Short while my head turned thitherward I held

When many lofty towers I seemed to see,

Whereat I: “Master, say, what town is this?” And he to me: “ Because thou peerest forth

Athwart the darkness at too great a distance,

It happens that thou errest in thy fancy. Well shalt thou see, if thou arrivest there,

How much the sense deceives itself by distance;

Therefore a little faster spur thee on.” Then tenderly he took me by the hand,

And said: “Before we farther have advanced,

That the reality may seem to thee Less strange, know that these are not towers, but giants,

And they are in the well, around the bank,

From navel downward, one and all of them.” As, when the fog is vanishing away,

Little by little doth the sight refigure

Whate'er the mist that crowds the air conceals, So, piercing through the dense and darksome air,

More and more near approaching tow'rd the verge,

My error fled, and fear came over me;
Because as on its circular parapets

Montereggione crowns itself with towers,
E'en thus the margin which surrounds the well





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With one half of their bodies turreted

The horrible giants, whom Jove menaces

E'en now from out the heavens when he thunders. 45 And I of one already saw the face,

Shoulders, and breast, and great part of the belly,

And down along his sides both of the arms. Certainly Nature, when she left the making

Of animals like these, did well indeed,

By taking such executors from Mars; And if of elephants and whales she doth not

Repent her, whosoever looketh subtly

More just and more discreet will hold her for it; For where the argument of intellect

Is added unto evil will and power,

No rampart can the people make against it. His face appeared to me as long and large

As is at Rome the pine-cone of Saint Peter's,

And in proportion were the other bones; So that the margin, which an apron was

Down from the middle, showed so much of him

Above it, that to reach up to his hair Three Frieslanders in vain had vaunted them ; For I beheld thirty great palms of him

65 Down from the place where man his mantle buckles.

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“ Raphel mai amech izabi almi,”

Began to clamor the ferocious mouth,

To which were not befitting sweeter psalms. And unto him my Guide: “Soul idiotic,

Keep to thy horn, and vent thyself with that,

When wrath or other passion touches thee. Search round thy neck, and thou wilt find the belt

Which keeps it fastened, O bewildered soul,

And see it, where it bars thy mighty breast.” Then said to me: “He doth himself accuse;

This one is Nimrod, by whose evil thought

One language in the world is not still used. Here let us leave him and not speak in vain ;

For even such to him is every language

As his to others, which to none is known.” Therefore a longer journey did we make,

Turned to the left, and a crossbow-shot off

We found another far more fierce and large. In binding him, who might the master be

I cannot say; but he had pinioned close

Behind the right arm, and in front the other,
With chains, that held him so begirt about

From the neck down, that on the part uncovered
It wound itself as far as the fifth gyre.

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“ This proud one wished to make experiment

Of his own power against the Supreme Jove,"

My Leader said, “whence he has such a guerdon. Ephialtes is his name; he showed great prowess,

What time the giants terrified the Gods ;

The arms he wielded never more he moves.” And I to him: “If possible, I should wish

That of the measureless Briareus

These eyes of mine might have experience.”. Whence he replied: “Thou shalt behold Antæus

Close by here, who can speak and is unbound,

Who at the bottom of all crime shall place us. Much farther yon is he whom thou wouldst see,

And he is bound, and fashioned like to this one,

Save that he seems in aspect more ferocious.” 105 There never was an earthquake of such might

That it could shake a tower so violently,

As Ephialtes suddenly shook himself. Then was I more afraid of death than ever,

For nothing more was needful than the fear, 110

If I had not beheld the manacles.
Then we proceeded farther in advance,

And to Antæus came, who, full five ells
Without the head, forth issued from the cavern.

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“O thou, who in the valley fortunate,

Which Scipio the heir of glory made,

When Hannibal turned back with all his hosts, Once brought’st a thousand lions for thy prey,

And who, hadst thou been at the mighty war

Among thy brothers, some it seems still think 120 The sons of Earth the victory would have gained;

Place us below, nor be disdainful of it,

There where the cold doth lock Cocytus up., Make us not go to Tityus nor Typhæus ;

This one can give of that which here is longed for; 125

Therefore stoop down, and do not curl thy lip. : Still in the world can he restore thy fame;

Because he lives, and still expects long life,

If to itself Grace call him not untimely.” So said the Master ; and in haste the other

His hands extended and took up my Guide,

Hands whose great pressure Hercules once felt. Virgilius, when he felt himself embraced,

Said unto me: “ Draw nigh, that I may take thee”;

Then of himself and me one bundle made.
As seems the Carisenda, to behold

Beneath the leaning side, when goes a cloud
Above it so that opposite it hangs;




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