her vans.
The city which once made the long resistance,
And of the French a sanguinary heap,
Beneath the Green Paws finds itself again;
Verrucchio's ancient Mastiff and the new,
Who made such bad disposal of Montagna,
Where they are wont make wimbles of their teeth.
The cities of Lamone and Santerno
Governs the Lioncel of the white lair,
Who changes sides 'twixt summer-time and winter;
And that of which the Savio bathes the flank,
Even as it lies between the plain and mountain,
Lives between tyranny and a free state.
Now I entreat thee tell us who thou art;
Be not more stubborn than the rest have been,
So may thy name hold front there in the world.
After the fire a little more had roared
In its own fashionthe sharp point it moved
This way and thatand then gave forth such breath:
If I believed that my reply were made
To one who to the world would e'er return,
This flame without more flickering would stand still;
But inasmuch as never from this depth
Did any one return, if I hear true,
Without the fear of infamy I answer,
I was a man of arms, then Cordelier,
Believing thus begirt to make amends;
And truly my belief had been fulfilled
But for the High Priest, whom may ill betide,
Who put me back into my former sins;
And how and wherefore I will have thee hear.
While I was still the form of bone and pulp
My mother gave to me, the deeds I did
Were not those of a lion, but a fox.
The machinations and the covert ways
I knew them all, and practised so their craft,
That to the ends of earth the sound went forth.
When now unto that portion of mine age
I saw myself arrived, when each one ought
To lower the sails, and coil away the ropes,
That which before had pleased me then displeased me;
And penitent and confessing I surrendered,
Ah woe is me! and it would have bestead me;
The Leader of the modern Pharisees
Having a war near unto Lateran,
And not with Saracens nor with the Jews,
For each one of his enemies was Christian,
And none of them had been to conquer Acre,
Nor merchandising in the Sultan's land,
Nor the high office, nor the sacred orders,
In him regarded, nor in me that cord
Which used to make those girt with it more meagre;
But even as Constantine sought out Sylvester
To cure his leprosy, within Soracte,
So this one sought me out as an adept
To cure him of the fever of his pride.
Counsel he asked of me, and I was silent,
Because his words appeared inebriate.
And then he said: 'Be not thy heart afraid;
Henceforth I thee absolve; and thou instruct me
How to raze Palestrina to the ground.
Heaven have I power to lock and to unlock,
As thou dost know; therefore the keys are two,
The which my predecessor held not dear.'
Then urged me on his weighty arguments
There, where my silence was the worst advice;
And said I: 'Father, since thou washest me
Of that sin into which I now must fall,
The promise long with the fulfilment short
Will make thee triumph in thy lofty seat.'
Francis came afterward, when I was dead,
For me; but one of the black Cherubim
Said to him: 'Take him not; do me no wrong;
He must come down among my servitors,
Because he gave the fraudulent advice
From which time forth I have been at his hair;
For who repents not cannot be absolved,
Nor can one both repent and will at once,
Because of the contradiction which consents not.'
O miserable me! how I did shudder
When he seized on me, saying: 'Peradventure
Thou didst not think that I was a logician!'
He bore me unto Minos, who entwined
Eight times his tail about his stubborn back,
And after he had bitten it in great rage,
Said: 'Of the thievish fire a culprit this;'
Wherefore, here where thou seest, am I lost,
And vested thus in going I bemoan me.
When it had thus completed its recital
The flame departed uttering lamentations
Writhing and flapping its sharp-pointed horn.
Onward we passedboth I and my Conductor
Up o'er the crag above another arch
Which the moat coverswhere is paid the fee
By those whosowing discordwin their burden.
Inferno: Canto XXVIII
Who ever coulde'en with untrammelled words
Tell of the blood and of the wounds in full
Which now I sawby many times narrating?
Each tongue would for a certainty fall short
By reason of our speech and memory
That have small room to comprehend so much.
If were again assembled all the people
Which formerly upon the fateful land
Of Puglia were lamenting for their blood
Shed by the Romans and the lingering war
That of the rings made such illustrious spoils
As Livy has recordedwho errs not
With those who felt the agony of blows
By making counterstand to Robert Guiscard
And all the restwhose bones are gathered still
At Ceperanowhere a renegade
Was each Apulianand at Tagliacozzo
Where without arms the old Alardo conquered
And one his limb transpiercedand one lopped off
Should showit would be nothing to compare
With the disgusting mode of the ninth Bolgia.
A cask by losing centre-piece or cant
Was never shattered soas I saw one
Rent from the chin to where one breaketh wind.
Between his legs were hanging down his entrails;
His heart was visibleand the dismal sack
That maketh excrement of what is eaten.
While I was all absorbed in seeing him
He looked at meand opened with his hands
His bosomsaying: "See now how I rend me;
How mutilatedseeis Mahomet;
In front of me doth Ali weeping go
Cleft in the face from forelock unto chin;
And all the others whom thou here beholdest
Disseminators of scandal and of schism
While living wereand therefore are cleft thus.
A devil is behind herewho doth cleave us
Thus cruellyunto the falchion's edge
Putting again each one of all this ream
When we have gone around the doleful road;
By reason that our wounds are closed again
Ere any one in front of him repass.
But who art thouthat musest on the crag
Perchance to postpone going to the pain
That is adjudged upon thine accusations?"
