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Divine Comedy translation Hell Canto XIV

Because the charity of my native place Obliged me, the broken branches I the picked up Them giving back him, who was to debase. Then we finally reached where had to leap From the second turn to third, and just where Horrible art of justice you can seep. To best describe new things I saw then there, I tell that now we arrived at a site Which any plant destroys and impair. The painful wood is like a garland tight Around it, like is the sad moat to it; Here we stopped step after step nearby quite. The space was of sand arid and thick split Not quite so different shape from the one Which was by Cato’s foot canceled to grit. O God’s vengeance, how much you ought to stun And frighten whoever is reading now What to my eyes then manifest was done! Of naked souls I saw many flocks to bow And all together wretchedly to cry, As they were subject to a wicked law. Some people of them supine to ground lie, Some other sitting down fully curled up, And other walked around with no why. People who wandered was a larger group, And the less ones lying to the torment, But expressing their grief with louder weep. Over the sandy soil, with slow descent, Were pouring of fire very large flaps, As snow on mountains with no wind extent. Like Alexander in hot lands perhaps Of India over his army saw Flames solid down to ground to collapse, So he designed pawing the soil to draw With his arrays, so that the vapor hot Faster lapsed if let alone to withdraw: So fell there the eternal fire spot; Making sand to ignite, like the tinder Under fire, to double the ache shot. With no rest were waved around to hinder The miserable hands, just side by side To send away from self the hot cinder. I started: “Master, who are winner wide In all things, except with the demons tough Who our entrance at the door before tied, Who is that big who is careless enough Toward fire and spiteful and grim lies, So it look like on him fire to snuff?” And just that one, as had way to comprise That I was asking my duke about him, Shouted: ”Like when alive, as dead my guise. If Jupiter ha to remove his smith’s vim From which he took the lightning acute That my last day me stroke with will grim; Or if is tiring others to pursuit At Mongibello where is the smithy black, Calling “Good Vulcan,help me, and be cute!”, As he made at Phlegraean battle attack, And he darted me with his strength at all: He couldn’t have his happy revenge back” Then my duke shouted with his voice so tall So tall, that never so strongly I heard: “O Capaneus, since is not yet small Your arrogance, you more with pain are spurred: No torment, except your angry wrath bad, Would certainly be to your rage concurred”. Then turned to me, and better aspect had, Telling: “He was one of the seven kings Who Thebes besieged; had and still to add Contempt has to God, no regard brings; But, as I told him, his despites are then At his breast very appropriate things. Now follow me, and careful not, again, You put your feet in this hot and scorched sand; But always keep your feet in wood as den” In silence passed over to reach the land Out of the wood where is a tiny flow, Whose reddish color my mind still disband. As from the Bulicame the waters go Which women sinners then among them share, Likely that runlet through the sand went low. Its bottom and too both its steep banks pair Were of stones, and the edges on the sides; So I realized that the pass was there. “With anything else I have shown besides, After we entered the main door just through Whose trespassing ever nobody chides, You did not notice using your eyes too Overt as it is this present river, Which turns off all little flames not few” Of these words my guide had been the giver; So I begged him the dinner had to feed After the wish he brought in me with shiver. “In the sea midst is a place of misdeed”, Then told me him , “which has the name of Crete, Whose kingdom under was chaste world indeed. There is a mount which was of pride replete For woods and water, which Ida had as name; Now is a desert as thing to deplete. Rea then chose it as cradle to acclaim Of hers son, and she at best him to hide, When he cried, she sound shouting overcame. A grand old man stands up the mount inside, Holding shoulders at Damietta town And looks at Rome as in a mirror side. His head of pure gold is done and crown, Of pure silver his breast and limbs are done, Then of copper is made to the fork down; The part below is built of iron dun; Except the right foot which of faience is; And on that foot more stands, the other shun. Each part, except the golden one, rift has As a disruption which drips just tears’ flow Which, gathered, drilling in that cavern does. Their course in this valley deep falls and throw; Acheron, Stix and Phlegethon they form; Then through this narrow penstock down they go, At last, there where more drop cannot perform, Produce Cocito, and how is that pond You can’t see here, but you shall see as norm”. And I: “If this stream has to correspond To a source like that in our world up there, Why too in this fount we it see beyond?”. And he: “This site is round, you are aware; Although you already walked that much, Even moving left, getting down to fare, You did not yet complete the circle such; So that, if it looks strange to you this thing, Your face should not wonder and touch”. And I again: “Master, where is the spring Of Phlegeton and Lete? Of one are still, Of other you tell it’s of this rain fling” “With all these questions, I admire your will, He answered, “but the boiling water red Should have just solved a question you made still. Lete you shall see, not in this hole of dread, Where souls go to wash out their pain indeed When their sin repented has then been shed” Then he told: “It’s time, to move now we need From the wood, so follow and come me back: Road is done by borders, which let accede, And on them hot vapor will of course lack”

Copyright © | Year Posted 2014




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