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Dante's Divina Commedia translation Canto VIII

I tell, to follow, that long trait before We reached the back foot of the tower tall, Our eyes went up to the top core For two little flames we saw install, And another responding from so far That barely I perceived being so small. And I turned my face to the full sense star: I told: “What does this mean? and what reply Gives then the other flame? And those who are?” And he: “Above the dirty waves and by You can perceive already what to expect, If the fume of the swamp does not deny”. Rope never pushed an arrow to eject Which faster and thin too rushed out through air As I saw a shorty boat well direct Through water toward us with no compare, Under the drive of just one only oar, Who shouted: “Now you arrived soul unfair!” “Flegiàs, Flegiàs, useless is shouting your” Told then my lord, “It’s only this time now: Once crossed the marsh you’ll never see us more” Like the one who listens a great false vow Which he undergoes, and regrets then, So was Flegiàs owing rage to allow. My guide entered now the boat on the fen, And then he let me enter after him; So it looked fully loaded once again . After my guide and I were on wood grim, Cutting across just goes the ancient bow The water even more than used to trim. While we were running in the deadly flow, In front of me then came a muddy man, Who told me: “Who are you coming here now?” And I: “If I come, to remain don’t plan; But who are you, so unsightly to see?”. Answered: “You see that I just grieve for ban”. And I to him; “With mourn and of tears sea, You damned spirit, now you can stay on still; I know you, even though dirty you be”. Then he aimed both hands to the board until, So that my mindful master then pushed him, Telling: “Get off from here, stay there, damned will!” And then with arms he cuddled my neck rim; Kissed my face, and told me: “Disdainful core, Blessed woman who gave you birth with vim! That guy was a person proud in his life yore; Kindness you don’t find recalling his acts: So his soul is here angry as before. Plenty of people up like king enacts And here after as swine in mire shall stay Leaving of themselves just horrible facts!”. And I: “Master, I would have happy play If I see him to plunge into this slush Before that from this lake we get away”. And he to me: “Before ending our rush To reach the bank, you full sated will be: You must enjoy along your wish to hush”. After short while the torture I could see Performed by people lying in that mire, To God much praise and thanks go still from me. All screamed: “To Filippo Argenti dire!”; And the Florentine spirit ***** indeed In his own body flesh sunk his teeth spire. Here we left him, and no more words I need; But in my ears I felt a beating pain, Which made me cross eyes forward as my deed. The good master told: “My dear, get again, Now the city called Dite is getting close With grievous citizens, many restrained” And I: “ Master, its towers already shows There in the valley distinctly I see, Vermillion like from fire just arose Now”. And he: “the eternal fire sea Which is burning inside makes them so red, As in this base hell you can see to be” We then inside the deep ditches were led Which corrugate that disconsolate land: And looked of iron made the walls ahead. Not without moving around a turn grand, We reached a place then where the helmsman strong “Get out”, shouted: “Here is the entry stand”. I saw more than thousand coming along As poured from above, who with nasty huff Told: “Who is this one of the living band Who goes around the kingdom of deads gruff?” And my sage master then motioned to me He aimed to them speak secretly enough. Then they reduced a bit their disagree And told: “Come you alone, and he must go Being in this reign entered of scare free. He must get back alone the street so fow: Let him try, if able: you remain here, Who guided him in this land without glow”. Think, reader, how much I had then to fear While hearing the sound of those words so damn, Because I thought I couldn’t be back clear. “Oh dear guide, for seven times saved I am By your help giving assurance to me In high distress I encountered as a dram, Don’t abandon me”, I told, “without lee; And if to pass it is denied beyond, Let us find our path backward to fast flee” And that lord who guided me there so fond, Told me: “Don’t be afraid, because our stride Nobody can stop: from so high gets bond. But wait me here now, and your spirit tied Encourage strongly and feed with hope good, Since I will not leave you in this world bide”. So went away, and abandoned I stood, My sweet father then leaving me in doubt, So yes and no to fight in me then could. I did not hear what he to them gave out; But he did not remain with them long time, To observe that all in turn left the bout. Closed the doors those people faulty of crime Against my lord breast, who remained outside And came back to me so slow as to climb. The eyes to ground and lashes had to hide Any pride, and telling sighs in between: “Who the sorrow houses now me denied! And to me “You, if I am not serene, Don’t dismay, since I shall the battle win, No matter which against us be the screen. This arrogance of their not new has been; They used it for a door secret much less, Which without any lock is still therein. On that you saw of dead write the impress: And on this side descends the terrain steep, Then passing through the circles with no stress, So for him the ground be open to sweep”

Copyright © | Year Posted 2014

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