Nor death hath reached him yet, nor guilt doth bring him,
My Master made replyto be tormented;
But to procure him full experience,
Me, who am dead, behoves it to conduct him
Down here through Hell, from circle unto circle;
And this is true as that I speak to thee.
More than a hundred were there when they heard him
Who in the moat stood still to look at me
Through wonderment oblivious of their torture.
Now say to Fra Dolcino, then, to arm him,
Thou, who perhaps wilt shortly see the sun,
If soon he wish not here to follow me,
So with provisions, that no stress of snow
May give the victory to the Novarese,
Which otherwise to gain would not be easy.
After one foot to go away he lifted
This word did Mahomet say unto me
Then to depart upon the ground he stretched it.
Another onewho had his throat pierced through
And nose cut off close underneath the brows
And had no longer but a single ear
Staying to look in wonder with the others
Before the others did his gullet open
Which outwardly was red in every part
And said: "O thouwhom guilt doth not condemn
And whom I once saw up in Latian land
Unless too great similitude deceive me
Call to remembrance Pier da Medicina
If e'er thou see again the lovely plain
That from Vercelli slopes to Marcabo
And make it known to the best two of Fano
To Messer Guido and Angiolello likewise
That if foreseeing here be not in vain
Cast over from their vessel shall they be
And drowned near unto the Cattolica
By the betrayal of a tyrant fell.
Between the isles of Cyprus and Majorca
Neptune ne'er yet beheld so great a crime
Neither of pirates nor Argolic people.
That traitorwho sees only with one eye
And holds the landwhich some one here with me
Would fain be fasting from the vision of
Will make them come unto a parley with him;
Then will do sothat to Focara's wind
They will not stand in need of vow or prayer."
And I to him: "Show to me and declare
If thou wouldst have me bear up news of thee
Who is this person of the bitter vision."
Then did he lay his hand upon the jaw
Of one of his companionsand his mouth
Opedcrying: "This is heand he speaks not.
This onebeing banishedevery doubt submerged
In Caesar by affirming the forearmed
Always with detriment allowed delay."
O how bewildered unto me appeared
With tongue asunder in his windpipe slit
Curiowho in speaking was so bold!
And onewho both his hands dissevered had
The stumps uplifting through the murky air
So that the blood made horrible his face
Cried out: "Thou shalt remember Mosca also
Who saidalas! 'A thing done has an end!'
Which was an ill seed for the Tuscan people."
And death unto thy race,thereto I added;
Whence heaccumulating woe on woe
Departedlike a person sad and crazed.
But I remained to look upon the crowd;
And saw a thing which I should be afraid
Without some further proofeven to recount
If it were not that conscience reassures me
That good companion which emboldens man
Beneath the hauberk of its feeling pure.
I truly sawand still I seem to see it
A trunk without a head walk in like manner
As walked the others of the mournful herd.
And by the hair it held the head dissevered
Hung from the hand in fashion of a lantern
And that upon us gazed and said: "O me!"
It of itself made to itself a lamp
And they were two in oneand one in two;
How that can beHe knows who so ordains it.
When it was come close to the bridge's foot
It lifted high its arm with all the head
To bring more closely unto us its words
Which were: "Behold now the sore penalty
Thouwho dost breathing go the dead beholding;
Behold if any be as great as this.
And so that thou may carry news of me
Know that Bertram de Born am Ithe same
Who gave to the Young King the evil comfort.
I made the father and the son rebellious;
Achitophel not more with Absalom
And David did with his accursed goadings.
Because I parted persons so united
Parted do I now bear my brainalas!
From its beginningwhich is in this trunk.
Thus is observed in me the counterpoise."
Inferno: Canto XXIX
The many people and the divers wounds
These eyes of mine had so inebriated
That they were wishful to stand still and weep;
But said Virgilius: "What dost thou still gaze at?
Why is thy sight still riveted down there
Among the mournfulmutilated shades?
Thou hast not done so at the other Bolge;
Considerif to count them thou believest
That two-and-twenty miles the valley winds
And now the moon is underneath our feet;
Henceforth the time allotted us is brief
And more is to be seen than what thou seest."
If thou hadst,I made answer thereupon
Attended to the cause for which I looked,
Perhaps a longer stay thou wouldst have pardoned.
Meanwhile my Guide departedand behind him
I wentalready making my reply
And superadding: "In that cavern where
I held mine eyes with such attention fixed
I think a spirit of my blood laments
The sin which down below there costs so much."
Then said the Master: "Be no longer broken
Thy thought from this time forward upon him;
Attend elsewhereand there let him remain;
For him I saw below the little bridge
Pointing at theeand threatening with his finger
Fiercelyand heard him called Geri del Bello.
So wholly at that time wast thou impeded
By him who formerly held Altaforte
Thou didst not look that way; so he departed."
O my Conductor, his own violent death,
Which is not yet avenged for him,I said
By any who is sharer in the shame,
Made him disdainful; whence he went away,
As I imagine, without speaking to me,
And thereby made me pity him the more.
Thus did we speak as far as the first place
Upon the cragwhich the next valley shows
Down to the bottomif there were more light.
