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And he made answer: "Thou shalt mark when they
Draw near to us, and then adjure them by
The love that leads them, and they will obey."Thereafter when a whirlwind swept them nigh
I lifted up my voice: "O souls forspent,
Come and have speech with us if none deny.”— As doves to the heart's call obedient
Are borne along to the beloved nest
On wide and steady pinions homeward bent, So these came tow'rd us through the air unblest,
Veering from Dido and her multitude,
So tender and so strong was my request." “O living creature full of grace and good
Who goest through the dusk air visiting
Us who left earth encrimsoned with our blood. If friendly were the Universal King
We would be praying to Him for thy peace,
Seeing thou pitiest our suffering. Whatever ye to speak and hear may please,
That will we speak and hear you close at hand,
If yet awhile the wind as now may cease. The town where I was born sits on the strand
Beside the water where descends the Po
In quest of peace, with his companion band.
person fair Bereft me, and the mode is still my woe. Love that doth none beloved from loving spare,
To do him pleasure made my heart so fain
1 Francesca, the wife of Giovanni of Rimini, and Paolo, her husband's brother, became lovers; Giovanni, finding them together, killed them. The lines following are spoken to Dante by Francesca. 2 Paolo.
Love led us down to death together: Cain 1
Awaits the soul of him who laid us dead.”
These words from them to us returned again. Hearing those injured souls, I bowed my head
And held it for so long dejectedly
That, “Whereon thinkest thou?” the Poet said. When I could answer, I began: “Ah me,
How many tender thoughts, what longing drew
These lovers to the pass of agony.”Thereafter I turned to them, and spoke anew:
“Francesca, all thy torments dim mine eyes
With tears that flow for sympathy and rue. But tell me, in the time of the sweet sighs
By what, and how did Love to you disclose
The vague desires, that ye should realize?”And she to me: “It is the woe of woes
Remembrance of the happy time to keep
In misery,—and that thy Teacher knows.? But if thy yearning be indeed so deep
To know the first root of a love so dear,
I will do even as they who speak and weep. One day together read we for good cheer
Of Love, how he laid hold on Launcëlot:
Alone we were and without any fear. Many and many a time that reading brought
Our eyes to meet, and blancht our faces o’er,
But oniy one point we resisted not. When reading of the smile long-waited-for
Being kissed by such a lover chivalrcus,
He never now from me divided more, Kissed me upon the mouth, all tremulous ..
1 A part of the bottommost circle of Hell, to which are sent the mur. derers of their own kindred. It is named after the slayer of Abel.
2 Virgii, Dante's "Teacher," was doomed to remain in Hell.
Gallehaut was the book and writer too:)
That day there was no reading more for us. And while one soul was saying this, for rue
So wept the other, that I fainted all
For pity, even as dying persons do, And fell, as would a lifeless body fall.
ANTE and Virgil, on their way through Hell,
have come to the eighth chasm of the eighth circle, where false counselors innumerable, workers of deceit, are swathed each in his separate fire. One flame, cloven at its tip into two prongs, conceals within itself the shades of Ulysses and Diomed. Dante evinces a deep desire to speak with the famous heroes, and Virgil, divining his inmost thought, addresses them in the opening words of the passage. The strange story told by Ulysses is believed to be wholly the invention of Dante's imagination.
“O ye, within one fire remaining two,
If I deserved of you in life, if I
Or much or little merited of you When in the world I wrote the verses high,
Do not move on, but one of you declare
Whither, being lost, he went away to die.”
With murmuring began to quiver then,
1 Gallehaut, according to the account which Paolo and Francesca read, was the confidant of Guinevere and Launcelot in their illicit love. (See the note by H. Oelsner in the “Temple” Dante.)
2 Approximately the second half of the twenty-sixth canto of the Inferno. From Anderson's Divine Comedy, copyright, 1921, by World Book Com pany, publishers, Yonkers-on-Hudson, New York.
Waving the summit back and forth again,
Thereafter, like a speaking tongue, the flame
Flung forth a voice and spoke as follows: “When Of Circe I had taken leave,--the same
Who held me near Gaeta a year and more,
Ere yet Æneas gave it such a name, Nor tender love of son, nor pity for
My aged father, nor affection due
That should have cheered Penelope, o’erbore The ardor that was in me to pursue
Experience of the world, that I might be
In human vices versed and virtue too: But I
forth on the deep open sea
Which hitherto had not deserted me.
Morocco, and Sardinia's isle, and so
The other islands bathing in that main. I and my company were old and slow
When in upon that narrow pass we bore,
Where Hercules set up his bounds to show That man beyond might venture nevermore.
Here left I Seville back upon the right,
And had left Ceuta on the other shore. 'O brothers,' said I, 'who are come despite
Ten thousand perils to the West, let none,
While still our senses hold the vigil slight Remaining to us ere our course is run,
Be willing to forgo experience
Of the unpeopled world beyond the sun.
Not to exist like brutes, but made were ye
With this brief speech I made my company
So keen to go, that scarce to be denied
Would they have been thereafter, even by me. And having turned the stern to morning-tide,
For the mad Alight we plied the winged oar,
Steadily gaining on the larboard side. Night saw the constellations more and more
Of the other pole, and ours at such descent
That it rose not above the ocean-floor. Five times rekindled and as many spent
The light beneath the moon did wane away,
Since to the passage of the deep we went, When there appeared to us a mountain, gray
With distance, and upreared a loftier brow
Than I had ever seen until that day.
For out of the new land a whirling blast
Arose and struck the vessel on the prow— Thrice with the waters all, it whirled her fast:
The fourth upheaved the stern and sunk amain
The prow, as pleased Another, till at last The ocean had above us closed again.”
T little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,