Paradiso: Canto IX
after that thy Charles
me enlightened, he narrated to me
The treacheries his seed should undergo;
But said: "Be still
and let the years roll round;"
I can only say, that lamentation
Legitimate shall follow on your wrongs.
And of that holy
light the life already
to the Sun which fills it turned again,
As to that good which for each thing sufficeth.
Ah, souls deceived,
and creatures impious,
from such good do turn away your hearts,
Directing upon vanity your foreheads!
And now, behold,
another of those splendours
me, and its will to pleasure me
It signified by brightening outwardly.
The eyes of
Beatrice, that fastened were
me, as before, of dear assent
To my desire assurance gave to me.
"Ah, bring swift
compensation to my wish,
blessed spirit," I said, "and give me proof
That what I think in thee I can reflect!"
Whereat the light,
that still was new to me,
of its depths, whence it before was singing,
As one delighted to do good, continued:
"Within that region
of the land depraved
Italy, that lies between Rialto
And fountain-heads of Brenta and of Piava,
Rises a hill, and
mounts not very high,
descended formerly a torch
That made upon that region great assault.
Out of one root
were born both I and it;
was I called, and here I shine
Because the splendour of this star o'ercame me.
But gladly to
myself the cause I pardon
my allotment, and it does not grieve me;
Which would perhaps seem strong unto your vulgar.
Of this so luculent
and precious jewel,
of our heaven is nearest unto me,
Great fame remained; and ere it die away
This hundredth year
shall yet quintupled be.
if man ought to make him excellent,
So that another life the first may leave!
And thus thinks not
the present multitude
in by Adige and Tagliamento,
Nor yet for being scourged is penitent.
But soon 'twill be
that Padua in the marsh
change the water that Vicenza bathes,
Because the folk are stubborn against duty;
And where the Sile
and Cagnano join
lordeth it, and goes with lofty head,
For catching whom e'en now the net is making.
Feltro moreover of
her impious pastor
weep the crime, which shall so monstrous be
That for the like none ever entered Malta.
would be the vat
of the Ferrarese could hold the blood,
And weary who should weigh it ounce by ounce,
Of which this
courteous priest shall make a gift
show himself a partisan; and such gifts
Will to the living of the land conform.
Above us there are
mirrors, Thrones you call them,
which shines out on us God Judicant,
So that this utterance seems good to us."
Here it was silent,
and it had the semblance
being turned elsewhither, by the wheel
On which it entered as it was before.
The other joy,
already known to me,
a thing transplendent in my sight,
As a fine ruby smitten by the sun.
effulgence is acquired above,
here a smile; but down below, the shade
Outwardly darkens, as the mind is sad.
"God seeth all
things, and in Him, blest spirit,
sight is," said I, "so that never will
Of his can possibly from thee be hidden;
Thy voice, then,
that for ever makes the heavens
with the singing of those holy fires
Which of their six wings make themselves a cowl,
Wherefore does it
not satisfy my longings?
I would not wait thy questioning
If I in thee were as thou art in me."
"The greatest of
the valleys where the water
itself," forthwith its words began,
"That sea excepted which the earth engarlands,
shores against the sun
so far, that it meridian makes
Where it was wont before to make the horizon.
I was a dweller on
that valley's shore
Ebro and Magra that with journey short
Doth from the Tuscan part the Genoese.
With the same
sunset and same sunrise nearly
Buggia and the city whence I was,
That with its blood once made the harbour hot.
Folco that people
called me unto whom
name was known; and now with me this heaven
Imprints itself, as I did once with it;
For more the
daughter of Belus never burned,
both Sichaeus and Creusa,
Than I, so long as it became my locks,
Nor yet that
Rodophean, who deluded
by Demophoon, nor yet Alcides,
When Iole he in his heart had locked.
Yet here is no
repenting, but we smile,
at the fault, which comes not back to mind,
But at the power which ordered and foresaw.
Here we behold the
art that doth adorn
such affection, and the good discover
Whereby the world above turns that below.
But that thou
wholly satisfied mayst bear
wishes hence which in this sphere are born,
Still farther to proceed behoveth me.
Thou fain wouldst
know who is within this light
here beside me thus is scintillating,
Even as a sunbeam in the limpid water.
Then know thou,
that within there is at rest
and being to our order joined,
With her in its supremest grade 'tis sealed.
Into this heaven,
where ends the shadowy cone
by your world, before all other souls
First of Christ's triumph was she taken up.
Full meet it was to
leave her in some heaven,
as a palm of the high victory
Which he acquired with one palm and the other,
favoured the first glorious deed
Joshua upon the Holy Land,
That little stirs the memory of the Pope.
Thy city, which an
offshoot is of him
first upon his Maker turned his back,
And whose ambition is so sorely wept,
Brings forth and
scatters the accursed flower
both the sheep and lambs hath led astray
Since it has turned the shepherd to a wolf.
For this the
Evangel and the mighty Doctors
derelict, and only the Decretals
So studied that it shows upon their margins.
On this are Pope
and Cardinals intent;
meditations reach not Nazareth,
There where his pinions Gabriel unfolded;
But Vatican and the
other parts elect
Rome, which have a cemetery been
Unto the soldiery that followed Peter
Shall soon be free
from this adultery."