When we were now right over the last cloister
Of Malebolgeso that its lay-brothers
Could manifest themselves unto our sight
Divers lamentings pierced me through and through
Which with compassion had their arrows barbed
Whereat mine ears I covered with my hands.
What pain would beif from the hospitals
Of Valdichiana'twixt July and September
And of Maremma and Sardinia
All the diseases in one moat were gathered
Such was it hereand such a stench came from it
As from putrescent limbs is wont to issue.
We had descended on the furthest bank
From the long cragupon the left hand still
And then more vivid was my power of sight
Down tow'rds the bottomwhere the ministress
Of the high LordJustice infallible
Punishes forgerswhich she here records.
I do not think a sadder sight to see
Was in Aegina the whole people sick
(When was the air so full of pestilence
The animalsdown to the little worm
All felland afterwards the ancient people
According as the poets have affirmed
Were from the seed of ants restored again)
Than was it to behold through that dark valley
The spirits languishing in divers heaps.
This on the bellythat upon the back
One of the other layand others crawling
Shifted themselves along the dismal road.
We step by step went onward without speech
Gazing upon and listening to the sick
Who had not strength enough to lift their bodies.
I saw two sitting leaned against each other
As leans in heating platter against platter
From head to foot bespotted o'er with scabs;
And never saw I plied a currycomb
By stable-boy for whom his master waits
Or him who keeps awake unwillingly
As every one was plying fast the bite
Of nails upon himselffor the great rage
Of itching which no other succour had.
And the nails downward with them dragged the scab
In fashion as a knife the scales of bream
Or any other fish that has them largest.
O thou, that with thy fingers dost dismail thee,
Began my Leader unto one of them
And makest of them pincers now and then,
Tell me if any Latian is with those
Who are herein; so may thy nails suffice thee
To all eternity unto this work.
Latians are we, whom thou so wasted seest,
Both of us here,one weeping made reply;
But who art thou, that questionest about us?
And said the Guide: "One am I who descends
Down with this living man from cliff to cliff
And I intend to show Hell unto him."
Then broken was their mutual support
And trembling each one turned himself to me
With others who had heard him by rebound.
Wholly to me did the good Master gather
Saying: "Say unto them whate'er thou wishest."
And I begansince he would have it so:
So may your memory not steal away
In the first world from out the minds of men,
But so may it survive 'neath many suns,
Say to me who ye are, and of what people;
Let not your foul and loathsome punishment
Make you afraid to show yourselves to me.
I of Arezzo was,one made reply
And Albert of Siena had me burned;
But what I died for does not bring me here.
'Tis true I said to him, speaking in jest,
That I could rise by flight into the air,
And he who had conceit, but little wit,
Would have me show to him the art; and only
Because no Daedalus I made him, made me
Be burned by one who held him as his son.
But unto the last Bolgia of the ten,
For alchemy, which in the world I practised,
Minos, who cannot err, has me condemned.
And to the Poet said I: "Now was ever
So vain a people as the Sienese?
Not for a certainty the French by far."
Whereat the other leperwho had heard me
Replied unto my speech: "Taking out Stricca
Who knew the art of moderate expenses
And Niccolowho the luxurious use
Of cloves discovered earliest of all
Within that garden where such seed takes root;
And taking out the bandamong whom squandered
Caccia d'Ascian his vineyards and vast woods
And where his wit the Abbagliato proffered!
Butthat thou know who thus doth second thee
Against the Sienesemake sharp thine eye
Tow'rds meso that my face well answer thee
And thou shalt see I am Capocchio's shade
Who metals falsified by alchemy;
Thou must rememberif I well descry thee
How I a skilful ape of nature was."
Inferno: Canto XXX
'Twas at the time when Juno was enraged
For Semeleagainst the Theban blood
As she already more than once had shown
So reft of reason Athamas became
Thatseeing his own wife with children twain
Walking encumbered upon either hand
He cried: "Spread out the netsthat I may take
The lioness and her whelps upon the passage;"
And then extended his unpitying claws
Seizing the firstwho had the name Learchus
And whirled him roundand dashed him on a rock;
And shewith the other burthendrowned herself;--
And at the time when fortune downward hurled
The Trojan's arrogancethat all things dared
So that the king was with his kingdom crushed
Hecuba saddisconsolateand captive
When lifeless she beheld Polyxena
And of her Polydorus on the shore
Of ocean was the dolorous one aware
Out of her senses like a dog she barked
So much the anguish had her mind distorted;
But not of Thebes the furies nor the Trojan
Were ever seen in any one so cruel
In goading beastsand much more human members
As I beheld two shadows pale and naked
Whobitingin the manner ran along
That a boar doeswhen from the sty turned loose.
One to Capocchio cameand by the nape
Seized with its teeth his neckso that in dragging
It made his belly grate the solid bottom.
And the Aretinewho trembling had remained
Said to me: "That mad sprite is Gianni Schicchi
And raving goes thus harrying other people."
O,said I to himso may not the other
Set teeth on thee, let it not weary thee
To tell us who it is, ere it dart hence.
And he to me: "That is the ancient ghost
Of the nefarious Myrrhawho became
Beyond all rightful love her father's lover.
She came to sin with him after this manner
By counterfeiting of another's form;
As he who goeth yonder undertook
That he might gain the lady of the herd
To counterfeit in himself Buoso Donati
Making a will and giving it due form."
