Thursday, January 25, 2007

L'inferno


A heavy peal of thunder came to waken me
Out of the stunning slumber that had bound me,
Startling me up as though rude hands had shaken me.

I rose, and cast my rested eyes around me,
Gazing intent to satisfy my wonder
Concerning the strange place wherein I found me.

Hear truth: I stood on the steep brink whereunder
Runs down the dolorous chasm of the Pit,
Ringing with infinite groans like gathered thunder.

Deep, dense, and by no faintest glimmer lit
It lay, and though I strained my sight to find
Bottom, not one thing could I see in it.

“Down must we go, to that dark world and blind,”
The poet said, turning on me a bleak
Blanched face; “I will go first – come thou behind.”

Then I, who had marked the colour of his cheek:
“How can I go, when even thou art white
For fear, who art wont to cheer me when I’m weak?”

But he: “Not so; the anguish infinite
They suffer yonder paints my countenance
With pity, which thou takest for affright;

Come, we have far to go; let us advance”

Dante Alighieri The Divine Comedy L’inferno

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