Purgatorio: Canto I
To run o'er better waters hoists its sail
The little vessel of my genius now,
That leaves behind itself a sea so cruel;
And of that second kingdom will I sing
Wherein the human spirit doth purge itself,
And to ascend to heaven becometh worthy.
But let dead Poesy here rise again,
O holy Muses, since that I am yours,
And here Calliope somewhat ascend,
My song accompanying with that sound,
Of which the miserable magpies felt
The blow so great, that they despaired of pardon.
Sweet colour of the oriental sapphire,
That was upgathered in the cloudless aspect
Of the pure air, as far as the first circle,
Unto mine eyes did recommence delight
Soon as I issued forth from the dead air,
Which had with sadness filled mine eyes and breast.
The beauteous planet, that to love incites,
Was making all the orient to laugh,
Veiling the Fishes that were in her escort.
To the right hand I turned, and fixed my mind
Upon the other pole, and saw four stars
Ne'er seen before save by the primal people.
Rejoicing in their flamelets seemed the heaven.
O thou septentrional and widowed site,
Because thou art deprived of seeing these!
When from regarding them I had withdrawn,
Turning a little to the other pole,
There where the Wain had disappeared already,
I saw beside me an old man alone,
Worthy of so much reverence in his look,
That more owes not to father any son.
A long beard and with white hair intermingled
He wore, in semblance like unto the tresses,
Of which a double list fell on his breast.
The rays of the four consecrated stars
Did so adorn his countenance with light,
That him I saw as were the sun before him.
"Who are you? ye who, counter the blind river,
Have fled away from the eternal prison?"
Moving those venerable plumes, he said:
"Who guided you? or who has been your lamp
In issuing forth out of the night profound,
That ever black makes the infernal valley?
The laws of the abyss, are they thus broken?
Or is there changed in heaven some council new,
That being damned ye come unto my crags?"
Then did my Leader lay his grasp upon me,
And with his words, and with his hands and signs,
Reverent he made in me my knees and brow;
Then answered him: "I came not of myself;
A Lady from Heaven descended, at whose prayers
I aided this one with my company.
But since it is thy will more be unfolded
Of our condition, how it truly is,
Mine cannot be that this should be denied thee.
This one has never his last evening seen,
But by his folly was so near to it
That very little time was there to turn.
As I have said, I unto him was sent
To rescue him, and other way was none
Than this to which I have myself betaken.
I've shown him all the people of perdition,
And now those spirits I intend to show
Who purge themselves beneath thy guardianship.
How I have brought him would be long to tell thee.
Virtue descendeth from on high that aids me
To lead him to behold thee and to hear thee.
Now may it please thee to vouchsafe his coming;
He seeketh Liberty, which is so dear,
As knoweth he who life for her refuses.
Thou know'st it; since, for her, to thee not bitter
Was death in Utica, where thou didst leave
The vesture, that will shine so, the great day.
By us the eternal edicts are not broken;
Since this one lives, and Minos binds not me;
But of that circle I, where are the chaste
Eyes of thy Marcia, who in looks still prays thee,
O holy breast, to hold her as thine own;
For her love, then, incline thyself to us.
Permit us through thy sevenfold realm to go;
I will take back this grace from thee to her,
If to be mentioned there below thou deignest."
"Marcia so pleasing was unto mine eyes
While I was on the other side," then said he,
"That every grace she wished of me I granted;
Now that she dwells beyond the evil river,
She can no longer move me, by that law
Which, when I issued forth from there, was made.
But if a Lady of Heaven do move and rule thee,
As thou dost say, no flattery is needful;
Let it suffice thee that for her thou ask me.
Go, then, and see thou gird this one about
With a smooth rush, and that thou wash his face,
So that thou cleanse away all stain therefrom,
For 'twere not fitting that the eye o'ercast
By any mist should go before the first
Angel, who is of those of Paradise.
This little island round about its base
Below there, yonder, where the billow beats it,
Doth rushes bear upon its washy ooze;
No other plant that putteth forth the leaf,
Or that doth indurate, can there have life,
Because it yieldeth not unto the shocks.
Thereafter be not this way your return;
The sun, which now is rising, will direct you
To take the mount by easier ascent."
With this he vanished; and I raised me up
Without a word, and wholly drew myself
Unto my Guide, and turned mine eyes to him.
And he began: "Son, follow thou my steps;
Let us turn back, for on this side declines
The plain unto its lower boundaries."
