Nessus had not yet reached the other side
The boughs not smooth, knotted and crooked-forked;
By men with plough and harrow, none infests
Who drove the Trojans from the Strophades
Clawed feet, and swollen, feathered bellies; they caw
Farther, be aware that now you are in this,
Things which in words would be incredible."
And so I stopped, bewildered. I believe
Came somehow from people who were in hiding places--
Of foliage around us, the thoughts you have
One shoot of a mighty thornbush--and it moaned,
"Why have you torn me? Have you no pity, then?
The souls of serpents." As flames spurt at one side
With words and blood together--at which my hand
Before, O wounded spirit," my sage replied,
Against you. But the fact belief refuses
May make amends by freshening your fame
"Your words have so much sweetness they contrive
Burdensome to you. I am he who possessed
I kept his secrets from almost any other.
Takes its whore's eyes from Caesar's retinue--
So inflamed Augustus that the honors I claimed
Dying would be a way to escape disdain,
I never betrayed my lord, who was so worthy
Still prostrate from the blow that Envy gave."
But speak, and ask him what you wish." And I:
That fills my heart." Therefore my guide began,
And if it pleases you, in just what way
From members such as these." It puffed air hard,
"When the fierce soul has quit the fleshly case
No chosen spot, but where fortune flings it in--
The Harpies, feeding on the foliage, create
His cast-off body--but not for us to dwell
Here we shall drag them, and through the mournful wood
We both were still attentive when it was done,
A hunter mindful of wild boar and the chase
Naked, torn, so hard preseed they seemed to crash
O death!" The other shouted, falling behind,
And then, perhaps because his breath began
Behind them, eager as greyhounds off the leash,
And tore his limbs apart; and then they took
Grieving in vain through places where it was hurt
Had I in your sinful life?" My master said,
Mixed with sad words?" It answered, "O souls--you two
And bring them to the foot of this wretched bush.
The art of Mars will always make her grieve.
And later, when they pitched the city again
And I--I made my own house be my gallows."
Compelled by the love I bear my native place,
From there we proceeded to the boundary line
To make these new things clear: we two now stood
Just as the wood is by the sorrowful moat.
Which Cato trod. O vengeance of God, how much
Of naked souls in herds, all of whom mourned
Supine; some sat hunched up; while others walked
In torment, fewest--but it was they who grieved
Slowly as mountain snow without a wind.
And has his soldiers tramp the accumulation
Sand kindled like tinder under flint, and made
Themselves now here, now there, and beat the brands
That opposed us at the gate: who is that one,
Seems not to ripen him?" He appeared to hear
His smith out, from whom anger made him seize
At Mongibello's black forge; and though he cry,
With all his might--he still will not have had
"O Capaneus, that this unquenched pride
With agony enough to match your ire."
Disdain for God. But as I said, his revilings
Close to the wood." In silence we reached a place
That stream from Bulicame that is shared
Stone lined both banks and the margins on each side;
"Since first we entered through that open gate
As this present stream which quenches in its flood
To fill the appetite these words inspired.
Goverened the world in its age of purity.
Deserted, like some worn thing by time decayed.
Made all there shout whenever her infant wailed.
His gaze on Rome as on his mirror: of fine
The choicest iron comprises all the rest
Every part but the gold head bears a crack,
Into this valley's depth, where as a source
Until, where all descending has been done,
And I to him: "But if this stream does fall
The place is round; although you have come far,
If anything new appears that we haven't seen,
For you are silent regarding one of these,
The boiling of this red water should give the answer.
To cleanse themselves." Then, "Now it is time for us
Behind me: every flame is extinguished here."
Now the firm margin bears us, under the vapor
As Flemings between Wissant and Bruges, to defend
And Paduans on the Brenta do, to stem
Manner those banks were made, except the one
The wood that lay behind us, had I looked back,
At one another at dusk, when daylight fails
While I was being examined by them thus,
On his scorched face as he reached out his arm,
My hand toward his face, and answered his call:
Brunetto Latini turns back to walk instead
"And should you prefer that you and I sit down,
Stops even for an instant, he must lie still
And then rejoin my band who walk in a choir
I bent my head, as in reverance. He said,
"In the bright life above," I answered him,
I turned my back on the place but yesterday.
By which he leads me home." Then he returned:
Well in the fair life. Had my years been more,
But that ungrateful, malignant folk who descend
Will make themselves, for good things that you do,
When the sweet fig in season comes to fruit.
To cleanse their habits from yourself. You'll find
In hunger to consume you--then the grass
By feeding on themselves, and spare the shoot
Of Romans who remained when Florence went wrong,
You would not still endure this banishment
Being fixed inside my memory, has imbued
The way man makes himself eternal; therefore,
And what you tell me of my future, I write--
And knowledge, if I reach her. This much still
My ears find nothing strange in what you have said:
When he heard these words my master's head inclined
And none the less I continued as I had
Most eminence and fame in life? "It is well,"
Would demand speaking more words than we have time--
Priscian trudges in that unhappy band,
One whom the Servant of Servants asked to leave
And muscle. And now, although I would say more,
New souls, with whom I must not be. I live
Seeming to me like one of those who run
Who gains the victory, not one who loses.
