Paradiso: Canto XXVII
"Glory be to the
Father, to the Son,
Holy Ghost!" all Paradise began,
So that the melody inebriate made me.
What I beheld
seemed unto me a smile
the universe; for my inebriation
Found entrance through the hearing and the sight.
O joy! O gladness
perfect life of love and peacefulness!
O riches without hankering secure!
Before mine eyes
were standing the four torches
and the one that first had come
Began to make itself more luminous;
And even such in
semblance it became
Jupiter would become, if he and Mars
Were birds, and they should interchange their feathers.
which here distributeth
and service, in the blessed choir
Had silence upon every side imposed.
When I heard say:
"If I my colour change,
not at it; for while I am speaking
Thou shalt behold all these their colour change.
He who usurps upon
the earth my place,
place, my place, which vacant has become
Before the presence of the Son of God,
Has of my cemetery
made a sewer
blood and stench, whereby the Perverse One,
Who fell from here, below there is appeased!"
With the same
colour which, through sun adverse,
the clouds at evening or at morn,
Beheld I then the whole of heaven suffused.
And as a modest
woman, who abides
of herself, and at another's failing,
From listening only, timorous becomes,
Even thus did
Beatrice change countenance;
I believe in heaven was such eclipse,
When suffered the supreme Omnipotence;
proceeded forth his words
voice so much transmuted from itself,
The very countenance was not more changed.
"The spouse of
Christ has never nurtured been
blood of mine, of Linus and of Cletus,
To be made use of in acquest of gold;
But in acquest of
this delightful life
and Pius, Urban and Calixtus,
After much lamentation, shed their blood.
Our purpose was
not, that on the right hand
our successors should in part be seated
The Christian folk, in part upon the other;
Nor that the keys
which were to me confided
e'er become the escutcheon on a banner,
That should wage war on those who are baptized;
Nor I be made the
figure of a seal
privileges venal and mendacious,
Whereat I often redden and flash with fire.
In garb of
shepherds the rapacious wolves
seen from here above o'er all the pastures!
O wrath of God, why dost thou slumber still?
To drink our blood
the Caorsines and Gascons
making ready. O thou good beginning,
Unto how vile an end must thou needs fall!
But the high
Providence, that with Scipio
Rome the glory of the world defended,
Will speedily bring aid, as I conceive;
And thou, my son,
who by thy mortal weight
down return again, open thy mouth;
What I conceal not, do not thou conceal."
As with its frozen
vapours downward falls
flakes our atmosphere, what time the horn
Of the celestial Goat doth touch the sun,
Upward in such
array saw I the ether
and flaked with the triumphant vapours,
Which there together with us had remained.
My sight was
following up their semblances,
followed till the medium, by excess,
The passing farther onward took from it;
Whereat the Lady,
who beheld me freed
gazing upward, said to me: "Cast down
Thy sight, and see how far thou art turned round."
Since the first
time that I had downward looked,
saw that I had moved through the whole arc
Which the first climate makes from midst to end;
So that I saw the
mad track of Ulysses
Gades, and this side, well nigh the shore
Whereon became Europa a sweet burden.
And of this
threshing-floor the site to me
more unveiled, but the sun was proceeding
Under my feet, a sign and more removed.
My mind enamoured,
which is dallying
all times with my Lady, to bring back
To her mine eyes was more than ever ardent.
And if or Art or
Nature has made bait
catch the eyes and so possess the mind,
In human flesh or in its portraiture,
All joined together
would appear as nought
the divine delight which shone upon me
When to her smiling face I turned me round.
The virtue that her
look endowed me with
the fair nest of Leda tore me forth,
And up into the swiftest heaven impelled me.
Its parts exceeding
full of life and lofty
all so uniform, I cannot say
Which Beatrice selected for my place.
But she, who was
aware of my desire,
the while she smiled so joyously
That God seemed in her countenance to rejoice:
"The nature of that
motion, which keeps quiet
centre and all the rest about it moves,
From hence begins as from its starting point.
And in this heaven
there is no other Where
in the Mind Divine, wherein is kindled
The love that turns it, and the power it rains.
Within a circle
light and love embrace it,
as this doth the others, and that precinct
He who encircles it alone controls.
Its motion is not
by another meted,
all the others measured are by this,
As ten is by the half and by the fifth.
And in what manner
time in such a pot
have its roots, and in the rest its leaves,
Now unto thee can manifest be made.
that mortals dost ingulf
thee so, that no one hath the power
Of drawing back his eyes from out thy waves!
blossoms in mankind the will;
the uninterrupted rain converts
Into abortive wildings the true plums.
innocence are found
in children; afterwards they both
Take flight or e'er the cheeks with down are covered.
One, while he
prattles still, observes the fasts,
when his tongue is loosed, forthwith devours
Whatever food under whatever moon;
Another, while he
prattles, loves and listens
his mother, who when speech is perfect
Forthwith desires to see her in her grave.
Even thus is
swarthy made the skin so white
its first aspect of the daughter fair
Of him who brings the morn, and leaves the night.
Thou, that it may
not be a marvel to thee,
that on earth there is no one who governs;
Whence goes astray the human family.
Ere January be
the centesimal on earth neglected,
Shall these supernal circles roar so loud
The tempest that
has been so long awaited
whirl the poops about where are the prows;
So that the fleet shall run its course direct,
And the true fruit
shall follow on the flower."