And after the two maniacs had passed
On whom I held mine eyeI turned it back
To look upon the other evil-born.
I saw one made in fashion of a lute
If he had only had the groin cut off
Just at the point at which a man is forked.
The heavy dropsythat so disproportions
The limbs with humourswhich it ill concocts
That the face corresponds not to the belly
Compelled him so to hold his lips apart
As does the hecticwho because of thirst
One tow'rds the chinthe other upward turns.
O ye, who without any torment are,
And why I know not, in the world of woe,
He said to usbehold, and be attentive
Unto the misery of Master Adam;
I had while living much of what I wished,
And now, alas! a drop of water crave.
The rivulets, that from the verdant hills
Of Cassentin descend down into Arno,
Making their channels to be cold and moist,
Ever before me stand, and not in vain;
For far more doth their image dry me up
Than the disease which strips my face of flesh.
The rigid justice that chastises me
Draweth occasion from the place in which
I sinned, to put the more my sighs in flight.
There is Romena, where I counterfeited
The currency imprinted with the Baptist,
For which I left my body burned above.
But if I here could see the tristful soul
Of Guido, or Alessandro, or their brother,
For Branda's fount I would not give the sight.
One is within already, if the raving
Shades that are going round about speak truth;
But what avails it me, whose limbs are tied?
If I were only still so light, that in
A hundred years I could advance one inch,
I had already started on the way,
Seeking him out among this squalid folk,
Although the circuit be eleven miles,
And be not less than half a mile across.
For them am I in such a family;
They did induce me into coining florins,
Which had three carats of impurity.
And I to him: "Who are the two poor wretches
That smoke like unto a wet hand in winter
Lying there close upon thy right-hand confines?"
I found them here,replied hewhen I rained
Into this chasm, and since they have not turned,
Nor do I think they will for evermore.
One the false woman is who accused Joseph,
The other the false Sinon, Greek of Troy;
From acute fever they send forth such reek.
And one of themwho felt himself annoyed
At beingperadventurenamed so darkly
Smote with the fist upon his hardened paunch.
It gave a soundas if it were a drum;
And Master Adam smote him in the face
With arm that did not seem to be less hard
Saying to him: "Although be taken from me
All motionfor my limbs that heavy are
I have an arm unfettered for such need."
Whereat he answer made: "When thou didst go
Unto the firethou hadst it not so ready:
But hadst it so and more when thou wast coining."
The dropsical: "Thou sayest true in that;
But thou wast not so true a witness there
Where thou wast questioned of the truth at Troy."
If I spake false, thou falsifiedst the coin,
Said Sinon; "and for one fault I am here
And thou for more than any other demon."
Remember, perjurer, about the horse,
He made reply who had the swollen belly
And rueful be it thee the whole world knows it.
Rueful to thee the thirst be wherewith cracks
Thy tongue,the Greek saidand the putrid water
That hedges so thy paunch before thine eyes.
Then the false-coiner: "So is gaping wide
Thy mouth for speaking evilas 'tis wont;
Because if I have thirstand humour stuff me
Thou hast the burning and the head that aches
And to lick up the mirror of Narcissus
Thou wouldst not want words many to invite thee."
In listening to them was I wholly fixed
When said the Master to me: "Now just look
For little wants it that I quarrel with thee."
When him I heard in anger speak to me
I turned me round towards him with such shame
That still it eddies through my memory.
And as he is who dreams of his own harm
Who dreaming wishes it may be a dream
So that he craves what isas if it were not;
Such I becamenot having power to speak
For to excuse myself I wishedand still
Excused myselfand did not think I did it.
Less shame doth wash away a greater fault,
The Master saidthan this of thine has been;
Therefore thyself disburden of all sadness,
And make account that I am aye beside thee,
If e'er it come to pass that fortune bring thee
Where there are people in a like dispute;
For a base wish it is to wish to hear it.
Inferno: Canto XXXI
One and the selfsame tongue first wounded me
So that it tinged the one cheek and the other
And then held out to me the medicine;
Thus do I hear that once Achilles' spear
His and his father'sused to be the cause
First of a sad and then a gracious boon.
We turned our backs upon the wretched valley
Upon the bank that girds it round about
Going across it without any speech.
There it was less than nightand less than day
So that my sight went little in advance;
But I could hear the blare of a loud horn
So loud it would have made each thunder faint
Whichcounter to it following its way
Mine eyes directed wholly to one place.
After the dolorous discomfiture
When Charlemagne the holy emprise lost
So terribly Orlando sounded not.
Short while my head turned thitherward I held
When many lofty towers I seemed to see
Whereat I: "Mastersaywhat town is this?"
And he to me: "Because thou peerest forth
Athwart the darkness at too great a distance
It happens that thou errest in thy fancy.
Well shalt thou seeif thou arrivest there
How much the sense deceives itself by distance;
Therefore a little faster spur thee on."
Then tenderly he took me by the hand
And said: "Before we farther have advanced
That the reality may seem to thee
Less strangeknow that these are not towersbut giants
And they are in the wellaround the bank
From navel downwardone and all of them."
