Home      Back to Trinity 5





Dante's Divine Comedy

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 vii


121   Wedged in the slime, they say: 'We had been sullen
122   in the sweet air that's gladdened by the sun;
123   we bore the mist of sluggishness in us:
124   now we are bitter in the blackened mud.'
125   This hymn they have to gurgle in their gullets,
126   because they cannot speak it in full words.
127   And so, between the dry shore and the swamp,
128   we circled much of that disgusting pond,
129   our eyes upon the swallowers of slime.



Canto xviii


91   Just as of old Ismenus and Asopus,
92   at night, along their banks, saw crowds and clamor
93   whenever Thebans had to summon Bacchus,
94   such was the arching crowd that curved around
95   that circle, driven on, as I made out,
96   by righteous will as well as by just love.
97   Soon all that mighty throng drew near us, for
98   they ran and ran; and two, in front of them,
99   who wept, were crying: In her journey, Mary
100   made haste to reach the mountain, and, in order
101   to conquer Lerida, first Caesar thrust
102   against Marseilles, and then to Spain he rushed.
103   Following them, the others cried: Quick, quick,
104   lest time be lost through insufficient love;
105   where urge for good is keen, grace finds new green.
106   O people in whom eager fervor now
107   may compensate for sloth and negligence
108   you showed in doing good half-heartedly,
109   he who's alive, and surely I don't lie
110   to you would climb above as soon as he
111   has seen the sun shed light on us again;
112   then, tell us where the passage lies at hand.
113   My guide said this. One of the souls replied:
114   Come, follow us and you will find the gap.
115   We are so fully anxious to advance
116   we cannot halt; and do forgive us, should
117   you take our penance for discourtesy.
118   I was St. Zeno's abbot in Verona
119   under the rule of valiant Barbarossa,
120   of whom Milan still speaks with so much sorrow.
121   And there is one with one foot in the grave,
122   who soon will weep over that monastery,
123   lamenting that he once had power there,
124   because, in place of its true shepherd, he
125   put one who was unsound of body and,
126   still more, of mind, and born in sin-his son.
127   I don't know if he said more or was silent
128   he had already raced so far beyond us;
129   but I heard this much and was pleased to hear it.
130   And he who was my help in every need
131   said: Turn around: see those two coming they
132   whose words mock sloth. And I heard those two say
133   behind all of the rest: The ones for whom
134   the sea parted were dead before the Jordan
135   saw those who had inherited its lands;
136   and those who did not suffer trials until
137   the end together with Anchises' son
138   gave themselves up to life without renown.