The day was going, and the tawny sky. was taking earthly creatures from their. weariness, while, alone, the only one, I,. was preparing myself for war, to bear. the kind of journey, the kind of pity,. to be retraced by memory without err0r. O Muses, O high genius, now assist me!.
was taking earthly creatures from their
weariness, while, alone, the only one, I,
the kind of journey, the kind of pity,
to be retraced by memory without err0r.
And you—whatever I saw you’d transcribe:
Your greatness will be obvious here, O memory!
first check my strength, for power enough to bother.
Is your faith that I’ll manage the profound pass justified?
when he was perishable, went to the deathless
world alertly, each sense as alive as the other.
was courteous, out of consideration for the high effect
he’d have on doers and deeds to come, well this
Who else, to be spiritual and imperial
Rome’s father, did empyrean heaven select?
were set up as the sacred locality
where the greatest Peter’s successor dwells.
he learned the things to be the vehicle
for his triumph and papal authority.
for reinforcements for the convictions
that begin the way to salvation’s pinnacle.
I am not Aeneas. I am not Paul.
Worthy? Me? Not in my—or anyone’s—opinion.
It would be the journey, is my fear, of an idiot.
You’re wise. You know me when I don’t speak at all.”
having a new thought, a change of interest,
and now your beginning’s completely uprooted—
reconsidering it to nothing—the mission
that had started out so fast.
replied that magnificent soul’s ghost,
“Timidity’s insulted your soul into submission,
then rolls him away from what he’s honestly tried:
The beast false shadows spook, no true foot farther goes.
I’ll tell you why I came and what I comprehended
that moment that—over you!—I cried.
when a lady beckoned, saintly and spectacular.
Command me anything! I demanded.
She began to speak—to me—gently and low,
as she alone can, in the voice all angels acquire.
whose fame in the world proceeds without flux,
and will proceed for as far as the world will go,
has been to the desert, and is now on
his way back—too many setbacks, no guts.
my fear is I’ve roused to his rescue too late.
Which I’ve heard heaven say about him all along.
Whatever you’ve got that could save him, unlock.
Help him, console me. With his rescued state.
I come from where I cannot wait to be again.
The love that moved me makes me talk.
sing my Lord your praises at His throne.’
She was silent. And then I began:
is why the human race outsoars
all within heaven’s smallest circle’s zone,
that if I’d obeyed them already, I’m tardy.
Merely open to me, whatever they are, your desires.
descending down into this core here
from wideness you want back to so ardently?’
I’ll summarize,’ she answered me,
‘why it is I fearlessly enter the interior.
Able to Harm—that have a hurtful touch.
Nothing else is scary.
that I’m somebody your misery doesn’t upset.
Nor do this firestorm’s flames—they can’t get rough.
so long over this blocked life I send you to,
it broke rules up there too strict to accept.
“He needs you now,” she said—“your faithful
one. And so I entrust him to you.”
got moving, and came to the place
where I sat by Old-Testament Rachel,
and not rescuing the one whose love’s undying,
who for you left behind the crowd’s popular ways?
Or see death attack him by the overflowing river
the sea doesn’t reach, and so can’t take pride in?”
to profit or from pain
than I, once these words were delivered,
all my faith placed in your honest words’ poetry,
which brings you honor, and the listener the same.’
she turned her shining eyes—I could see tears—away,
which got me here the more hastily.
You face a wild beast. I liberate.
(Your shortcut up the lovely hill’s her prey.)
How can a heart give so much cowardice a bed?
Why isn’t freedom and fire all that you radiate?
look after you from the court that is heaven’s,
and so much is promised by what I’ve said?”
and slump, and seal up, and then in the white sunlight
open themselves on their stems, and each straightens,
My heart, like that, filled with such good fire
I began to speak like a man set free tonight:
The nobility of your obedience
to her words (which couldn’t have been truer).
going there, and it’s thanks to your words’ truths.
I’m turned around, I’m back, to where I was at first.
You’re leader, you’re master, you’re teacher to me.”
I told him that. And when he was moved to move,
I entered a profound, savage journey.