The dawn was vanquishing the matin hour
Which fled before it, so that from afar
I recognised the trembling of the sea.
Along the solitary plain we went
As one who unto the lost road returns,
And till he finds it seems to go in vain.
As soon as we were come to where the dew
Fights with the sun, and, being in a part
Where shadow falls, little evaporates,
Both of his hands upon the grass outspread
In gentle manner did my Master place;
Whence I, who of his action was aware,
Extended unto him my tearful cheeks;
There did he make in me uncovered wholly
That hue which Hell had covered up in me.
Then came we down upon the desert shore
Which never yet saw navigate its waters
Any that afterward had known return.
There he begirt me as the other pleased;
O marvellous! for even as he culled
The humble plant, such it sprang up again
Suddenly there where he uprooted it.
Purgatorio: Canto II
Already had the sun the horizon reached
Whose circle of meridian covers o'er
Jerusalem with its most lofty point,
And night that opposite to him revolves
Was issuing forth from Ganges with the Scales
That fall from out her hand when she exceedeth;
So that the white and the vermilion cheeks
Of beautiful Aurora, where I was,
By too great age were changing into orange.
We still were on the border of the sea,
Like people who are thinking of their road,
Who go in heart and with the body stay;
And lo! as when, upon the approach of morning,
Through the gross vapours Mars grows fiery red
Down in the West upon the ocean floor,
Appeared to me--may I again behold it!--
A light along the sea so swiftly coming,
Its motion by no flight of wing is equalled;
From which when I a little had withdrawn
Mine eyes, that I might question my Conductor,
Again I saw it brighter grown and larger.
Then on each side of it appeared to me
I knew not what of white, and underneath it
Little by little there came forth another.
My Master yet had uttered not a word
While the first whiteness into wings unfolded;
But when he clearly recognised the pilot,
He cried: "Make haste, make haste to bow the knee!
Behold the Angel of God! fold thou thy hands!
Henceforward shalt thou see such officers!
See how he scorneth human arguments,
So that nor oar he wants, nor other sail
Than his own wings, between so distant shores.
See how he holds them pointed up to heaven,
Fanning the air with the eternal pinions,
That do not moult themselves like mortal hair!"
Then as still nearer and more near us came
The Bird Divine, more radiant he appeared,
So that near by the eye could not endure him,
But down I cast it; and he came to shore
With a small vessel, very swift and light,
So that the water swallowed naught thereof.
Upon the stern stood the Celestial Pilot;
Beatitude seemed written in his face,
And more than a hundred spirits sat within.
"In exitu Israel de Aegypto!"
They chanted all together in one voice,
With whatso in that psalm is after written.
Then made he sign of holy rood upon them,
Whereat all cast themselves upon the shore,
And he departed swiftly as he came.
The throng which still remained there unfamiliar
Seemed with the place, all round about them gazing,
As one who in new matters makes essay.
On every side was darting forth the day.
The sun, who had with his resplendent shafts
From the mid-heaven chased forth the Capricorn,
When the new people lifted up their faces
Towards us, saying to us: "If ye know,
Show us the way to go unto the mountain."
And answer made Virgilius: "Ye believe
Perchance that we have knowledge of this place,
But we are strangers even as yourselves.
Just now we came, a little while before you,
Another way, which was so rough and steep,
That mounting will henceforth seem sport to us."
The souls who had, from seeing me draw breath,
Become aware that I was still alive,
Pallid in their astonishment became;
And as to messenger who bears the olive
The people throng to listen to the news,
And no one shows himself afraid of crowding,
So at the sight of me stood motionless
Those fortunate spirits, all of them, as if
Oblivious to go and make them fair.
One from among them saw I coming forward,
As to embrace me, with such great affection,
That it incited me to do the like.
O empty shadows, save in aspect only!
Three times behind it did I clasp my hands,
As oft returned with them to my own breast!
I think with wonder I depicted me;
Whereat the shadow smiled and backward drew;
And I, pursuing it, pressed farther forward.
Gently it said that I should stay my steps;
Then knew I who it was, and I entreated
That it would stop awhile to speak with me.
It made reply to me: "Even as I loved thee
In mortal body, so I love thee free;
Therefore I stop; but wherefore goest thou?"
"My own Casella! to return once more
There where I am, I make this journey," said I;
"But how from thee has so much time be taken?"
And he to me: "No outrage has been done me,
If he who takes both when and whom he pleases
Has many times denied to me this passage,
For of a righteous will his own is made.
