Paradiso: Canto XXVI
While I was
doubting for my vision quenched,
of the flame refulgent that had quenched it
Issued a breathing, that attentive made me,
Saying: "While thou
recoverest the sense
seeing which in me thou hast consumed,
'Tis well that speaking thou shouldst compensate it.
Begin then, and
declare to what thy soul
aimed, and count it for a certainty,
Sight is in thee bewildered and not dead;
Because the Lady,
who through this divine
conducteth thee, has in her look
The power the hand of Ananias had."
I said: "As
pleaseth her, or soon or late
the cure come to eyes that portals were
When she with fire I ever burn with entered.
The Good, that
gives contentment to this Court,
Alpha and Omega is of all
The writing that love reads me low or loud."
The selfsame voice,
that taken had from me
terror of the sudden dazzlement,
To speak still farther put it in my thought;
And said: "In
verity with finer sieve
thee to sift; thee it behoveth
To say who aimed thy bow at such a target."
And I: "By
by authority that hence descends,
Such love must needs imprint itself in me;
For Good, so far as
good, when comprehended
straight enkindle love, and so much greater
As more of goodness in itself it holds;
Then to that
Essence (whose is such advantage
every good which out of it is found
Is nothing but a ray of its own light)
elsewhither must the mind be moved
every one, in loving, who discerns
The truth in which this evidence is founded.
Such truth he to my
demonstrates to me the primal love
Of all the sempiternal substances.
The voice reveals
it of the truthful Author,
says to Moses, speaking of Himself,
'I will make all my goodness pass before thee.'
Thou too revealest
it to me, beginning
loud Evangel, that proclaims the secret
Of heaven to earth above all other edict."
And I heard say:
"By human intellect
by authority concordant with it,
Of all thy loves reserve for God the highest.
But say again if
other cords thou feelest,
thee towards Him, that thou mayst proclaim
With how many teeth this love is biting thee."
The holy purpose of
the Eagle of Christ
latent was, nay, rather I perceived
Whither he fain would my profession lead.
recommenced: "All of those bites
have the power to turn the heart to God
Unto my charity have been concurrent.
The being of the
world, and my own being,
death which He endured that I may live,
And that which all the faithful hope, as I do,
forementioned vivid consciousness
drawn me from the sea of love perverse,
And of the right have placed me on the shore.
wherewith embowered is all the garden
the Eternal Gardener, do I love
As much as he has granted them of good."
As soon as I had
ceased, a song most sweet
the heaven resounded, and my Lady
Said with the others, "Holy, holy, holy!"
And as at some keen
light one wakes from sleep
reason of the visual spirit that runs
Unto the splendour passed from coat to coat,
And he who wakes
abhorreth what he sees,
all unconscious is his sudden waking,
Until the judgment cometh to his aid,
So from before mine
eyes did Beatrice
every mote with radiance of her own,
That cast its light a thousand miles and more.
Whence better after
than before I saw,
in a kind of wonderment I asked
About a fourth light that I saw with us.
And said my Lady:
"There within those rays
upon its Maker the first soul
That ever the first virtue did create."
Even as the bough
that downward bends its top
transit of the wind, and then is lifted
By its own virtue, which inclines it upward,
Likewise did I, the
while that she was speaking,
amazed, and then I was made bold
By a desire to speak wherewith I burned.
And I began: "O
apple, that mature
hast been produced, O ancient father,
To whom each wife is daughter and daughter-in-law,
Devoutly as I can I
thou wouldst speak to me; thou seest my wish;
And I, to hear thee quickly, speak it not."
animal, when covered, struggles
that his impulse needs must be apparent,
By reason of the wrappage following it;
And in like manner
the primeval soul
clear to me athwart its covering
How jubilant it was to give me pleasure.
"Without thy uttering it to me,
inclination better I discern
Than thou whatever thing is surest to thee;
For I behold it in
the truthful mirror,
of Himself all things parhelion makes,
And none makes Him parhelion of itself.
Thou fain wouldst
hear how long ago God placed me
the lofty garden, where this Lady
Unto so long a stairway thee disposed.
And how long to
mine eyes it was a pleasure,
of the great disdain the proper cause,
And the language that I used and that I made.
Now, son of mine,
the tasting of the tree
in itself was cause of so great exile,
But solely the o'erstepping of the bounds.
There, whence thy
Lady moved Virgilius,
thousand and three hundred and two circuits
Made by the sun, this Council I desired;
And him I saw
return to all the lights
his highway nine hundred times and thirty,
Whilst I upon the earth was tarrying.
The language that I
spake was quite extinct
that in the work interminable
The people under Nimrod were employed;
result of reasoning
of human pleasure that doth change,
Obedient to the heavens) was durable.
A natural action is
it that man speaks;
whether thus or thus, doth nature leave
To your own art, as seemeth best to you.
Ere I descended to
the infernal anguish,
was on earth the name of the Chief Good,
From whom comes all the joy that wraps me round
'Eli' he then was
called, and that is proper,
the use of men is like a leaf
On bough, which goeth and another cometh.
Upon the mount that
highest o'er the wave
was I, in life or pure or sinful,
From the first hour to that which is the second,
As the sun changes
quadrant, to the sixth."