Aswhen the fog is vanishing away
Little by little doth the sight refigure
Whate'er the mist that crowds the air conceals
Sopiercing through the dense and darksome air
More and more near approaching tow'rd the verge
My error fledand fear came over me;
Because as on its circular parapets
Montereggione crowns itself with towers
E'en thus the margin which surrounds the well
With one half of their bodies turreted
The horrible giantswhom Jove menaces
E'en now from out the heavens when he thunders.
And I of one already saw the face
Shouldersand breastand great part of the belly
And down along his sides both of the arms.
Certainly Naturewhen she left the making
Of animals like thesedid well indeed
By taking such executors from Mars;
And if of elephants and whales she doth not
Repent herwhosoever looketh subtly
More just and more discreet will hold her for it;
For where the argument of intellect
Is added unto evil will and power
No rampart can the people make against it.
His face appeared to me as long and large
As is at Rome the pine-cone of Saint Peter's
And in proportion were the other bones;
So that the marginwhich an apron was
Down from the middleshowed so much of him
Above itthat to reach up to his hair
Three Frieslanders in vain had vaunted them;
For I beheld thirty great palms of him
Down from the place where man his mantle buckles.
Raphael mai amech izabi almi,
Began to clamour the ferocious mouth
To which were not befitting sweeter psalms.
And unto him my Guide: "Soul idiotic
Keep to thy hornand vent thyself with that
When wrath or other passion touches thee.
Search round thy neckand thou wilt find the belt
Which keeps it fastenedO bewildered soul
And see itwhere it bars thy mighty breast."
Then said to me: "He doth himself accuse;
This one is Nimrodby whose evil thought
One language in the world is not still used.
Here let us leave him and not speak in vain;
For even such to him is every language
As his to otherswhich to none is known."
Therefore a longer journey did we make
Turned to the leftand a crossbow-shot oft
We found another far more fierce and large.
In binding himwho might the master be
I cannot say; but he had pinioned close
Behind the right armand in front the other
With chainsthat held him so begirt about
From the neck downthat on the part uncovered
It wound itself as far as the fifth gyre.
This proud one wished to make experiment
Of his own power against the Supreme Jove,
My Leader saidwhence he has such a guerdon.
Ephialtes is his name; he showed great prowess.
What time the giants terrified the gods;
The arms he wielded never more he moves.
And I to him: "If possibleI should wish
That of the measureless Briareus
These eyes of mine might have experience."
Whence he replied: "Thou shalt behold Antaeus
Close by herewho can speak and is unbound
Who at the bottom of all crime shall place us.
Much farther yon is he whom thou wouldst see
And he is boundand fashioned like to this one
Save that he seems in aspect more ferocious."
There never was an earthquake of such might
That it could shake a tower so violently
As Ephialtes suddenly shook himself.
Then was I more afraid of death than ever
For nothing more was needful than the fear
If I had not beheld the manacles.
Then we proceeded farther in advance
And to Antaeus camewhofull five ells
Without the headforth issued from the cavern.
O thou, who in the valley fortunate,
Which Scipio the heir of glory made,
When Hannibal turned back with all his hosts,
Once brought'st a thousand lions for thy prey,
And who, hadst thou been at the mighty war
Among thy brothers, some it seems still think
The sons of Earth the victory would have gained:
Place us below, nor be disdainful of it,
There where the cold doth lock Cocytus up.
Make us not go to Tityus nor Typhoeus;
This one can give of that which here is longed for;
Therefore stoop down, and do not curl thy lip.
Still in the world can he restore thy fame;
Because he lives, and still expects long life,
If to itself Grace call him not untimely.
So said the Master; and in haste the other
His hands extended and took up my Guide-Hands
whose great pressure Hercules once felt.
Virgiliuswhen he felt himself embraced
Said unto me: "Draw nighthat I may take thee;"
Then of himself and me one bundle made.
As seems the Carisendato behold
Beneath the leaning sidewhen goes a cloud
Above it so that opposite it hangs;
Such did Antaeus seem to mewho stood
Watching to see him stoopand then it was
I could have wished to go some other way.
But lightly in the abysswhich swallows up
Judas with Luciferhe put us down;
Nor thus bowed downward made he there delay
Butas a mast does in a shipuprose.
Inferno: Canto XXXII
If I had rhymes both rough and stridulous
As were appropriate to the dismal hole
Down upon which thrust all the other rocks
I would press out the juice of my conception
More fully; but because I have them not
Not without fear I bring myself to speak;
For 'tis no enterprise to take in jest
To sketch the bottom of all the universe
Nor for a tongue that cries Mamma and Babbo.
But may those Ladies help this verse of mine
Who helped Amphion in enclosing Thebes
That from the fact the word be not diverse.
O rabble ill-begotten above all
Who're in the place to speak of which is hard
'Twere better ye had here been sheep or goats!
When we were down within the darksome well
Beneath the giant's feetbut lower far
And I was scanning still the lofty wall
I heard it said to me: "Look how thou steppest!
Take heed thou do not trample with thy feet
The heads of the tiredmiserable brothers!"
Whereat I turned me roundand saw before me
And underfoot a lakethat from the frost
The semblance had of glassand not of water.
So thick a veil ne'er made upon its current
In winter-time Danube in Austria
Nor there beneath the frigid sky the Don
As there was here; so that if Tambernich
Had fallen upon itor Pietrapana
E'en at the edge 'twould not have given a creak.