He, sooth to say, for three months past has taken
Whoever wished to enter with all peace;
Whence I, who now had turned unto that shore
Where salt the waters of the Tiber grow,
Benignantly by him have been received.
Unto that outlet now his wing is pointed,
Because for evermore assemble there
Those who tow'rds Acheron do not descend."
And I: "If some new law take not from thee
Memory or practice of the song of love,
Which used to quiet in me all my longings,
Thee may it please to comfort therewithal
Somewhat this soul of mine, that with its body
Hitherward coming is so much distressed."
"Love, that within my mind discourses with me,"
Forthwith began he so melodiously,
The melody within me still is sounding.
My Master, and myself, and all that people
Which with him were, appeared as satisfied
As if naught else might touch the mind of any.
We all of us were moveless and attentive
Unto his notes; and lo! the grave old man,
Exclaiming: "What is this, ye laggard spirits?
What negligence, what standing still is this?
Run to the mountain to strip off the slough,
That lets not God be manifest to you."
Even as when, collecting grain or tares,
The doves, together at their pasture met,
Quiet, nor showing their accustomed pride,
If aught appear of which they are afraid,
Upon a sudden leave their food alone,
Because they are assailed by greater care;
So that fresh company did I behold
The song relinquish, and go tow'rds the hill,
As one who goes, and knows not whitherward;
Nor was our own departure less in haste.
Purgatorio: Canto III
Inasmuch as the instantaneous flight
Had scattered them asunder o'er the plain,
Turned to the mountain whither reason spurs us,
I pressed me close unto my faithful comrade,
And how without him had I kept my course?
Who would have led me up along the mountain?
He seemed to me within himself remorseful;
O noble conscience, and without a stain,
How sharp a sting is trivial fault to thee!
After his feet had laid aside the haste
Which mars the dignity of every act,
My mind, that hitherto had been restrained,
Let loose its faculties as if delighted,
And I my sight directed to the hill
That highest tow'rds the heaven uplifts itself.
The sun, that in our rear was flaming red,
Was broken in front of me into the figure
Which had in me the stoppage of its rays;
Unto one side I turned me, with the fear
Of being left alone, when I beheld
Only in front of me the ground obscured.
"Why dost thou still mistrust?" my Comforter
Began to say to me turned wholly round;
"Dost thou not think me with thee, and that I guide thee?
'Tis evening there already where is buried
The body within which I cast a shadow;
'Tis from Brundusium ta'en, and Naples has it.
Now if in front of me no shadow fall,
Marvel not at it more than at the heavens,
Because one ray impedeth not another
To suffer torments, both of cold and heat,
Bodies like this that Power provides, which wills
That how it works be not unveiled to us.
Insane is he who hopeth that our reason
Can traverse the illimitable way,
Which the one Substance in three Persons follows!
Mortals, remain contented at the 'Quia;'
For if ye had been able to see all,
No need there were for Mary to give birth;
And ye have seen desiring without fruit,
Those whose desire would have been quieted,
Which evermore is given them for a grief.
I speak of Aristotle and of Plato,
And many others;"--and here bowed his head,
And more he said not, and remained disturbed.
We came meanwhile unto the mountain's foot;
There so precipitate we found the rock,
That nimble legs would there have been in vain.
'Twixt Lerici and Turbia, the most desert,
The most secluded pathway is a stair
Easy and open, if compared with that.
"Who knoweth now upon which hand the hill
Slopes down," my Master said, his footsteps staying,
"So that who goeth without wings may mount?"
And while he held his eyes upon the ground
Examining the nature of the path,
And I was looking up around the rock,
On the left hand appeared to me a throng
Of souls, that moved their feet in our direction,
And did not seem to move, they came so slowly.
"Lift up thine eyes," I to the Master said;
"Behold, on this side, who will give us counsel,
If thou of thine own self can have it not."
Then he looked at me, and with frank expression
Replied: "Let us go there, for they come slowly,
And thou be steadfast in thy hope, sweet son."
Still was that people as far off from us,
After a thousand steps of ours I say,
As a good thrower with his hand would reach,
When they all crowded unto the hard masses
Of the high bank, and motionless stood and close,
As he stands still to look who goes in doubt.
"O happy dead! O spirits elect already!"
Virgilius made beginning, "by that peace
Which I believe is waiting for you all,
Tell us upon what side the mountain slopes,
So that the going up be possible,
For to lose time irks him most who most knows."
