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Frederick Tignoso and his company,

The house of Traversara, and th’ Anastagi,

And one race and the other is extinct ; The dames and cavaliers, the toils and ease

That filled our souls with love and courtesy,

There where the hearts have so malicious grown! O Brettinoro ! why dost thou not flee,

Seeing that all thy family is gone,

And many people, not to be corrupted ? Bagnacaval does well in not begetting

And ill does Castrocaro, and Conio worse,

In taking trouble to beget such Counts. Will do well the Pagani, when their Devil

Shall have departed; but not therefore pure

Will testimony of them e'er remain. O Ugolin de' Fantoli, secure

Thy name is, since no longer is awaited

One who, degenerating, can obscure it ! But go now, Tuscan, for it now delights me

To weep far better than it does to speak,

So much has our discourse my mind distressed.” We were aware that those beloved souls

Heard us depart; therefore, by keeping silent,

They made us of our pathway confident. When we became alone by going onward,

Thunder, when it doth cleave the air, appeared

A voice, that counter to us came, exclaiming : " Shall slay me whosoever findeth me!”

And fled as the reverberation dies

If suddenly the cloud asunder bursts. As soon as hearing had a truce from this,

Behold another, with so great a crash,

That it resembled thunderings following fast : “I am Aglaurus, who became a stone !"

And then, to press myself close to the Poet,

I backward, and not forward, took a step. Already on all sides the air was quiet ;

And said he to me : “ That was the hard curb

That ought to hold a man within his bounds; But you take in the bait so that the hook

Of the old Adversary draws you to him,

And hence availeth little curb or call.
The heavens are calling you, and wheel around you,

Displaying to you their eternal beauties,

And still your eye is looking on the ground; Whence He, who all discerns, chastises you."

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CANTO XV.

As much as 'twixt the close of the third hour

And dawn of day appeareth of that sphere

Which aye in fashion of a child is playing, So much it now appeared, towards the night,

Was of his course remaining to the sun;

There it was evening, and 'twas midnight here; And the rays smote the middle of our faces,

Because by us the mount was so encircled,

That straight towards the west we now were going; When I perceived my forehead overpowered

Beneath the splendour far more than at first,

And stupor were to me the things unknown; Whereat towards the summit of my brow

I raised my hands, and made myself the visor

Which the excessive glare diminishes. As when from off the water, or a mirror,

The sunbeam leaps unto the opposite side,

Ascending upward in the selfsame measure That it descends, and deviates as far

From falling of a stone in line direct,

(As demonstrate experiment and art,) . So it appeared to me that by a light

Refracted there before me I was smitten;

On which account my sight was swift to flee. “What is that, Father sweet, from which I cannot

So fully screen my sight that it avail me,”

Said I, “and seems towards us to be moving ?” “Marvel thou not, if dazzle thee as yet

The family of heaven,” he answered me;

“An angel 'tis, who comes to invite us upward. Soon will it be, that to behold these things

Shall not be grievous, but delightful to thee

As much as nature fashioned thee to feel.” When we had reached the Angel benedight,

With joyful voice he said: “Here enter in

To stairway far less steep than are the others.”
We mounting were, already thence departed,

And “ Beati misericordes ” was
Behind us sung, “ Rejoice, thou that o'ercomest !"

My Master and myself, we two alone

Were going upward, and I thought, in going,

Some profit to acquire from words of his; And I to him directed me, thus asking :

“What did the spirit of Romagna mean,

Mentioning interdict and partnership?" Whence he to me: “ Of his own greatest failing

He knows the harm; and therefore wonder not

If he reprove us, that we less may rue it. Because are thither pointed your desires

Where by companionship each share is lessened,

Envy doth ply the bellows to your sighs, But if the love of the supernal sphere

Should upwardly direct your aspiration,

There would not be that fear within your breast; For there, as much the more as one says Qur,

So much the more of good each one possesses,

And more of charity in that cloister burns." “I am more hungering to be satisfied,”

I said, “ than if I had before been silent,

And more of doubt within my mind I gather. How can it be, that boon distributed

The more possessors can more wealthy make

Therein, than if by few it be possessed ?” And he to me: “ Because thou fixest still

