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Inferno Canto03

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Written by Dante Alighieri

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 Per me si va ne la citt? dolente, 
per me si va ne l'etterno dolore, 
per me si va tra la perduta gente .
Giustizia mosse il mio alto fattore: fecemi la divina podestate, la somma sapienza e 'l primo amore .
Dinanzi a me non fuor cose create se non etterne, e io etterno duro.
Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate ".
Queste parole di colore oscuro vid'io scritte al sommo d'una porta; per ch'io: «Maestro, il senso lor m'? duro ».
These words-their aspect was obscure-I read inscribed above a gateway, and I said: "Master, their meaning is difficult for me.
" Ed elli a me, come persona accorta: «Qui si convien lasciare ogne sospetto; ogne vilt? convien che qui sia morta .
And he to me, as one who comprehends: "Here one must leave behind all hesitation; here every cowardice must meet its death.
Noi siam venuti al loco ov'i' t'ho detto che tu vedrai le genti dolorose c'hanno perduto il ben de l'intelletto ».
For we have reached the place of which I spoke, where you will see the miserable people, those who have lost the good of the intellect.
" E poi che la sua mano a la mia puose con lieto volto, ond'io mi confortai, mi mise dentro a le segrete cose .
And when, with gladness in his face, he placed his hand upon my own, to comfort me, he drew me in among the hidden things.
Quivi sospiri, pianti e alti guai risonavan per l'aere sanza stelle, per ch'io al cominciar ne lagrimai .
Here sighs and lamentations and loud cries were echoing across the starless air, so that, as soon as I set out, I wept.
Diverse lingue, orribili favelle, parole di dolore, accenti d'ira, voci alte e fioche, e suon di man con elle Strange utterances, horrible pronouncements, accents of anger, words of suffering, and voices shrill and faint, and beating hands- facevano un tumulto, il qual s'aggira sempre in quell'aura sanza tempo tinta, come la rena quando turbo spira .
all went to make a tumult that will whirl forever through that turbid, timeless air, like sand that eddies when a whirlwind swirls.
E io ch'avea d'error la testa cinta, dissi: «Maestro, che ? quel ch'i' odo? e che gent'? che par nel duol s? vinta ?».
And I-my head oppressed by horror-said: "Master, what is it that I hear? Who are those people so defeated by their pain?" Ed elli a me: «Questo misero modo tegnon l'anime triste di coloro che visser sanza 'nfamia e sanza lodo .
And he to me: "This miserable way is taken by the sorry souls of those who lived without disgrace and without praise.
Mischiate sono a quel cattivo coro de li angeli che non furon ribelli n? fur fedeli a Dio, ma per s? fuoro .
They now commingle with the coward angels, the company of those who were not rebels nor faithful to their God, but stood apart.
Caccianli i ciel per non esser men belli, n? lo profondo inferno li riceve, ch'alcuna gloria i rei avrebber d'elli ».
The heavens, that their beauty not be lessened, have cast them out, nor will deep Hell receive them- even the wicked cannot glory in them.
" E io: «Maestro, che ? tanto greve a lor, che lamentar li fa s? forte?».
Rispuose: «Dicerolti molto breve .
And I: "What is it, master, that oppresses these souls, compelling them to wail so loud?" He answered: "I shall tell you in few words.
Questi non hanno speranza di morte e la lor cieca vita ? tanto bassa, che 'nvidiosi son d'ogne altra sorte .
Those who are here can place no hope in death, and their blind life is so abject that they are envious of every other fate.
Fama di loro il mondo esser non lassa; misericordia e giustizia li sdegna: non ragioniam di lor, ma guarda e passa ».
The world will let no fame of theirs endure; both justice and compassion must disdain them; let us not talk of them, but look and pass.
" E io, che riguardai, vidi una 'nsegna che girando correva tanto ratta, che d'ogne posa mi parea indegna ; And I, looking more closely, saw a banner that, as it wheeled about, raced on-so quick that any respite seemed unsuited to it.
e dietro le ven?a s? lunga tratta di gente, ch'i' non averei creduto che morte tanta n'avesse disfatta .
Behind that banner trailed so long a file of people-I should never have believed that death could have unmade so many souls.
Poscia ch'io v'ebbi alcun riconosciuto, vidi e conobbi l'ombra di colui che fece per viltade il gran rifiuto .
After I had identified a few, I saw and recognized the shade of him who made, through cowardice, the great refusal.
Incontanente intesi e certo fui che questa era la setta d'i cattivi, a Dio spiacenti e a' nemici sui .
At once I understood with certainty: this company contained the cowardly, hateful to God and to His enemies.
Questi sciaurati, che mai non fur vivi, erano ignudi e stimolati molto da mosconi e da vespe ch'eran ivi .
These wretched ones, who never were alive, went naked and were stung again, again by horseflies and by wasps that circled them.
Elle rigavan lor di sangue il volto, che, mischiato di lagrime, a' lor piedi da fastidiosi vermi era ricolto .
The insects streaked their faces with their blood, which, mingled with their tears, fell at their feet, where it was gathered up by sickening worms.