And as to croak the frog doth place himself
With muzzle out of water--when is dreaming
Of gleaning oftentimes the peasant-girl--
Lividas far down as where shame appears
Were the disconsolate shades within the ice
Setting their teeth unto the note of storks.
Each one his countenance held downward bent;
From mouth the coldfrom eyes the doleful heart
Among them witness of itself procures.
When round about me somewhat I had looked
I downward turned meand saw two so close
The hair upon their heads together mingled.
Ye who so strain your breasts together, tell me,
I saidwho are you;and they bent their necks
And when to me their faces they had lifted
Their eyeswhich first were only moist within
Gushed o'er the eyelidsand the frost congealed
The tears betweenand locked them up again.
Clamp never bound together wood with wood
So strongly; whereat theylike two he-goats
Butted togetherso much wrath o'ercame them.
And onewho had by reason of the cold
Lost both his earsstill with his visage downward
Said: "Why dost thou so mirror thyself in us?
If thou desire to know who these two are
The valley whence Bisenzio descends
Belonged to them and to their father Albert.
They from one body cameand all Caina
Thou shalt search throughand shalt not find a shade
More worthy to be fixed in gelatine;
Not he in whom were broken breast and shadow
At one and the same blow by Arthur's hand;
Focaccia not; not he who me encumbers
So with his head I see no farther forward
And bore the name of Sassol Mascheroni;
Well knowest thou who he wasif thou art Tuscan.
And that thou put me not to further speech
Know that I Camicion de' Pazzi was
And wait Carlino to exonerate me."
Then I beheld a thousand facesmade
Purple with cold; whence o'er me comes a shudder
And evermore will comeat frozen ponds.
And while we were advancing tow'rds the middle
Where everything of weight unites together
And I was shivering in the eternal shade
Whether 'twere willor destinyor chance
I know not; but in walking 'mong the heads
I struck my foot hard in the face of one.
Weeping he growled: "Why dost thou trample me?
Unless thou comest to increase the vengeance
of Montapertiwhy dost thou molest me?"
And I: "My Masternow wait here for me
That I through him may issue from a doubt;
Then thou mayst hurry meas thou shalt wish."
The Leader stopped; and to that one I said
Who was blaspheming vehemently still:
Who art thou, that thus reprehendest others?
Now who art thou, that goest through Antenora
Smiting,replied heother people's cheeks,
So that, if thou wert living, 'twere too much?
Living I am, and dear to thee it may be,
Was my responseif thou demandest fame,
That 'mid the other notes thy name I place.
And he to me: "For the reverse I long;
Take thyself henceand give me no more trouble;
For ill thou knowest to flatter in this hollow."
Then by the scalp behind I seized upon him
And said: "It must needs be thou name thyself
Or not a hair remain upon thee here."
Whence he to me: "Though thou strip off my hair
I will not tell thee who I amnor show thee
If on my head a thousand times thou fall."
I had his hair in hand already twisted
And more than one shock of it had pulled out
He barkingwith his eyes held firmly down
When cried another: "What doth ail theeBocca?
Is't not enough to clatter with thy jaws
But thou must bark? what devil touches thee?"
Now,said II care not to have thee speak,
Accursed traitor; for unto thy shame
I will report of thee veracious news.
Begone,replied heand tell what thou wilt,
But be not silent, if thou issue hence,
Of him who had just now his tongue so prompt;
He weepeth here the silver of the French;
'I saw,' thus canst thou phrase it, 'him of Duera
There where the sinners stand out in the cold.'
If thou shouldst questioned be who else was there,
Thou hast beside thee him of Beccaria,
Of whom the gorget Florence slit asunder;
Gianni del Soldanier, I think, may be
Yonder with Ganellon, and Tebaldello
Who oped Faenza when the people slep.
Already we had gone away from him
When I beheld two frozen in one hole
So that one head a hood was to the other;
And even as bread through hunger is devoured
The uppermost on the other set his teeth
There where the brain is to the nape united.
Not in another fashion Tydeus gnawed
The temples of Menalippus in disdain
Than that one did the skull and the other things.
O thou, who showest by such bestial sign
Thy hatred against him whom thou art eating,
Tell me the wherefore,said Iwith this compact,
That if thou rightfully of him complain,
In knowing who ye are, and his transgression,
I in the world above repay thee for it,
If that wherewith I speak be not dried up.
Inferno: Canto XXXIII
His mouth uplifted from his grim repast
That sinnerwiping it upon the hair
Of the same head that he behind had wasted.
Then he began: "Thou wilt that I renew
The desperate griefwhich wrings my heart already
To think of onlyere I speak of it;
But if my words be seed that may bear fruit
Of infamy to the traitor whom I gnaw
Speaking and weeping shalt thou see together.
I know not who thou artnor by what mode
Thou hast come down here; but a Florentine
Thou seemest to me trulywhen I hear thee.
Thou hast to know I was Count Ugolino
And this one was Ruggieri the Archbishop;
Now I will tell thee why I am such a neighbour.
Thatby effect of his malicious thoughts
Trusting in him I was made prisoner
And after put to deathI need not say;
But ne'ertheless what thou canst not have heard
That is to sayhow cruel was my death
Hear shalt thouand shalt know if he has wronged me.
