Inferno: Canto X
Now onward goes,
along a narrow path
the torments and the city wall,
My Master, and I follow at his back.
"O power supreme,
that through these impious circles
me," I began, "as pleases thee,
Speak to me, and my longings satisfy;
The people who are
lying in these tombs,
they be seen? already are uplifted
The covers all, and no one keepeth guard."
And he to me: "They
all will be closed up
from Jehoshaphat they shall return
Here with the bodies they have left above.
Their cemetery have
upon this side
Epicurus all his followers,
Who with the body mortal make the soul;
But in the question
thou dost put to me,
here shalt thou soon be satisfied,
And likewise in the wish thou keepest silent."
And I: "Good
Leader, I but keep concealed
thee my heart, that I may speak the less,
Nor only now hast thou thereto disposed me."
"O Tuscan, thou who
through the city of fire
alive, thus speaking modestly,
Be pleased to stay thy footsteps in this place.
Thy mode of
speaking makes thee manifest
native of that noble fatherland,
To which perhaps I too molestful was."
Upon a sudden
issued forth this sound
out one of the tombs; wherefore I pressed,
Fearing, a little nearer to my Leader.
And unto me he
said: "Turn thee; what dost thou?
there Farinata who has risen;
From the waist upwards wholly shalt thou see him."
I had already fixed
mine eyes on his,
he uprose erect with breast and front
E'en as if Hell he had in great despite.
And with courageous
hands and prompt my Leader
me between the sepulchres towards him,
Exclaiming, "Let thy words explicit be."
As soon as I was at
the foot of his tomb
he eyed me, and, as if disdainful,
Then asked of me, "Who were thine ancestors?"
I, who desirous of
it not, but all revealed to him;
Whereat he raised his brows a little upward.
Then said he:
"Fiercely adverse have they been
me, and to my fathers, and my party;
So that two several times I scattered them."
"If they were
banished, they returned on all sides,"
answered him, "the first time and the second;
But yours have not acquired that art aright."
Then there uprose
upon the sight, uncovered
to the chin, a shadow at his side;
I think that he had risen on his knees.
Round me he gazed,
as if solicitude
had to see if some one else were with me,
But after his suspicion was all spent,
Weeping, he said to
me: "If through this blind
thou goest by loftiness of genius,
Where is my son? and why is he not with thee?"
And I to him: "I
come not of myself;
who is waiting yonder leads me here,
Whom in disdain perhaps your Guido had."
His language and
the mode of punishment
unto me had read his name;
On that account my answer was so full.
suddenly, he cried out: "How
thou,--he had? Is he not still alive?
Does not the sweet light strike upon his eyes?"
When he became
aware of some delay,
I before my answer made, supine
He fell again, and forth appeared no more.
But the other,
magnanimous, at whose desire
had remained, did not his aspect change,
Neither his neck he moved, nor bent his side.
continuing his first discourse,
have that art," he said, "not learned aright,
That more tormenteth me, than doth this bed.
But fifty times
shall not rekindled be
countenance of the Lady who reigns here,
Ere thou shalt know how heavy is that art;
And as thou wouldst
to the sweet world return,
why that people is so pitiless
Against my race in each one of its laws?"
Whence I to him:
"The slaughter and great carnage
have with crimson stained the Arbia, cause
Such orisons in our temple to be made."
After his head he
with a sigh had shaken,
I was not alone," he said, "nor surely
Without a cause had with the others moved.
But there I was
alone, where every one
to the laying waste of Florence,
He who defended her with open face."
"Ah! so hereafter
may your seed repose,"
him entreated, "solve for me that knot,
Which has entangled my conceptions here.
It seems that you
can see, if I hear rightly,
whatsoe'er time brings with it,
And in the present have another mode."
"We see, like those
who have imperfect sight,
things," he said, "that distant are from us;
So much still shines on us the Sovereign Ruler.
When they draw
near, or are, is wholly vain
intellect, and if none brings it to us,
Not anything know we of your human state.
Hence thou canst
understand, that wholly dead
be our knowledge from the moment when
The portal of the future shall be closed."
Then I, as if
compunctious for my fault,
"Now, then, you will tell that fallen one,
That still his son is with the living joined.
And if just now, in
answering, I was dumb,
him I did it because I was thinking
Already of the error you have solved me."
And now my Master
was recalling me,
more eagerly I prayed the spirit
That he would tell me who was with him there.
He said: "With more
than a thousand here I lie;
here is the second Frederick,
And the Cardinal, and of the rest I speak not."
Thereon he hid
himself; and I towards
ancient poet turned my steps, reflecting
Upon that saying, which seemed hostile to me.
He moved along; and
afterward thus going,
said to me, "Why art thou so bewildered?"
And I in his inquiry satisfied him.
preserve what thou hast heard
thyself," that Sage commanded me,
"And now attend here;" and he raised his finger.
"When thou shalt be
before the radiance sweet
her whose beauteous eyes all things behold,
From her thou'lt know the journey of thy life."
Unto the left hand
then he turned his feet;
left the wall, and went towards the middle,
Along a path that strikes into a valley,
Which even up there
unpleasant made its stench.