Poems by Dante Alighieri

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In the midway of this our mortal life,
Now was the day departing, and the air,
"THROUGH me you pass into the city of woe:
Broke the deep slumber in my brain a crash
The hue, which coward dread on my pale cheeks
From the first circle I descended thus
My sense reviving, that erewhile had droop'd
"Ah me! O Satan! Satan!" loud exclaim'd
My theme pursuing, I relate that ere
Now by a secret pathway we proceed,
Upon the utmost verge of a high bank,
The place where to descend the precipice
Ere Nessus yet had reach'd the other bank,
Soon as the charity of native land
Woe to thee, Simon Magus! woe to you,
One of the solid margins bears us now
Now came I where the water's din was heard,
Now upward rose the flame, and still'd its light
"Lo! the fell monster with the deadly sting!
There is a place within the depths of hell
And now the verse proceeds to torments new,
Thus we from bridge to bridge, with other talk,
It hath been heretofore my chance to see
In silence and in solitude we went,
In the year's early nonage, when the sun
So were mine eyes inebriate with view
When he had spoke, the sinner rais'd his hands
Florence exult! for thou so mightily
Who, e'en in words unfetter'd, might at full
What time resentment burn'd in Juno's breast
The very tongue, whose keen reproof before
Could I command rough rhimes and hoarse, to suit
His jaws uplifting from their fell repast,
"The banners of Hell's Monarch do come forth
His glory, by whose might all things are mov'd,
All ye, who in small bark have following sail'd,
That sun, which erst with love my bosom warm'd
Between two kinds of food, both equally
After solution of my doubt, thy Charles,
"If beyond earthly wont, the flame of love
"After that Constantine the eagle turn'd
"Hosanna Sanctus Deus Sabaoth
The world was in its day of peril dark
Looking into his first-born with the love,
O fond anxiety of mortal men!
Soon as its final word the blessed flame
Let him, who would conceive what now I saw,
From centre to the circle, and so back
Before my sight appear'd, with open wings,
True love, that ever shows itself as clear
O slight respect of man's nobility!
Such as the youth, who came to Clymene
Now in his word, sole, ruminating, joy'd
When, disappearing, from our hemisphere,
Again mine eyes were fix'd on Beatrice,
Astounded, to the guardian of my steps
E'en as the bird, who midst the leafy bower
"O ye! in chosen fellowship advanc'd
No longer than what time Latona's twins
If e'er the sacred poem that hath made
With dazzled eyes, whilst wond'ring I remain'd,
Then "Glory to the Father, to the Son,
So she who doth imparadise my soul,
Noon's fervid hour perchance six thousand miles
In fashion, as a snow-white rose, lay then
Freely the sage, though wrapt in musings high,
"O virgin mother, daughter of thy Son,
O'er better waves to speed her rapid course
Now had the sun to that horizon reach'd,
Them sudden flight had scatter'd over the plain,
When by sensations of delight or pain,
Now the fair consort of Tithonus old,
Now had I left those spirits, and pursued
When from their game of dice men separate,
After their courteous greetings joyfully
Now was the hour that wakens fond desire
When we had passed the threshold of the gate
"O thou Almighty Father, who dost make
With equal pace as oxen in the yoke,
We reach'd the summit of the scale, and stood
"Say who is he around our mountain winds,
It was the hour, when of diurnal heat
As much as 'twixt the third hour's close and dawn,
Hell's dunnest gloom, or night unlustrous, dark,
Call to remembrance, reader, if thou e'er
The teacher ended, and his high discourse
Ill strives the will, 'gainst will more wise that strives
The natural thirst, ne'er quench'd but from the well,
Now we had left the angel, who had turn'd
On the green leaf mine eyes were fix'd, like his
Our journey was not slacken'd by our talk,
Singing, as if enamour'd, she resum'd
It was an hour, when he who climbs, had need
While singly thus along the rim we walk'd,
Now was the sun so station'd, as when first
Through that celestial forest, whose thick shade
Soon as the polar light, which never knows
"O Thou!" her words she thus without delay
Mine eyes with such an eager coveting,
"The heathen, Lord! are come!" responsive thus,