The Divine Comedy PDF By Dante Alighieri

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The Divine Comedy

His glory, by whose might all things are mov’d,
Pierces the universe, and in one part
Sheds more resplendence, elsewhere less.  In heaven,
That large list of his light partakes, was I,
Witness of things, which to relate again
Surpasseth power of him who comes from thence;
For that, so near approaching its desire
Our intellect is to such depth absorb’d,
That memory cannot follow.  Nathless all,
That is my thoughts I of that sacred realm
Could store, shall now be a matter of my song.

     Benign Apollo! this last labor aid,
And make me such a vessel of thy worth,
As thy own laurel claims of me belov’d.
Thus far hath one of steep Parnassus’ brows
Suffice me; henceforth there is need of both
For my remaining enterprise Do thou
Enter into my bosom, and there breathe
So, as when Marsyas by thy hand was dragged
Forth from his limbs unsheath’d.  O power divine!
If thou to me of shine impart so much,
That of that happy realm the shadowed form
Trac’d in my thoughts I may set forth to view,
Thou shalt behold me of thy favor’d tree
Come to the foot, and crown me with leaves;
For to that honor thou, and my high theme
It will fit me.  If but seldom, mighty Sire!
To grace his triumph gathers thence a wreath
Caesar or bard (more shame for human wills
Depraved) joy to the Delphic god must spring
From the Pierian foliage, when one breast
Is with such thirst inspired.  From a small spark
Great flame hath risen: after me perchance
Others with better voices may pray and gain
From the Cirrhaean city answer kind.


MIDWAY upon the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood, where the right way was lost. Ah! how hard a thing it is to tell what this wild and rough and difficult wood was, which in thought renews my fear! So bitter is it that death is little more.

But in order to treat the good that I found in it, I will tell of the other things that I saw there.

I cannot well report how I entered it, so full was I of slumber at that moment when I abandoned the true way.

But after I had reached the foot of a hill, where that valley ended which had pierced my heart with fear, I looked upward, and saw its shoulders clothed already with the rays of the planet which leads man aright along every path.

Then was the fear a little quieted which had lasted in the lake of my heart through the night that I had passed so piteously.

1 6. 1 heard voices, and each appeared to be praying for peace and for mercy to the Lamb of God that taketh sins away. Only “Agnus Dei” 1 were their exordiums: one word there was in all, and one measure; so that there seemed entire concord among them. “Are these spirits, Master, that I hear?” said I. And he to me: “Thou apprehendest truly; and they go loosening the knot of anger.”

“Now who art thou that cleavest our smoke, and speakest of us even as if thou didst still divide the time by calends?” Thus was it spoken by a single voice: whereon my Master said: “Reply, and ask if by this way one goes up.”

And I, “O creature, that art cleansing thyself, in order to return beautiful unto Him who made thee, a marvel shalt thou hear if thou accompaniest me.”

“I will follow thee, for so far as is permitted me,” it replied, “and if the smoke allows not seeing, in its stead hearing shall keep us joined.” Then I began: “With that swathing band which death unbinds I go upward, and I came hither through the infernal anguish; and since God has so enclosed me in His grace that He wills that I should see His court by a mode wholly out of modern usage, conceal not from me who thou wast before thy death, but tell it to me, and tell me if I am going rightly to the pass; and let thy words be our escorts.”

“I was a Lombard, and was called Marco; I had knowledge of the world, and I loved that virtue, toward which everyone has now unbent his bow: for mounting upward thou art going rightly.” Thus he replied, and added: “I pray thee that thou pray for me when thou shalt be above.”

And I to him: “I pledge thee my faith to do that which thou askest of me; but I am bursting inwardly with a doubt, if I free not myself of it; at first it was single; and now it is made double by thy opinion which makes certain to me, here and elsewhere, that with which I couple it.

The world is indeed as utterly deserted by every virtue as thou declarest to me, and is big and covered with iniquity; but I pray that thou point out to me the cause, so that I may see it, and that I may show it to others; for one sets it in the heavens, and one here below.” ‘

A deep sigh which grief wrung into “Ay me!” he first sent forth, and then he began: “Brother, the world is blind, and thou truly comest from it.

Ye who are living refer every cause upward to the heavens only, as though they moved all things with them of necessity.

If this were so, free will would be destroyed in you, and there would be no justice in having joy for good, and grief for evil.

The heavens initiate your movements, I do not say all of them; but, supposing that I said it, light for good and for evil is given to you, and free will, which, though it endure fatigue in the first battles with the heavens, afterwards, if it be well nurtured, overcomes everything.

To a greater force, and to a better nature, ye, free, are subject, and that creates the mind in you, which the heavens have not in their charge.

Therefore if the present world go astray, the cause is in you, in you it is to be sought; and of this I will now be a true informant for thee.

AuthorDante Alighieri
Language English
No. of Pages183
PDF Size9 MB

The Divine Comedy PDF Free Download

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