A narrow perforation in the mew
Which bears because of me the title of Famine
And in which others still must be locked up
Had shown me through its opening many moons
Alreadywhen I dreamed the evil dream
Which of the future rent for me the veil.
This one appeared to me as lord and master
Hunting the wolf and whelps upon the mountain
For which the Pisans cannot Lucca see.
With sleuth-hounds gauntand eagerand well trained
Gualandi with Sismondi and Lanfianchi
He had sent out before him to the front.
After brief course seemed unto me forespent
The father and the sonsand with sharp tushes
It seemed to me I saw their flanks ripped open.
When I before the morrow was awake
Moaning amid their sleep I heard my sons
Who with me wereand asking after bread.
Cruel indeed art thouif yet thou grieve not
Thinking of what my heart foreboded me
And weep'st thou notwhat art thou wont to weep at?
They were awake nowand the hour drew nigh
At which our food used to be brought to us
And through his dream was each one apprehensive;
And I heard locking up the under door
Of the horrible tower; whereat without a word
I gazed into the faces of my sons.
I wept notI within so turned to stone;
They wept; and darling little Anselm mine
Said: 'Thou dost gaze sofatherwhat doth ail thee?'
Still not a tear I shednor answer made
All of that daynor yet the night thereafter
Until another sun rose on the world.
As now a little glimmer made its way
Into the dolorous prisonand I saw
Upon four faces my own very aspect
Both of my hands in agony I bit;
Andthinking that I did it from desire
Of eatingon a sudden they uprose
And said they: 'Fathermuch less pain 'twill give us
If thou do eat of us; thyself didst clothe us
With this poor fleshand do thou strip it off.'
I calmed me thennot to make them more sad.
That day we all were silentand the next.
Ah! obdurate earthwherefore didst thou not open?
When we had come unto the fourth dayGaddo
Threw himself down outstretched before my feet
Saying'My fatherwhy dost thou not help me?'
And there he died; andas thou seest me
I saw the three fallone by onebetween
The fifth day and the sixth; whence I betook me
Already blindto groping over each
And three days called them after they were dead;
Then hunger did what sorrow could not do."
When he had said thiswith his eyes distorted
The wretched skull resumed he with his teeth
Whichas a dog'supon the bone were strong.
Ah! Pisathou opprobrium of the people
Of the fair land there where the 'Si' doth sound
Since slow to punish thee thy neighbours are
Let the Capraia and Gorgona move
And make a hedge across the mouth of Arno
That every person in thee it may drown!
For if Count Ugolino had the fame
Of having in thy castles thee betrayed
Thou shouldst not on such cross have put his sons.
Guiltless of any crimethou modern Thebes!
Their youth made Uguccione and Brigata
And the other two my song doth name above!
We passed still farther onwardwhere the ice
Another people ruggedly enswathes
Not downward turnedbut all of them reversed.
Weeping itself there does not let them weep
And grief that finds a barrier in the eyes
Turns itself inward to increase the anguish;
Because the earliest tears a cluster form
Andin the manner of a crystal visor
Fill all the cup beneath the eyebrow full.
And notwithstanding thatas in a callus
Because of cold all sensibility
Its station had abandoned in my face
Still it appeared to me I felt some wind;
Whence I: "My Masterwho sets this in motion?
Is not below here every vapour quenched?"
Whence he to me: "Full soon shalt thou be where
Thine eye shall answer make to thee of this
Seeing the cause which raineth down the blast."
And one of the wretches of the frozen crust
Cried out to us: "O souls so merciless
That the last post is given unto you
Lift from mine eyes the rigid veilsthat I
May vent the sorrow which impregns my heart
A littlee'er the weeping recongeal."
Whence I to him: "If thou wouldst have me help thee
Say who thou wast; and if I free thee not
May I go to the bottom of the ice."
Then he replied: "I am Friar Alberigo;
He am I of the fruit of the bad garden
Who here a date am getting for my fig."
O,said I to himnow art thou, too, dead?
And he to me: "How may my body fare
Up in the worldno knowledge I possess.
Such an advantage has this Ptolomaea
That oftentimes the soul descendeth here
Sooner than Atropos in motion sets it.
Andthat thou mayest more willingly remove
From off my countenance these glassy tears
Know that as soon as any soul betrays
As I have donehis body by a demon
Is taken from himwho thereafter rules it
Until his time has wholly been revolved.
Itself down rushes into such a cistern;
And still perchance above appears the body
Of yonder shadethat winters here behind me.
This thou shouldst knowif thou hast just come down;
It is Ser Branca d' Oriaand many years
Have passed away since he was thus locked up."
I think,said I to himthou dost deceive me;
For Branca d' Oria is not dead as yet,
And eats, and drinks, and sleeps, and puts on clothes.
In moat above,said heof Malebranche,
There where is boiling the tenacious pitch,
As yet had Michel Zanche not arrived,
When this one left a devil in his stead
In his own body and one near of kin,
Who made together with him the betrayal.
But hitherward stretch out thy hand forthwith,
Open mine eyes;--and open them I did not
And to be rude to him was courtesy.
AhGenoese! ye men at variance
With every virtuefull of every vice
Wherefore are ye not scattered from the world?
For with the vilest spirit of Romagna
I found of you one suchwho for his deeds
In soul already in Cocytus bathes
And still above in body seems alive!
