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Divine Comedy, Longfellow's Translation, Complete
* So pleases me your courteous demand, I cannot and I will not hide me from you. I am Arnaut, who weep and singing go; Contrite I see the folly of the past, And joyous see the hoped-for day before me. Therefore do I implore you, by that power Which guides you to the summit of the stairs, Be mindful to assuage my suffering! Oft have I seen at some cathedral door A laborer, pausing in the dust and heat, Lay down his burden, and with reverent feet Enter, and cross himself, and on the floor Kneel to repeat his paternoster oer; Far off the noises of the world retreat; The loud vociferations of the street Become an undistinguishable roar. So, as I enter here from day to day, And leave my burden at this minster gate, Kneeling in prayer, and not ashamed to pray, The tumult of the time disconsolate To inarticulate murmurs dies away, While the eternal ages watch and wait. How strange the sculptures that adorn these towers! This crowd of statues, in whose folded sleeves Birds build their nests; while canopied with leaves Parvis and portal bloom like trellised bowers, And the vast minster seems a cross of flowers! But fiends and dragons on the gargoyled eaves Watch the dead Christ between the living thieves, And, underneath, the traitor Judas lowers! Ah! from what agonies of heart and brain, What exultations trampling on despair, What tenderness, what tears, what hate of wrong, What passionate outcry of a soul in pain, Uprose this poem of the earth and air, This mediaeval miracle of song! ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 1004
Author: Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321
Release Date: Aug 1, 1997
Translator: Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882
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