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Upon the stern stood the Celestial Pilot!
In exitu Israel out of Egypt!"
Thus sang they all together in one voice,
Then made he sign of holy rood upon them,
THE TERRESTRIAL PARADISE.
FROM DANTE. PURGATORIO, XXVIII.
LONGING already to search in and round
Withouten more delay I left the bank,
A gently-breathing air, that no mutation
Whereat the tremulous branches readily
Did all of them bow downward towards that side Where its first shadow casts the Holy Mountain;
Yet not from their upright direction bent
But, with full-throated joy, the hours of prime
Even as from branch to branch it gathering swells, Through the pine forests on the shore of Chiassi, When Eolus unlooses the Sirocco.
Already my slow steps had led me on
Could see no more the place where I had entered.
And lo! my farther course cut off a river,
All waters that on earth most limpid are,
Would seem to have within themselves some mixture, Compared with that, which nothing doth conceal,
Although it moves on with a brown, brown current, Under the shade perpetual, that never
Ray of the sun lets in, nor of the moon.
EVEN as the Blessed, in the new covenant,
So, upon that celestial chariot.
A hundred rose ad vocem tanti senis,
They all were saying; Benedictus qui venis," And scattering flowers above and round about, "Manibus o date lilia plenis."
I once beheld, at the approach of day,
And the sun's face uprising, overshadowed, So that, by temperate influence of vapours, eye sustained his aspect for long while;
Thus in the bosom of a cloud of flowers,
With crown of olive o'er a snow-white veil,
Even as the snow, among the living rafters
Blown on and beaten by Sclavonian winds,
And then, dissolving, filters through itself,
Even such I was, without a sigh or tear,
But, when I heard in those sweet melodies Compassion for me, more than had they said, "O wherefore, lady, dost thou thus consume him?"
The ice, that was about my heart congealed,
Confusion and dismay, together mingled,
Forced such a feeble "Yes!" out of my mouth,
Even as a cross-bow breaks, when 't is discharged, Too tensely drawn the bow-string and the bow, And with less force the arrow hits the mark;
So I gave way under this heavy burden,
And the voice, fainting, flagged upon its passage
FROM THE FRENCH OF CHARLES D'ORLEANS XV. CENTURY.
GENTLE Spring!—in sunshine clad,
For Winter maketh the light heart sad,
Winter giveth the fields and the trees, so old,
And the rain, it raineth so fast and cold,
And, snugly housed from the wind and weather
Winter maketh the sun in the gloomy sky
When thy merry step draws near