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Dante's Divine Comedy

PARADISO

from Canto XXV

English Edition, translated by Allen Mandelbaum

from the ELF Presents Website

See their website for other translations.  These translations are not

necessarily the best in English but they are in the public domain.

 

 

Canto XXV: 67-99

 

The Eighth Heaven (Gemini)
 

St. James Questions Dante.

 

67   I said: Hope is the certain expectation
68   of future glory; it is the result
69   of God's grace and of merit we have earned.
 
70   This light has come to me from many stars;
71   but he who first instilled it in my heart
72   was the chief singer of the Sovereign Guide.
 
73   'May those'-he says within his theody
74   'who know Your name, put hope in You'; and if
75   one has my faith, can he not know God's name?
 
76   And just as he instilled, you then instilled
77   with your Epistle, so that I am full
78   and rain again your rain on other souls.
 
79   While I was speaking, in the living heart
80   of that soul-flame there came a trembling flash,
81   sudden, repeated, just as lightning cracks.
 
82   Then it breathed forth: The love with which I still
83   burn for the virtue that was mine until
84   the palm and my departure from the field,
 
85   would have me breathe again to you who take
86   such joy in hope; and I should welcome words
87   that tell what hope has promised unto you.
 
88   And I: The new and ancient Scriptures set
89   the mark for souls whom God befriends; for me,
90   that mark means what is promised us by hope.
 
91   Isaiah says that all of the elect
92   shall wear a double garment in their land:
93   and their land is this sweet life of the blessed.
 
94   And where your brother treats of those white robes,
95   he has with words direct and evident
96   made clear to us Isaiah's revelation.
 
97   At first, as soon as I had finished speaking,
98   Sperent in te was heard above us, all
99   the circling garlands answering this call.