Inferno: Canto XXXIV
'Vexilla Regis prodeunt Inferni'
Towards us; therefore look in front of thee,
My Master saidif thou discernest him.
Aswhen there breathes a heavy fogor when
Our hemisphere is darkening into night
Appears far off a mill the wind is turning
Methought that such a building then I saw;
Andfor the windI drew myself behind
My Guidebecause there was no other shelter.
Now was Iand with fear in verse I put it
There where the shades were wholly covered up
And glimmered through like unto straws in glass.
Some prone are lyingothers stand erect
This with the headand that one with the soles;
Anotherbow-likeface to feet inverts.
When in advance so far we had proceeded
That it my Master pleased to show to me
The creature who once had the beauteous semblance
He from before me moved and made me stop
Saying: "Behold Disand behold the place
Where thou with fortitude must arm thyself."
How frozen I became and powerless then
Ask it notReaderfor I write it not
Because all language would be insufficient.
I did not dieand I alive remained not;
Think for thyself nowhast thou aught of wit
What I becamebeing of both deprived.
The Emperor of the kingdom dolorous
From his mid-breast forth issued from the ice;
And better with a giant I compare
Than do the giants with those arms of his;
Consider now how great must be that whole
Which unto such a part conforms itself.
Were he as fair onceas he now is foul
And lifted up his brow against his Maker
Well may proceed from him all tribulation.
Owhat a marvel it appeared to me
When I beheld three faces on his head!
The one in frontand that vermilion was;
Two were the othersthat were joined with this
Above the middle part of either shoulder
And they were joined together at the crest;
And the right-hand one seemed 'twixt white and yellow;
The left was such to look upon as those
Who come from where the Nile falls valley-ward.
Underneath each came forth two mighty wings
Such as befitting were so great a bird;
Sails of the sea I never saw so large.
No feathers had theybut as of a bat
Their fashion was; and he was waving them
So that three winds proceeded forth therefrom.
Thereby Cocytus wholly was congealed.
With six eyes did he weepand down three chins
Trickled the tear-drops and the bloody drivel.
At every mouth he with his teeth was crunching
A sinnerin the manner of a brake
So that he three of them tormented thus.
To him in front the biting was as naught
Unto the clawingfor sometimes the spine
Utterly stripped of all the skin remained.
That soul up there which has the greatest pain,
The Master saidis Judas Iscariot;
With head inside, he plies his legs without.
Of the two others, who head downward are,
The one who hangs from the black jowl is Brutus;
See how he writhes himself, and speaks no word.
And the other, who so stalwart seems, is Cassius.
But night is reascending, and 'tis time
That we depart, for we have seen the whole.
As seemed him goodI clasped him round the neck
And he the vantage seized of time and place
And when the wings were opened wide apart
He laid fast hold upon the shaggy sides;
From fell to fell descended downward then
Between the thick hair and the frozen crust.
When we were come to where the thigh revolves
Exactly on the thickness of the haunch
The Guidewith labour and with hard-drawn breath
Turned round his head where he had had his legs
And grappled to the hairas one who mounts
So that to Hell I thought we were returning.
Keep fast thy hold, for by such stairs as these,
The Master saidpanting as one fatigued
Must we perforce depart from so much evil.
Then through the opening of a rock he issued
And down upon the margin seated me;
Then tow'rds me he outstretched his wary step.
I lifted up mine eyes and thought to see
Lucifer in the same way I had left him;
And I beheld him upward hold his legs.
And if I then became disquieted
Let stolid people think who do not see
What the point is beyond which I had passed.
Rise up,the Master saidupon thy feet;
The way is long, and difficult the road,
And now the sun to middle-tierce returns.
It was not any palace corridor
There where we werebut dungeon natural
With floor uneven and unease of light.
Ere from the abyss I tear myself away,
My Master,said I when I had arisen
To draw me from an error speak a little;
Where is the ice? and how is this one fixed
Thus upside down? and how in such short time
From eve to morn has the sun made his transit?
And he to me: "Thou still imaginest
Thou art beyond the centrewhere I grasped
The hair of the fell wormwho mines the world.
That side thou wastso long as I descended;
When round I turned methou didst pass the point
To which things heavy draw from every side
And now beneath the hemisphere art come
Opposite that which overhangs the vast
Dry-landand 'neath whose cope was put to death
The Man who without sin was born and lived.
Thou hast thy feet upon the little sphere
Which makes the other face of the Judecca.
Here it is morn when it is evening there;
And he who with his hair a stairway made us
Still fixed remaineth as he was before.
Upon this side he fell down out of heaven;
And all the landthat whilom here emerged
For fear of him made of the sea a veil
And came to our hemisphere; and peradventure
To flee from himwhat on this side appears
Left the place vacant hereand back recoiled."
A place there is belowfrom Beelzebub
As far receding as the tomb extends
Which not by sight is knownbut by the sound
Of a small rivuletthat there descendeth
Through chasm within the stonewhich it has gnawed
With course that winds about and slightly falls.
The Guide and I into that hidden road
Now enteredto return to the bright world;
And without care of having any rest
We mounted uphe first and I the second
Till I beheld through a round aperture
Some of the beauteous things that Heaven doth bear;
Thence we came forth to rebehold the stars.