There are souls beneath that water. Fixed in slimethey speak their piece, end it, and start again:'Sullen were we in the air made sweet by the Sun;in the glory of his shining our hearts poureda bitter smoke. Sullen were we begun;sullen we lie forever in this ditch.'This litany they gargle in their throatsas if they sand, but lacked the words and pitch.
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O how far remov'd, Predestination! is thy foot from such As see not the First Cause entire: and ye, O mortal men! be wary how ye judge: For we, who see the Maker, know not yet The number of the chosen; and esteem Such scantiness of knowledge our delight: For all good is, in that primal good, Concentrate; and God's will and ours are one.
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To get back up to the shining world from there My guide and I went into that hidden tunnel, And Following its path, we took no care To rest, but climbed: he first, then I-so far, through a round aperture I saw appear Some of the beautiful things that Heaven bears, Where we came forth, and once more saw the stars.
"The love of God, unutterable and perfect, flows into a pure soul the way light rushes into a transparent object. The more love that it finds, the more it gives itself: so that, as we grow clear and open, the more complete the joy of heaven is. And the more souls who resonate together, the greater the intensity of their love, and, mirror like, each soul reflects the other.
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This miserable way is taken by the sorry souls of those who lived without disgrace and without praise. They now commingle with the coward angels, the company of those who were not rebels nor faithful to their God, but stood apart. The heavens, that their beauty not be lessened, have cast them out, nor will deep Hell receive them - even the wicked cannot glory in them.
They find seven cornices on which penitent and redeemed sinners are cleansed by the grace of God. On the first cornice, that of Pride, the proud are learning humility: Our Father, dwelling in the Heavens, nowise As circumscribed, but as the things above, Thy first effects, are dearer in Thine eyes, Hallowed Thy name be and the Power thereof, By every creature, as right meet it is We praise the tender effluence of Thy love. Let come to us, let come Thy kingdom's peace.
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O you, who in some pretty boat, Eager to listen, have been following Behind my ship, that singing sails along Turn back to look again upon your own shores; Tempt not the deep, lest unawares, In losing me, you yourselves might be lost. The sea I sail has never yet been passed; Minerva breathes, and pilots me Apollo, And Muses nine point out to me the Bears. You other few who have neck uplifted Betimes to the bread of angels upon Which one lives and does not grow sated, Well may you launch your vessel Upon the deep sea.
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That infinite and indescribable good which is there above races as swiftly to love as a ray of light to a bright body. It gives of itself according to the ardor it finds, so that as charity spreads farther the eternal good increases upon it, and the more souls there are who love, up there, the more there are to love well, and the more love they reflect to each other, as in a mirror.
I am the way into the city of woe, I am the way into eternal pain, I am the way to go among the lost. Justice caused my high architect to move, Divine omnipotence created me, The highest wisdom, and the primal love. Before me there were no created things But those that last forever-as do I. Abandon all hope you who enter here.
Through me is the way to the city of woe. Through me is the way to sorrow eternal. Through me is the way to the lost below. Justice moved my architect supernal. I was constructed by divine power, supreme wisdom, and love primordial. Before me no created things were. Save those eternal, and eternal I abide. Abandon all hope, you who enter.
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And he began, "What chance or destiny has brought you here before your final day? And who is he who leads your pilgrimage?" "Up there in life beneath the quiet stars I lost my way, " I answered, "in a valley, before I'd reached the fullness of my age. I turned my shoulders on it yesterday: this soul appeared as I was falling back, and by the road through Hell he leads me home." "Follow your star and you will never fail to find your glorious port, " he said to me
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Amor, ch'al cor gentile ratto s'apprende prese costui de la bella persona che mi fu tolta; e 'l modo ancor m'offende. Amor, che a nullo amato amar perdona, Mi prese del costui piacer se¬ forte, Che, come vedi, ancor non m'abbandona... " "Love, which quickly arrests the gentle heart, Seized him with my beautiful form That was taken from me, in a manner which still grieves me. Love, which pardons no beloved from loving, took me so strongly with delight in him That, as you see, it still abandons me not...
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Here sighs and cries and shrieks of lamentation echoed throughout the starless air of Hell; at first these sounds resounding made me weep: tongues confused, a language strained in anguish with cadences of anger, shrill outcries and raucous groans that joined with sounds of hands, raising a whirling storm that turns itself forever through that air of endless black, like grains of sand swirling when a whirlwind blows. And I, in the midst of all this circling horror, began, "Teacher, what are these sounds I hear? What souls are these so overwhelmed by grief?" And he to me: "This wretched state of being is the fate of those sad souls who lived a life but lived it with no blame and with no praise. They are mixed with that repulsive choir of angels neither faithful nor unfaithful to their God, who undecided stood but for themselves. Heaven, to keep its beauty, cast them out, but even Hell itself would not receive them, for fear the damned might glory over them." And I. "Master, what torments do they suffer that force them to lament so bitterly?" He answered: "I will tell you in few words: these wretches have no hope of truly dying, and this blind life they lead is so abject it makes them envy every other fate. The world will not record their having been there; Heaven's mercy and its justice turn from them. Let's not discuss them; look and pass them by...
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For certain he hath seen all perfectness For certain he hath seen all perfectness. Who among other ladies hath seen mine: They that go with her humbly should combine To thank their God for such peculiar grace. So perfect is the beauty of her face That it begets in no wise any sign Of envy, but draws round her a clear line Of love, and blessed faith, and gentleness. Merely the sight of her inakes all things bow: Not she herself alone is holier Than all: but hers, through her, are raised above. From all her acts such lovely graces flow That truly one may never think of her Without a passion of exceeding love.
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The mind which is created quick to love, is responsive to everything that is pleasing, soon as by pleasure it is awakened into activity. Your apprehensive faculty draws an impression from a real object, and unfolds it within you, so that it makes the mind turn thereto. And if, being turned, it inclines towards it, that inclination is love; that is nature, which through pleasure is bound anew within you.
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