Front Page Titles (by Subject) INFERNO X - The Divine Comedy, Vol. 1 (Inferno) (English trans.)
INFERNO X - Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Vol. 1 (Inferno) (English trans.) 
The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. The Italian Text with a Translation in English Blank Verse and a Commentary by Courtney Langdon, vol. 1 (Inferno) (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1918). English version.
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The Sixth Circle. Heresy
- Now wends his way along a narrow path,
- between the torments and the city’s wall,
- my Teacher and, behind his shoulders, I.
- “O lofty Virtue,” I began, “that leadst me
- around the impious circles at thy pleasure,
- converse with me and satisfy my wishes.
- The people that are lying in the tombs,
- could they be seen? For all the lids are raised,
- it seems, and there is no one keeping guard.”
- And he to me: “They all will be locked in,
- when from Jehoshaphat they here return
- together with the bodies they have left
- above. On this side have their burial-place
- with Epicurus all his followers,
- who claim that with the body dies the soul.
- To the request, however, which thou makest
- thou ’lt soon receive a due reply in here,
- as also to the wish thou keepest from me.”
- And I: “Good Leader, I but keep my heart
- concealed from thee, in order to speak little;
- nor hast thou only now thereto disposed me.”
- “O Tuscan, thou that through the town of fire
- dost go alive with such respectful speech,
- in this place be thou pleased to stay thy steps.
- Thy very language makes thee manifest
- a native of that noble fatherland,
- to which I was, perhaps, too great a bane.”
- All of a sudden issued forth these words
- from one of those ark-tombs; hence I, in fear,
- a little closer to my Leader drew.
- And he said: “Turn around; what doest thou?
- See Farinata who has risen there;
- thou ’lt see him wholly from his girdle up.”
- Already had I fixed mine eyes on his;
- and he was standing up with chest and head
- erect, as if he had great scorn for Hell.
- My Leader then with bold and ready hands
- pushed me between the sepulchers toward him,
- saying: “Now let thy words be frank and clear.”
- When I was ’neath his tomb, he looked at me
- awhile, and then, as though disdainfully,
- he asked of me: “Who were thine ancestors?”
- And I, who was desirous to obey,
- hid it not from him, but revealed it all;
- whereat he slightly raised his brows, and said:
- “So bitterly were they opposed to me,
- and to mine ancestors, and to my party,
- that I on two occasions scattered them.”
- “If they were driven out,” I answered him,
- “from all directions they returned both times;
- your people, though, have not well learned that art.”
- A shade then at the tomb’s uncovered mouth
- rose at his side as far up as his chin;
- I think that he had risen upon his knees.
- Round me he looked, as if he wished to see
- whether some other one were with me there;
- but when his doubt had wholly spent itself,
- weeping he said: “If thou through this blind prison
- dost go by reason of highmindedness,
- where is my son? and why is he not with thee?”
- And I to him: “I come not by myself;
- he who is waiting yonder leads me here,
- one whom, perhaps, your Guido held in scorn.”
- The nature of his torment and his words
- had read this person’s name to me already;
- on this account was my reply so full.
- Then of a sudden standing up, he cried:
- “What saidst thou? Held? Is he not still alive?
- Doth not the sweet light strike upon his eyes?”
- When he perceived the short delay I made
- before replying, down upon his back
- he fell, nor outside showed himself again.
- The other one, meanwhile, the great-souled man,
- at whose request I stopped, changed not his looks,
- nor did he move his neck or turn his side.
- And “If,” continuing his previous words,
- he said: “if they have badly learned that art,
- far more doth that torment me than this bed.
- And yet that Lady’s face who ruleth here
- shall not be lighted fifty times again,
- ere thou shalt know how heavy that art is.
- And so mayst thou return to the sweet world,
- pray tell me why so pitiless toward mine
- that people is in every law of theirs?”
- Whence I to him: “The havoc and great slaughter
- which caused the Arbia to be colored red,
- occasion such petitions in our church.”
- When, sighing, he had tossed his head, he said:
- “In this thing I was not alone, nor surely
- had I, without due cause, moved with the rest;
- but I was yonder, where assent was given
- by every one to do away with Florence,
- the only one to openly defend her.”
- “So may your seed eventually repose,”
- I begged of him, “untie for me, I pray,
- the knot which has perplexed my thinking here.
- It seems, if well I hear, that ye behold
- beforehand that which time brings with itself,
- while in the present ye do otherwise.”
- “We see,” he said, “like one whose sight is poor,
- things that are far from us; to that extent
- the Highest Leader shines upon us still.
- When they approach, or are, our intellect
- is wholly vain, and we, if others bring
- no news, know nothing of your human state.
- Hence thou canst understand that wholly dead
- will be our knowledge from that moment on,
- when closed shall be the gateway of the future.”
- Thereat, for I was grieved at my mistake,
- I said: “You ’ll therefore tell that fallen man
- his son is dwelling with the living still;
- and if in answering I was mute just now,
- cause him to know it was because my thoughts
- were struggling with the problem you have solved.”
- And now my Teacher was recalling me;
- with greater haste I therefore begged the spirit
- that he would tell me who was with him there.
- He said: “With o’er a thousand here I lie;
- the second Frederick and the Cardinal
- are here within; I speak not of the rest.”
- He thereupon concealed himself; and I,
- those words recalling which seemed hostile to me,
- back toward the ancient Poet turned my steps.
- The latter moved; and then, as on we went,
- he said to me: “Why art thou so perplexed?”
- And him in what he asked I satisfied.
- “Then let thy mind preserve,” that Sage enjoined,
- “what thou hast heard against thyself; pay now
- attention here!” His finger then he raised.
- “When in the sweet ray’s presence thou shalt be
- of Her whose lovely eyes see everything,
- from her thou ’lt know the journey of thy life.”
- Thereafter to the left he turned his feet;
- we left the wall, and toward the middle went
- along a path which to a valley leads,
- which even up there unpleasant made its stench.