Get Your Premium Membership

Translation of Dante's Hell CANTO XV

Now we along one of hard rims are brought; And a thin spray on the brook is fixed, So shield to rims and water is begot. As Flemings, Cadsand and Bruges bewixt, Fearing the high waves pouncing against shore, Build dikes to sea to have shield affixed; And like Paduans near the Brenta core, To defend their castles and too their fields, That Chiarentana heat feels quite before: Similar to those are just made the shields, Even though neither so thick nor so tall, As builder mind, whoever he is, yields. We were just well outside the wood at all Enough, so where it was I could not say, Even though I looked back to recall, When we just met of spirits an array Who were coming on the bank and each one Was looking at us as by night the way Is looked another when new moon begun; And they were squeezing eyelashes to us As an old tailor in the needle bunt. Spotted in such a way by a group thus, I was recognized by one, who me took At the flap and shouted: “What a success!”. And I, when his limb me grabbed as an hook, In his baked burnt outward stuck then my eyes, So that he could no more hide his burned look To recognize him my mind to apprise; And moving down to his face my hand, Answered: “Are you then sir Brunetto wise?” And he: “My dear son, you please demand That Brunetto Latini stays a while With you and comes back leaving the band”. I told: “As much as I can, beg you I’ll; And if you want that I with you may sit, Will do, if for my mate it is worthwhile” “My dear son”, told, “If any of us a bit Stops walking, then hundred years must lie With just no defense then from fire hit. So, must go on: I shall follow you by; And after that I shall rejoin my troop Which its eternal sins always must cry”. Yet I did not dare down the street to stoop To reach him; but I had my head bent down As man walking and reverent must droop. He then started: “Which fate and luck is shown Bringing you here just your last before? And who is that who brings you around?” “There up, where is serene the lifetime core”, I answered him, “Path in a valley I lost, Before I passed the maturity door. Yesterday morning I turned it when crossed; This one came in, compelling me go back, And brought me here in this place at last”. And he to me: “If now your star you track, You cannot fail to reach the glorious port, If in my life good wisdom did not lack; And if I did not die in time so short, Seeing to you a so benignant sky, I would have given to your deed support. But that malignant people too awry Which from Fiesole anciently descended And yet has much of stone and mount dry, Will be, to your good will, enemy trended; And there is reason, that the rotten fruit Must be avoided by sweet fig splendid. Old fame in world indeed calls them brute; They are greedy, envious and superb too; And their habits at best you must refute. Your future prepares great honors for you, So that both parts will have much need Of you; but is their beck on grass undue. The of Fiesole beasts then have to feed Just of themselves, and don’t touch the plant If any grows yet in their muck indeed, In which then might live again the seed sant Of those Romans who just there remained when Malice nest was made that think worse I can’t” “If my demands were all satisfied then”, I answered him, “You would not still yet be Now banned out of the nature of all men; Because in my minds is etched, and grieves me, The dear and good paternal image of you When time by time during life I could see You teaching me how reach eternal view; And how much I like it, the time I live To be recognized in my words gets true. What you recount to write myself I strive, And I hold it to gloss with other text To woman who will know, if I arrive. So much I want you be acquainted next, Assuming that my conscience does not fail, That to Fortune, as she likes, I am flexed. It is not new this pledge to my hears’ sail: So thus Fortune has now hers wheel to turn The way she likes, and the boor his plow nail”. My master then on his right cheek upturn Looked at me back well fixing in my eyes; Then told: “Who her listens has much to learn”. Nor much less I am speaking with that wise Sir Brunetto, and I am asking him who are His companions well known of larger size. And he : “Know of someone is good by far; Of others it is better to be still, Being short the time to hold the sound for. As a matter of facts all have great skill Clerics and writers who have weighty fame, All of them soiled to world the same sin fill. Prisciane goes with that crowd of blame, And Francis d’Accorso too; and see, If I had strong will of such horrible shame, I could who the drudge of servants with lee From Arno into Bacchiglione changed was Where he left his nerves ill to high degree. I would tell more but it cannot because I don't follow you now, since I see there New smoke that people from sand to grow does. With guys coming company I don’t share. My Tesoro to you I recommend, In which I still live, ask more I don’t dare”. Then turned back, and looked as to have the trend Of runners in Verona the drape green In countryside, among them to contend Like a winner, not loser to be seen.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2014

Post Comments

Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.

Please Login to post a comment

A comment has not been posted for this poem. Encourage a poet by being the first to comment.