As sheep come issuing forth from out the fold
By ones and twos and threes, and the others stand
Timidly, holding down their eyes and nostrils,
And what the foremost does the others do,
Huddling themselves against her, if she stop,
Simple and quiet and the wherefore know not;
So moving to approach us thereupon
I saw the leader of that fortunate flock,
Modest in face and dignified in gait.
As soon as those in the advance saw broken
The light upon the ground at my right side,
So that from me the shadow reached the rock,
They stopped, and backward drew themselves somewhat;
And all the others, who came after them,
Not knowing why nor wherefore, did the same.
"Without your asking, I confess to you
This is a human body which you see,
Whereby the sunshine on the ground is cleft.
Marvel ye not thereat, but be persuaded
That not without a power which comes from Heaven
Doth he endeavour to surmount this wall."
The Master thus; and said those worthy people:
"Return ye then, and enter in before us,"
Making a signal with the back o' the hand
And one of them began: "Whoe'er thou art,
Thus going turn thine eyes, consider well
If e'er thou saw me in the other world."
I turned me tow'rds him, and looked at him closely;
Blond was he, beautiful, and of noble aspect,
But one of his eyebrows had a blow divided.
When with humility I had disclaimed
E'er having seen him, "Now behold!" he said,
And showed me high upon his breast a wound.
Then said he with a smile: "I am Manfredi,
The grandson of the Empress Costanza;
Therefore, when thou returnest, I beseech thee
Go to my daughter beautiful, the mother
Of Sicily's honour and of Aragon's,
And the truth tell her, if aught else be told.
After I had my body lacerated
By these two mortal stabs, I gave myself
Weeping to Him, who willingly doth pardon.
Horrible my iniquities had been;
But Infinite Goodness hath such ample arms,
That it receives whatever turns to it.
Had but Cosenza's pastor, who in chase
Of me was sent by Clement at that time,
In God read understandingly this page,
The bones of my dead body still would be
At the bridge-head, near unto Benevento,
Under the safeguard of the heavy cairn.
Now the rain bathes and moveth them the wind,
Beyond the realm, almost beside the Verde,
Where he transported them with tapers quenched.
By malison of theirs is not so lost
Eternal Love, that it cannot return,
So long as hope has anything of green.
True is it, who in contumacy dies
Of Holy Church, though penitent at last,
Must wait upon the outside this bank
Thirty times told the time that he has been
In his presumption, unless such decree
Shorter by means of righteous prayers become.
See now if thou hast power to make me happy,
By making known unto my good Costanza
How thou hast seen me, and this ban beside,
For those on earth can much advance us here."
Purgatorio: Canto IV
Whenever by delight or else by pain,
That seizes any faculty of ours,
Wholly to that the soul collects itself,
It seemeth that no other power it heeds;
And this against that error is which thinks
One soul above another kindles in us.
And hence, whenever aught is heard or seen
Which keeps the soul intently bent upon it,
Time passes on, and we perceive it not,
Because one faculty is that which listens,
And other that which the soul keeps entire;
This is as if in bonds, and that is free.
Of this I had experience positive
In hearing and in gazing at that spirit;
For fifty full degrees uprisen was
The sun, and I had not perceived it, when
We came to where those souls with one accord
Cried out unto us: "Here is what you ask."
A greater opening ofttimes hedges up
With but a little forkful of his thorns
The villager, what time the grape imbrowns,
Than was the passage-way through which ascended
Only my Leader and myself behind him,
After that company departed from us.
One climbs Sanleo and descends in Noli,
And mounts the summit of Bismantova,
With feet alone; but here one needs must fly;
With the swift pinions and the plumes I say
Of great desire, conducted after him
Who gave me hope, and made a light for me.
We mounted upward through the rifted rock,
And on each side the border pressed upon us,
And feet and hands the ground beneath required.
When we were come upon the upper rim
Of the high bank, out on the open slope,
"My Master," said I, "what way shall we take?"
And he to me: "No step of thine descend;
Still up the mount behind me win thy way,
Till some sage escort shall appear to us."
The summit was so high it vanquished sight,
And the hillside precipitous far more
Than line from middle quadrant to the centre.
Spent with fatigue was I, when I began:
"O my sweet Father! turn thee and behold
How I remain alone, unless thou stay!"
"O son," he said, "up yonder drag thyself,"
Pointing me to a terrace somewhat higher,
Which on that side encircles all the hill.
These words of his so spurred me on, that I
Strained every nerve, behind him scrambling up,
Until the circle was beneath my feet.
