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Dante's Divine Comedy


translation by Dorothy Sayers

Anthony Fleming 1962, Penguin Books, Ltd. London.


Canto XIV:34-60


Beatrice questions the souls concerning the resurrection

and Solomon replies.

34   And then, from the divinest luminary
35   Of the inner ring, I heard a voice arise
3 Mild as the Angel's was, belike, to Mary:
37   "Long as shall last the feast of Paradise,
38   Even so long," it said, "our love shall lace
39   This radiance round us for our festal guise.
40   In brightness with our fervour shall keep pace,
41   Fevour with sight, sight so enlarge the mesh
42   Of its own worth as it hath more of grace;
43   And when we put completeness on afresh,
44   All the more gracious shall our person be,
45   Reclothd in the holy and glorious flesh;
46   Whereby shall grow the unearned gift and free
47   The Highest Good bestows -- that gift of light
48   By which we are enabled Him to see;
49   Hence must we ever win to more of sight,
50   And by more sight more fervour still acquire,
51   And by more fervour radiance still more bright.
52   But, as the living coal which shoots forth fire
53   Outgoes it in candescence, and is found
54   Whole at the heart of it which shape entire,
55   The lustre which already swathes us round
56   Shall be outlustred by the flesh, which long
57   Day after day now moulders underground;
58   Nor shall that light have power to do us wrong,
59   Since for all joys that shall delight us then
60   The body's organs will be rendered strong."