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Divine Comedy translation CANTO XII

Was the place where we climbing down the bank
Then arrived, alpine and, for what was there
Such as, that any eyesight would be shrank.

Similar to landslide that in side bare
Before Trento the Adige just smote,
Or for shake or as missing supports were,

That from mountain top, where had to demote,
To end plain are so steep the rocks indeed, 
That no path to any up could denote:

Likewise down that ravine one must proceed;
And on the rim of the broken abyss
Lied along of Crete the infamous weed

Who was conceived in the cow false amiss;
And when he saw us, then  himself he bit,
The way of guy on whom anger insists.

My sage toward him shouted: “Maybe it 
You think that Atene’s duke is now here,
Who up in world to death you could commit?

Go away, beast, since this is not a mere
Learner from your sister already trained
But he is to see your pains as appear”.

As a bull which sudden becomes unchained
When it already received the deathblow,
And to move is not able, but jumps strained,

Likewise the Minotaur acted then so;
And that sage then shouted: “Through passage run:
While it is furious, better you go”.

So we our path then down rapid begun
Through those heavy stones, often not stable
Under my feet, by the new weight just won.

I was thoughtful, and he: “You are able
To think about this ravine, under guard
Of that bestial wrath I could disable.

The time, you now must know at this regard,
I came down here into the lowest hell.
This fallen rock had not yet crashed down hard.

But slightly before, if I recall well,
That came over the one who the huge prey
To Dis withdrew from the supernal shell,

Everywhere the high valley foul and grey
Trembled so that the universe  I thought 
Felt love, for which somebody trusts a way

Of world repeatedly to chaos brought;
And at that time this very ancient rock
Then here and elsewhere to revolve just ought. 

But address eyes down valley, we now dock
At the blood bank in which is boiling now
Who other people with wildness could sock”.

Oh blind greed and too crazy anger bow,
Which indeed spurs us on in our life short,
And in eternal so bad to endow! 

I saw a wide trench in bow self-contort,
As the one which is all the plane around,
According to what had told my escort;

And between foot of  bank and it, compound
In group centaurs run, well armored with darts,
As used to do in world hunting and hound.

Seeing us climbing down, everyone departs,
And three of them then moved just toward us
With bows and arrows as their ready parts;

And one shouted from far: “At what distress
Along this coast now getting down are you?
Tell us right now; else my bow  arrows shoots”

My master told: “the answer shall in short
Be given by us to Chiron forth on:
Bad was your will always prone to distort”

Then touched me, and told: Nexus is that one,
Who for the handsome Deianira died,
And by himself , the self-revenge was done.

And the one halfway, gazing his breast wide,
Is the great Chiron, who Achilles fed;
The other is Pholus, who rage complied.

Thousands and thousands at trench are there spread,
Darting any soul which tries to come out
From blood much more than their sin mislead”

We went closer to those lean beasts to scout;
Chiron took a dart, and then with the nock
Pushed back his beard to jaw ready to clout.

After he had uncovered his mouth block,
Told then to his mates: “Are you aware
That the guy back moves what he has to knock?

This way do not act feet of  the deads bare”.
And my good duke, who just was at his breast,
Where the two natures are well joined and share,

Answered: “He is living, and is so pressed
That I have this valley dark him to show;
Not for delight, but for need is this quest.

Somebody from alleluia moved although
And then committed me to this task new:
He is not a thief, nor to steal I go. 

But for that virtue for which I move through
My passage now on such a savage way,
Give us one of yours, to be a guide true, 

And where is ford be able to display, 
And also carry this one on his back,
Since he isn’t a spirit that fly may”.

Chiron then turned on his head the right whack,
And told Nexus: “Come back and guide them so,
And make move aside other groups’ attack”-

Now with the trusty escort we could go
Along the border of the boiling red,
Where the boiled were shouting their pain to show.

I saw people close to the edge of dread;
And great centaur told: “These evil tyrants are
Who bloodily acted and wildness shed.

Here are just cried the grim sins by desper;
Here is Alexander and Dionisio grim
Who gave Sicily years of pains with scar. 

And that brow with black hair on him,
Is Azzolino, and the other who has fair hair,
Is Opizzo from Este, who looks so dim

Was killed by his stepson in world up there”.
Then I revolved toward poet, and he told:
“This one as first from now, me second bear”.

Just beyond on the centaur had to hold
Above some people who up to his throat
Looked as from that boiling tried to unfold.

He showed us a spirit well alone to float,
Telling: “That one in God’s lap had to cut
The heart dripping on Thames you can yet note”.

After that I saw people who out of river uncut
Kept their heads and their breasts at all;
Ad of these I recognized more than somewhat.

So more and more the depth became so small
Of that blood, and griddled also the feet,
Until the ditch our pace could not appall.

“As you can see here in a way concrete
The boiling stream becoming less and less”
Told the centaur, “I whish for you be neat

That the other part gives more and more stress
Toward the bottom, till is reached a state
Where tyranny is stricken in excess.

Divine justice can here sting and abate
That Attila who was on earth a scourge,
Pirro and Sesto; for eternal fate

Tears sucks, in boiling river to submerge,
Rinier from Corneto, and Rinier mad,
Who wherever wars always made emerge”.

Then turned his way and passed the river sad.

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  1. Date: 4/16/2014 2:08:00 AM

    U sure are an expert at this! The rhymin and diction used in an admirable style wow! Ah the minotaur legends, it brings to mind. Nice to read u again.

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