Thereon ourselves we seated both of us
Turned to the East, from which we had ascended,
For all men are delighted to look back.
To the low shores mine eyes I first directed,
Then to the sun uplifted them, and wondered
That on the left hand we were smitten by it.
The Poet well perceived that I was wholly
Bewildered at the chariot of the light,
Where 'twixt us and the Aquilon it entered.
Whereon he said to me: "If Castor and Pollux
Were in the company of yonder mirror,
That up and down conducteth with its light,
Thou wouldst behold the zodiac's jagged wheel
Revolving still more near unto the Bears,
Unless it swerved aside from its old track.
How that may be wouldst thou have power to think,
Collected in thyself, imagine Zion
Together with this mount on earth to stand,
So that they both one sole horizon have,
And hemispheres diverse; whereby the road
Which Phaeton, alas! knew not to drive,
Thou'lt see how of necessity must pass
This on one side, when that upon the other,
If thine intelligence right clearly heed."
"Truly, my Master," said I, "never yet
Saw I so clearly as I now discern,
There where my wit appeared incompetent,
That the mid-circle of supernal motion,
Which in some art is the Equator called,
And aye remains between the Sun and Winter,
For reason which thou sayest, departeth hence
Tow'rds the Septentrion, what time the Hebrews
Beheld it tow'rds the region of the heat.
But, if it pleaseth thee, I fain would learn
How far we have to go; for the hill rises
Higher than eyes of mine have power to rise."
And he to me: "This mount is such, that ever
At the beginning down below 'tis tiresome,
And aye the more one climbs, the less it hurts.
Therefore, when it shall seem so pleasant to thee,
That going up shall be to thee as easy
As going down the current in a boat,
Then at this pathway's ending thou wilt be;
There to repose thy panting breath expect;
No more I answer; and this I know for true."
And as he finished uttering these words,
A voice close by us sounded: "Peradventure
Thou wilt have need of sitting down ere that."
At sound thereof each one of us turned round,
And saw upon the left hand a great rock,
Which neither I nor he before had noticed.
Thither we drew; and there were persons there
Who in the shadow stood behind the rock,
As one through indolence is wont to stand.
And one of them, who seemed to me fatigued,
Was sitting down, and both his knees embraced,
Holding his face low down between them bowed.
"O my sweet Lord," I said, "do turn thine eye
On him who shows himself more negligent
Then even Sloth herself his sister were."
Then he turned round to us, and he gave heed,
Just lifting up his eyes above his thigh,
And said: "Now go thou up, for thou art valiant."
Then knew I who he was; and the distress,
That still a little did my breathing quicken,
My going to him hindered not; and after
I came to him he hardly raised his head,
Saying: "Hast thou seen clearly how the sun
O'er thy left shoulder drives his chariot?"
His sluggish attitude and his curt words
A little unto laughter moved my lips;
Then I began: "Belacqua, I grieve not
For thee henceforth; but tell me, wherefore seated
In this place art thou? Waitest thou an escort?
Or has thy usual habit seized upon thee?"
And he: "O brother, what's the use of climbing?
Since to my torment would not let me go
The Angel of God, who sitteth at the gate.
First heaven must needs so long revolve me round
Outside thereof, as in my life it did,
Since the good sighs I to the end postponed,
Unless, e'er that, some prayer may bring me aid
Which rises from a heart that lives in grace;
What profit others that in heaven are heard not?"
Meanwhile the Poet was before me mounting,
And saying: "Come now; see the sun has touched
Meridian, and from the shore the night
Covers already with her foot Morocco."
Purgatorio: Canto V
I had already from those shades departed,
And followed in the footsteps of my Guide,
When from behind, pointing his finger at me,
One shouted: "See, it seems as if shone not
The sunshine on the left of him below,
And like one living seems he to conduct him."
Mine eyes I turned at utterance of these words,
And saw them watching with astonishment
But me, but me, and the light which was broken!
"Why doth thy mind so occupy itself,"
The Master said, "that thou thy pace dost slacken?
What matters it to thee what here is whispered?
Come after me, and let the people talk;
Stand like a steadfast tower, that never wags
Its top for all the blowing of the winds;
For evermore the man in whom is springing
Thought upon thought, removes from him the mark,
Because the force of one the other weakens."
What could I say in answer but "I come"?
I said it somewhat with that colour tinged
Which makes a man of pardon sometimes worthy.
Meanwhile along the mountain-side across
Came people in advance of us a little,
Singing the Miserere verse by verse.