Thy mind entirely upon earthly things,

Thou pluckest darkness from the very light. That goodness infinite and ineffable

Which is above there, runneth unto love,

As to a lucid body comes the sunbeam. So much it gives itself as it finds ardour,

So that as far as charity extends,

O’er it increases the eternal valour. And the more people thitherward aspire,

More are there to love well, and more they love there,

And, as a mirror, one reflects the other. And if my reasoning appease thee not,

Thou shalt see Beatrice ; and she will fully

Take from thee this and every other longing. Endeavour, then, that soon may be extinct,

As are the two already, the five wounds

That close themselves again by being painful.”
Even as I wished to say, “ Thou dost appease me,”

I saw that I had reached another circle,
So that my eager eyes made me keep silence.

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There it appeared to me that in a vision

Ecstatic on a sudden I was rapt,

And in a temple many persons saw; And at the door a woman, with the sweet

Behaviour of a mother, saying: “Son,

Why in this manner hast thou dealt with us? Lo, sorrowing, thy father and myself

Were seeking for thee;"—and as here she ceased,

That which appeared at first had disappeared. Then I beheld another with those waters

Adown her cheeks which grief distils whenever

From great disdain of others it is born, And saying: “If of that city thou art lord,

For whose name was such strife among the gods,

And whence doth every science scintillate, Avenge thyself on those audacious arms

That clasped our daughter, O Pisistratus ;"

And the lord seemed to me benign and mild To answer her with aspect temperate :

“What shall we do to those who wish us ill,

If he who loves us be by us condemned?” Then saw I people hot in fire of wrath, .

With stones a young man slaying, clamorously

Still crying to each other, “ Kill him ! kill him !” And him I saw bow down, because of death

That weighed already on him, to the earth,

But of his eyes made ever gates to heaven, Imploring the high Lord, in so great strife,

That he would pardon those his persecutors,

With such an aspect as unlocks compassion. Soon as my soul had outwardly returned

To things external to it which are true,

Did I my not false errors recognize. My Leader, who could see me bear myself

Like to a man that rouses him from sleep,

Exclaimed: “What ails thee, that thou canst not stand ? But hast been coming more than half a league

Veiling thine eyes, and with thy legs entangled,

In guise of one whom wine or sleep subdues ?” “O my sweet Father, if thou listen to me,

I'll tell thee,” said I, “what appeared to me,

When thus from me my legs were ta'en away."
And he: “If thou shouldst have a hundred masks

Upon thy face, from me would not be shut
Thy cogitations, howsoever small.

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What thou hast seen was that thou mayst not fail

To ope thy heart unto the waters of peace,

Which from the eternal fountain are diffused. I did not ask, “What ails thee ?' as he does

Who only looketh with the eyes that see not

When of the soul bereft the body lies, But asked it to give vigour to thy feet;

Thus must we needs urge on the sluggards, slow

To use their wakefulness when it returns.” We passed along, athwart the twilight peering

Forward as far as ever eye could stretch

Against the sunbeams serotine and lucent; And lo! by slow degrees a smoke approached

In our direction, sombre as the night,

Nor was there place to hide one's self therefrom. This of our eyes and the pure air bereft us.

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CANTO XVI.

DARKNESS of hell, and of a night deprived

Of every planet under a poor sky,

As much as may be tenebrous with cloud, Ne'er made unto my sight so thick a veil,

As did that smoke which there enveloped us,

Nor to the feeling of so rough a texture; For not an eye it suffered to stay open;

Whereat mine escort, faithful and sagacious,

Drew near to me and offered me his shoulder. E'en as a blind man goes behind his guide,

Lest he should wander, or should strike against

Aught that may harm or peradventure kill him, So went I through the bitter and foul air,

Listening unto my Leader, who said only,

“ Look that from me thou be not separated.” Voices I heard, and every one appeared

To supplicate for peace and misericord

The Lamb of God who takes away our sins. Still “ Agnus Deitheir exordium was;

One word there was in all, and metre one,

So that all harmony appeared among them. “Master,” I said, “ are spirits those I hear?”

And he to me : “ Thou apprehendest truly,
And they the knot of anger go unloosing.”

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