I was already where we heard the noise
When three shades bolted from a troop that filed
Like one in our own degenerate city's dress."
Pains me again when I recall it now.
Courtesy. Were it not for the fire let fly
Resumed their old lament--and when they had raced
And parry begin, will eye their grip and circle
Of the ever-moving feet. "If our sandy place
And what we ask, contempt--may our fame inspire
Whose tracks you see me trample, though he goes
The good Gualdrada; his own name used to be
Who teads the sand behind my feet is named
With them, am Jacopo Rusticucci, whose fierce
I would have thrown myself down into the fosse
Would burn and bake me, fear drained the appetite
At your condition--inscribed so deep inside
Such men as you were coming, I always heard
I leave the bitter gall behind, and aspire
"As your soul long may guide your limbs," he said,
Within our city, where they used to dwell.
Only a short time past, whom you see go
O Florence, and sudden profits, have led to pride
Then looked at one another with the look
So little effort to answer another's desire,
To see the beauty of the stars, and relish
They broke their wheel, and as they fled, the blur
And then my master left, I after him;
From so near we could scarcely hear our voices.
Called Acquacheta up high, before it pours
In a single cataract that might have been
A thousand; just so, down a precipitous bank,
Dark water drummed so loudly it would pain
Our ears before much longer. I had a hank
I loosed it from me at my master's command
Some distance off the edge and down the slope,
The strange signal the master just set out,
Not only to observe the action, but see
"What your mind dreams will be before your eyes."
But here I cannot be silent; reader, I vow
That murky air, a shape swam up to instill
His anchor free from shoals it is caught among,
Back from the deep with both arms held up straight.
"Behold the beast that has the pointed tail,
So did my leader address me, then paused to beckon
His head and chest from the deep to rest on land
And he was like a serpent all down his trunk.
Were painted with designs of knots and circlets.
Arachne loomed. The way beached boats are both
In the deep-drinking Germans' land--so lay
And restless in the void where it hung down
Our path a little--as far as the evil beast
Ten steps along the edge to keep well wide
Some people sitting near the open space.
But let your conversation not be long.
The seventh circle's margin alone, and passed
To shield them from the torments, shifting place
Of dogs in summer when they scratch, sometimes
When I grew closer to the people grieved
Each had a purse hung round his neck--adorned
Looking among them , I saw a yellow purse
Depicted in a color whiter than butter.
Said to me: "What are you doing in this pit?
Here on my left. These Florentines din me so
Three goats!'" With that, he twisted his mouth awry
Then, fearing that a longer stay might vex
And found my leader already on our mount,
Must be by such a stairway. The place you take
Feeling the quartan fever coming on--
But shame rebuked me, which makes a servant braver
(But my voice would not come the way I thought)
His two strong arms around me to steady me
Keep your arcs wide; go slowly when descending;
So slowly did Geryon withdraw from shore.
And stretching it out he moved it so it churned
The reins, so that the sky as one still sees
Unfeathering from the melting wax, to hear
Surrounded by it, and realizing I saw
As he wheeled round descending; but that I guessed
From the whirlpool roaring horribly under us.
Because as we descended I heard the din
And I saw then--I had not seen it before--
On every side. As a falcon being sent
"Ah me, you are sinking now!"--and comes down tired,
So Geryon circled and landed at the foot
But vanished like an arrow from the string.
There is a place called Malebolge in Hell,
Right in the center of this malign field yawns
Between the base of that high wall of stone
Where guardian moats succesively are graded
Out from the fortress threshold and across
And its embankement, extending to the pit
From Geryon's back; the poet, leading us,
And new tormentors, with whom the first ditch teemed.
Headed toward us, while those on the other side
Gathered for the Jubliee, had pilgrims cross
Headed toward the Mount were all assigned
And carrying large scourges; and they struck
Lifting their heels! None waited to undergo
Met my eyes: instantly I said, "I have seen
A short way back. That tortured spirit thought
"You, looking at the ground there--surely if those
That brings you sauces of such a pungent kind."
Memories of the former world. It was I
That the obscene history is told. But still,
That there are fewer tongues alive up there
Is evidence to confirm it--just give some thought
"Get moving pimp! This is no place to look
Jutted from the bank; we climbed it without much effort,
Where a space yawning underneath the ridge
Of ill-begottnen souls impress you; they strode
Filing toward us, also driven by lashes.
No tears for pain--how much the look of a king
He passed the isle of Lemnos after the time
The young Hypsipyle there, who'd had the skill
Avenging Medea as well. With him are sealed
Between its jaws." We had now reached the place
The abutment for another arch's base.
Made by their puffing snouts and by their palms
From down below, offensive to behold
The ridge's high point at the arch's crown.
From human privies. Searching it with my eyes
Layman or cleric. Looking up at me, he howled
"Because, if memory serves me properly,
Of Lucca, which is why I eye you more
With which my tongue seeemed never to be cloyed,
So that your eyes may fully observe the face
With shit-rimmed fingers--she is Tha´s, the whore
And let our sight be satisfied with that."