From Circe had departed, who concealed me

More than a year there near unto Gaëta,

Or ever yet Æneas named it so,
Nor fondness for my son, nor reverence
For my old father, nor the due affection

95 Which joyous should have made Penelope, Could overcome within me the desire

I had to be experienced of the world,

And of the vice and virtue of mankind; But I put forth on the high open sea

With one sole ship, and that small company

By which I never had deserted been. Both of the shores I saw as far as Spain,

Far as Morocco, and the isle of Sardes,

And the others which that sea bathes round about. 105 I and my company were old and slow

When at that narrow passage we arrived

Where Hercules his landmarks set as signals, That man no farther onward should adventure.

On the right hand behind me left I Seville, 110

And on the other already had left Ceuta. “O brothers, who amid a hundred thousand

Perils,' I said, “have come unto the West,
To this so inconsiderable vigil

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Which is remaining of your senses still,

Be ye unwilling to deny the knowledge,

Following the sun, of the unpeopled world. Consider ye the seed from which ye sprang ;

Ye were not made to live like unto brutes,

But for pursuit of virtue and of knowledge.' So eager did I render my companions,

With this brief exhortation, for the voyage,

That then I hardly could have held them back. And having turned our stern unto the morning,

We of the oars made wings for our mad Alight,

Evermore gaining on the larboard side. Already all the stars of the other pole

The night beheld, and ours so very low

It did not rise above the ocean floor. Five times rekindled and as many quenched

Had been the splendor underneath the moon,

Since we had entered into the deep pass, When there appeared to us a mountain, dim

From distance, and it seemed to me so high

As I had never any one beheld.
Joyful were we, and soon it turned to weeping;

For out of the new land a whirlwind rose,
And smote upon the fore part of the ship.




Three times it made it whirl with all the waters,

At the fourth time it made the stern uplift,

And the prow downward go, as pleased Another, Until the sea above us closed again.”


ALREADY was the flame erect and quiet,

To speak no more, and now departed from us

With the permission of the gentle Poet ; When yet another, which behind it came,

Caused us to turn our eyes upon its top

By a confusëd sound that issued from it. As the Sicilian bull (that bellowed first

With the lament of him, and that was right,

Who with his file had modulated it) Bellowed so with the voice of the afflicted,

That, notwithstanding it was made of brass,

Still it appeared with agony transfixed; Thus, by not having any way or issue

At first from out the fire, to its own language

Converted were the melancholy words.
But afterwards, when they had gathered way

Up through the point, giving it that vibration
The tongue had given them in their passage out,


We heard it said: “O thou, at whom I aim

My voice, and who but now wast speaking Lombard,

Saying, ‘Now go thy way, no more I urge thee,' 21 Because I come perchance a little late,

To stay and speak with me let it not irk thee;

Thou seest it irks not me, and I am burning. If thou but lately into this blind world

25 Hast fallen down from that sweet Latian land,

Wherefrom I bring the whole of my transgression, Say, have the Romagnuoli peace or war,

For I was from the mountains there between

Urbino and the yoke whence Tiber bursts.” 30 I still was downward bent and listening,

When my Conductor touched me on the side,

Saying: “Speak theu: this one a Latian is.”
And I, who had beforehand my reply
In readiness, forthwith began to speak :

35 “O soul, that down below there art concealed, Romagna thine is not and never has been

Without war in the bosom of its tyrants;

But open war I none have left there now.
Ravenna stands as it long years has stood;

The Eagle of Polenta there is brooding,
So that she covers Cervia with her vans.

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