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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