Inferno: Canto VI
At the return of
consciousness, that closed
the pity of those two relations,
Which utterly with sadness had confused me,
New torments I
behold, and new tormented
me, whichsoever way I move,
And whichsoever way I turn, and gaze.
In the third circle
am I of the rain
maledict, and cold, and heavy;
Its law and quality are never new.
Huge hail, and
water sombre-hued, and snow,
the tenebrous air pour down amain;
Noisome the earth is, that receiveth this.
cruel and uncouth,
his three gullets like a dog is barking
Over the people that are there submerged.
Red eyes he has,
and unctuous beard and black,
belly large, and armed with claws his hands;
He rends the spirits, flays, and quarters them.
Howl the rain
maketh them like unto dogs;
side they make a shelter for the other;
Oft turn themselves the wretched reprobates.
perceived us, the great worm!
His mouths he opened, and displayed his tusks;
Not a limb had he that was motionless.
And my Conductor,
with his spans extended,
of the earth, and with his fists well filled,
He threw it into those rapacious gullets.
Such as that dog
is, who by barking craves,
quiet grows soon as his food he gnaws,
For to devour it he but thinks and struggles,
The like became
those muzzles filth-begrimed
Cerberus the demon, who so thunders
Over the souls that they would fain be deaf.
We passed across
the shadows, which subdues
heavy rain-storm, and we placed our feet
Upon their vanity that person seems.
They all were lying
prone upon the earth,
one, who sat upright as soon
As he beheld us passing on before him.
"O thou that art
conducted through this Hell,"
said to me, "recall me, if thou canst;
Thyself wast made before I was unmade."
And I to him: "The
anguish which thou hast
doth draw thee out of my remembrance,
So that it seems not I have ever seen thee.
But tell me who
thou art, that in so doleful
place art put, and in such punishment,
If some are greater, none is so displeasing."
And he to me: "Thy
city, which is full
envy so that now the sack runs over,
Held me within it in the life serene.
You citizens were
wont to call me Ciacco;
the pernicious sin of gluttony
I, as thou seest, am battered by this rain.
And I, sad soul, am
not the only one,
all these suffer the like penalty
For the like sin;" and word no more spake he.
I answered him:
"Ciacco, thy wretchedness
on me so that it to weep invites me;
But tell me, if thou knowest, to what shall come
The citizens of the
any there be just; and the occasion
Tell me why so much discord has assailed it."
And he to me:
"They, after long contention,
come to bloodshed; and the rustic party
Will drive the other out with much offence.
behoves it this one fall
three suns, and rise again the other
By force of him who now is on the coast.
High will it hold
its forehead a long while,
the other under heavy burdens,
Howe'er it weeps thereat and is indignant.
The just are two,
and are not understood there;
and Arrogance and Avarice
Are the three sparks that have all hearts enkindled."
Here ended he his
I to him: "I wish thee still to teach me,
And make a gift to me of further speech.
Tegghiaio, once so worthy,
Rusticucci, Arrigo, and Mosca,
And others who on good deeds set their thoughts,
Say where they are,
and cause that I may know them;
great desire constraineth me to learn
If Heaven doth sweeten them, or Hell envenom."
And he: "They are
among the blacker souls;
different sin downweighs them to the bottom;
If thou so far descendest, thou canst see them.
But when thou art
again in the sweet world,
pray thee to the mind of others bring me;
No more I tell thee and no more I answer."
straightforward eyes he turned askance,
me a little, and then bowed his head;
He fell therewith prone like the other blind.
And the Guide said
to me: "He wakes no more
side the sound of the angelic trumpet;
When shall approach the hostile Potentate,
Each one shall find
again his dismal tomb,
reassume his flesh and his own figure,
Shall hear what through eternity re-echoes."
So we passed onward
o'er the filthy mixture
shadows and of rain with footsteps slow,
Touching a little on the future life.
Wherefore I said:
"Master, these torments here,
they increase after the mighty sentence,
Or lesser be, or will they be as burning?"
And he to me:
"Return unto thy science,
wills, that as the thing more perfect is,
The more it feels of pleasure and of pain.
Albeit that this
true perfection never can attain,
Hereafter more than now they look to be."
Round in a circle
by that road we went,
much more, which I do not repeat;
We came unto the point where the descent is;
There we found
Plutus the great enemy.