E poi ch'a riguardar oltre mi diedi, vidi genti a la riva d'un gran fiume; per ch'io dissi: «Maestro, or mi concedi And then, looking beyond them, I could see a crowd along the bank of a great river; at which I said: "Allow me now to know ch'i' sappia quali sono, e qual costume le fa di trapassar parer s? pronte, com'io discerno per lo fioco lume ».
who are these people-master-and what law has made them seem so eager for the crossing, as I can see despite the feeble light.
" Ed elli a me: «Le cose ti fier conte quando noi fermerem li nostri passi su la trista riviera d'Acheronte ».
And he to me: "When we have stopped along the melancholy shore of Acheron, then all these matters will be plain to you.
" Allor con li occhi vergognosi e bassi, temendo no 'l mio dir li fosse grave, infino al fiume del parlar mi trassi .
At that, with eyes ashamed, downcast, and fearing that what I said had given him offense, I did not speak until we reached the river.
Ed ecco verso noi venir per nave un vecchio, bianco per antico pelo, gridando: «Guai a voi, anime prave ! And here, advancing toward us, in a boat, an aged man-his hair was white with years- was shouting: "Woe to you, corrupted souls! Non isperate mai veder lo cielo: i' vegno per menarvi a l'altra riva ne le tenebre etterne, in caldo e 'n gelo .
Forget your hope of ever seeing Heaven: I come to lead you to the other shore, to the eternal dark, to fire and frost.
E tu che se' cost?, anima viva, p?rtiti da cotesti che son morti».
Ma poi che vide ch'io non mi partiva , And you approaching there, you living soul, keep well away from these-they are the dead.
" But when he saw I made no move to go, disse: «Per altra via, per altri porti verrai a piaggia, non qui, per passare: pi? lieve legno convien che ti porti ».
he said: "Another way and other harbors- not here-will bring you passage to your shore: a lighter craft will have to carry you.
" E 'l duca lui: «Caron, non ti crucciare: vuolsi cos? col? dove si puote ci? che si vuole, e pi? non dimandare ».
My guide then: "Charon, don't torment yourself: our passage has been willed above, where One can do what He has willed; and ask no more.
" Quinci fuor quete le lanose gote al nocchier de la livida palude, che 'ntorno a li occhi avea di fiamme rote .
Now silence fell upon the wooly cheeks of Charon, pilot of the livid marsh, whose eyes were ringed about with wheels of flame.
Ma quell'anime, ch'eran lasse e nude, cangiar colore e dibattero i denti, ratto che 'nteser le parole crude .
But all those spirits, naked and exhausted, had lost their color, and they gnashed their teeth as soon as they heard Charon's cruel words; Bestemmiavano Dio e lor parenti, l'umana spezie e 'l loco e 'l tempo e 'l seme di lor semenza e di lor nascimenti .
they execrated God and their own parents and humankind, and then the place and time of their conception's seed and of their birth.
Poi si ritrasser tutte quante insieme, forte piangendo, a la riva malvagia ch'attende ciascun uom che Dio non teme .
Then they forgathered, huddled in one throng, weeping aloud along that wretched shore which waits for all who have no fear of God.
Caron dimonio, con occhi di bragia, loro accennando, tutte le raccoglie; batte col remo qualunque s'adagia .
The demon Charon, with his eyes like embers, by signaling to them, has all embark; his oar strikes anyone who stretches out.
Come d'autunno si levan le foglie l'una appresso de l'altra, fin che 'l ramo vede a la terra tutte le sue spoglie , As, in the autumn, leaves detach themselves, first one and then the other, till the bough sees all its fallen garments on the ground, Aen.
similemente il mal seme d'Adamo gittansi di quel lito ad una ad una, per cenni come augel per suo richiamo .
similarly, the evil seed of Adam descended from the shoreline one by one, when signaled, as a falcon-called-will come.
Cos? sen vanno su per l'onda bruna, e avanti che sien di l? discese, anche di qua nuova schiera s'auna .
So do they move across the darkened waters; even before they reach the farther shore, new ranks already gather on this bank.
«Figliuol mio», disse 'l maestro cortese, «quelli che muoion ne l'ira di Dio tutti convegnon qui d'ogne paese : "My son," the gracious master said to me, "those who have died beneath the wrath of God, all these assemble here from every country; e pronti sono a trapassar lo rio, ch? la divina giustizia li sprona, s? che la tema si volve in disio .
and they are eager for the river crossing because celestial justice spurs them on, so that their fear is turned into desire.
Quinci non passa mai anima buona; e per?, se Caron di te si lagna, ben puoi sapere omai che 'l suo dir suona ».
No good soul ever takes its passage here; therefore, if Charon has complained of you, by now you can be sure what his words mean.
" Finito questo, la buia campagna trem? s? forte, che de lo spavento la mente di sudore ancor mi bagna .
And after this was said, the darkened plain quaked so tremendously-the memory of terror then, bathes me in sweat again.
La terra lagrimosa diede vento, che balen? una luce vermiglia la qual mi vinse ciascun sentimento ; A whirlwind burst out of the tear-drenched earth, a wind that crackled with a bloodred light, a light that overcame all of my senses; e caddi come l'uom cui sonno piglia.
and like a man whom sleep has seized, I fell.

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