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Canto XXIX Hell translation

So many people and the various sores
Intoxicated in such a way my eyes,
That wanted open to crying their doors.

But Virgil told : “What for you look this guise?
Why now your sight is so carefully brought
Down there on those sad broken shadow guys?

You did not act this way before by naught;
Think, if to stay here more you now believe, 
That twenty two miles the valley is thought. 

And yet the moon under our feet could leave;
More time is given almost short to us,  
Something else there is to see and achieve”

“If you had just”, I answered him then thus,
“Known the reason why I was looking there,
Perhaps I was allowed to stay and glance”.

While he was moving, and I back to fare,
The duke, giving then answer already,
I added: “In that cavern just where

I put my eyes so firm and so steady,
I think a soul to me kinsman might cry
The fault for which much pain is there ready”.

Then master told: “You should not much apply
Your following thought from now on to him.
Else you should watch out, and leave him thereby;

Because I saw him at foot of bridge rim
Show and threaten with finger toward you,
And heard Geri del Bello name with vim.

At that time you were prevented in view
Attentive to whom Altaforte kept,
You did not watch at there, so he left through”.

“O duke of mine, his violent death swept
Which has not yet been avenged”, I told”
For any who of shame consort was apt,

Made him disdainful; to stay didn’t hold,
Went off with no word, as my judging goes:
For this he made me more pious behold”. 

So we conversed up where the view arose
Above the rock where new valley is seen,
If more light there were, to the bottom lows.

When to the top stone rising we had been 
Of Malebolge, so that the damned there
Could be then shown us in a full scene,

I darted was by such kinds of despair, 
Which strongly shod with pity had their tip; 
So that with hands I shut then my hears pair. 

Same pain would be, if the hospital rip 
Of Valdichiana in summer time 
And Maremma and Sardinia bad strip 

Were all together joined in a tip lime, 
So it was there, and came out a stench such 
As the one coming from rotted meat grime. 

Down with the last bank we got in touch 
On the long rock, taking just to hand left; 
And then my eyes could now observe more much 

Down to the bottom, where the regent deft
Of high Lord justice which never has foul
Here smites the fakers of truth bereft.

I do not think to see worse pain to howl
Was in Egine all people ill to be,
When air was then with everything afoul, 

That animals, to smallest worm to see,
Fell wholly, and then peoples of the past,
According poets who report and agree,

Used to eat as food just ants’ seed amassed;
That was to see  in that obscure valley dark
Languish the souls by many pains harassed.

Someone over belly and some on back arc
One on the other laid, and some fours all
Painfully moved in that pathway stark.

Pace by pace we went, no word to install,
Looking at and hearing those guys so sick,
Who could not stand up a way to appall.

I saw two of them sitting brick to brick,
As platter is put on platter to heat,
From head to feet fully stained with sores thick;

And I never saw a currycomb beat 
By a stable lad rushing for his lord, 
Nor any who reluctant has to treat, 

As each one was beating often the sword 
Of his nails on himself with a great rage 
For the itching, which has no relief chord; 

And nails so ripping the scab to assuage 
Akin to a knife that rips the bream scales 
Or of any other fish whose scales upstage.

“You who rub yourself with fingers and nails”,
Started then my duke aimed of them to one,
“And you use them as a tong which assails,

Tell me if any Latin is outdone
Between those here, if nail is just enough
Eternally for this work you make run”.

“Latins we are, you see suffer rebuff
Here both now”, one of them answered with cry;
“But who are you, asking of us so tough?”.

And duke then told: “I am one coming by
With this living being by cliff to cliff,
And hell to show him as my task I try”.

Then body sharing they broke in a jiff;
And quite trembling each one turned to me
With others who heard it as rebound stiff.

The good master then came close as with plea,
Telling: “Tell them what now you want to know”;
And I told, after he looked turned to be:

“If your mind is not to vanish in a blow
In previous world within all human minds,
But it lives longer at many suns below,

Let me know who you are and what mankind’s;
Your just obscene and bothersome too pain
To show don’t be afraid, me ready finds”.

I was Arezzo’s, and Siena’s Albero, I explain,
Responded one, “Made me to burn in fire;
But I am not here for that faulty strain. 

Truly I told him, as joke to inspire:
“I would be able to go in air and fly”;
And that, who had beauty but sense of mire,

Wanted I showed the art; and for that by
Since I didn’t him Daedalus, made me
Be burned by who had him as his son tie.

But in the last circle of ten as fee
Me for the alchemy in world I used
Damned Minos, who never wrong can be”. 

And I told poet: “Was ever cruised
Futile people as the Siena’s one?
Surely not the French much more to be bruised!”.

And other leper, who hearing had done,
Answered to me: “But Stricca is except
Who was able wise to spend with waste none,

And Nicolaus of the rich fashion adept
Of carnation discovered for the first
In the garden where this wild seed has leaped;

And consider the party in which burst
Caccia d’Asciano’s vineyard and land,
And Abbagliato his wit nursed.

But so that you know who so gives you hand
Against Sienises, sharpen your eye to me,
Thus helping my face  right words to expand: 

So I am Capocchio’s soul you shall see,
Who metals falsified with alchemy shape;
And you remember, if I well judge thee,

How of the nature I was a good ape”. 


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