When they became aware I gave no place
For passage of the sunshine through my body,
They changed their song into a long, hoarse "Oh!"
And two of them, in form of messengers,
Ran forth to meet us, and demanded of us,
"Of your condition make us cognisant."
And said my Master: "Ye can go your way
And carry back again to those who sent you,
That this one's body is of very flesh.
If they stood still because they saw his shadow,
As I suppose, enough is answered them;
Him let them honour, it may profit them."
Vapours enkindled saw I ne'er so swiftly
At early nightfall cleave the air serene,
Nor, at the set of sun, the clouds of August,
But upward they returned in briefer time,
And, on arriving, with the others wheeled
Tow'rds us, like troops that run without a rein.
"This folk that presses unto us is great,
And cometh to implore thee," said the Poet;
"So still go onward, and in going listen."
"O soul that goest to beatitude
With the same members wherewith thou wast born,"
Shouting they came, "a little stay thy steps,
Look, if thou e'er hast any of us seen,
So that o'er yonder thou bear news of him;
Ah, why dost thou go on? Ah, why not stay?
Long since we all were slain by violence,
And sinners even to the latest hour;
Then did a light from heaven admonish us,
So that, both penitent and pardoning, forth
From life we issued reconciled to God,
Who with desire to see Him stirs our hearts."
And I: "Although I gaze into your faces,
No one I recognize; but if may please you
Aught I have power to do, ye well-born spirits,
Speak ye, and I will do it, by that peace
Which, following the feet of such a Guide,
From world to world makes itself sought by me."
And one began: "Each one has confidence
In thy good offices without an oath,
Unless the I cannot cut off the I will;
Whence I, who speak alone before the others,
Pray thee, if ever thou dost see the land
That 'twixt Romagna lies and that of Charles,
Thou be so courteous to me of thy prayers
In Fano, that they pray for me devoutly,
That I may purge away my grave offences.
From thence was I; but the deep wounds, through which
Issued the blood wherein I had my seat,
Were dealt me in bosom of the Antenori,
There where I thought to be the most secure;
'Twas he of Este had it done, who held me
In hatred far beyond what justice willed.
But if towards the Mira I had fled,
When I was overtaken at Oriaco,
I still should be o'er yonder where men breathe.
I ran to the lagoon, and reeds and mire
Did so entangle me I fell, and saw there
A lake made from my veins upon the ground."
Then said another: "Ah, be that desire
Fulfilled that draws thee to the lofty mountain,
As thou with pious pity aidest mine.
I was of Montefeltro, and am Buonconte;
Giovanna, nor none other cares for me;
Hence among these I go with downcast front."
And I to him: "What violence or what chance
Led thee astray so far from Campaldino,
That never has thy sepulture been known?"
"Oh," he replied, "at Casentino's foot
A river crosses named Archiano, born
Above the Hermitage in Apennine.
There where the name thereof becometh void
Did I arrive, pierced through and through the throat,
Fleeing on foot, and bloodying the plain;
There my sight lost I, and my utterance
Ceased in the name of Mary, and thereat
I fell, and tenantless my flesh remained.
Truth will I speak, repeat it to the living;
God's Angel took me up, and he of hell
Shouted: 'O thou from heaven, why dost thou rob me?
Thou bearest away the eternal part of him,
For one poor little tear, that takes him from me;
But with the rest I'll deal in other fashion!'
Well knowest thou how in the air is gathered
That humid vapour which to water turns,
Soon as it rises where the cold doth grasp it.
He joined that evil will, which aye seeks evil,
To intellect, and moved the mist and wind
By means of power, which his own nature gave;
Thereafter, when the day was spent, the valley
From Pratomagno to the great yoke covered
With fog, and made the heaven above intent,
So that the pregnant air to water changed;
Down fell the rain, and to the gullies came
Whate'er of it earth tolerated not;
And as it mingled with the mighty torrents,
Towards the royal river with such speed
It headlong rushed, that nothing held it back.
My frozen body near unto its outlet
The robust Archian found, and into Arno
Thrust it, and loosened from my breast the cross
I made of me, when agony o'ercame me;
It rolled me on the banks and on the bottom,
Then with its booty covered and begirt me."
"Ah, when thou hast returned unto the world,
And rested thee from thy long journeying,"
After the second followed the third spirit,
"Do thou remember me who am the Pia;
Siena made me, unmade me Maremma;
He knoweth it, who had encircled first,
Espousing me, my finger with his gem."
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