Front Page Titles (by Subject) PURGATORIO XI - The Divine Comedy, Vol. 2 (Purgatorio) (English only trans.)
PURGATORIO XI - Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Vol. 2 (Purgatorio) (English only trans.) 
The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri. The Italian Text with a Translation in English Blank Verse and a Commentary by Courtney Langdon, vol. 2 (Purgatorio) (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1920).
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Purgatory. The First Ring. Pride
The Lord’s Prayer. The Proud
- “Our Father, Thou that in the Heavens dost dwell,
- not circumscribed, but for the greater love
- Thou hast for what Thou madest first on high;
- let both Thy Name and Worth be given praise
- by every creature, ev’n as it is meet
- that to Thy loving Spirit thanks be given!
- And may Thy Kingdom’s Peace come down to us,
- since we can not attain it of ourselves,
- for all our striving, save it also come!
- As gladly of their wills Thine Angels make
- a sacrifice to Thee, singing ‘All Hail!’,
- so likewise gladly may men do with theirs!
- Give us this day our daily spirit-food,
- without which, through this bitter wilderness,
- he backward goes, who onward toileth most!
- And as we pardon every one the wrong
- we ’ve suffered, of Thy Mercy do Thou us
- forgive, regarding not what we deserve!
- Our virtue which is easily o’ercome,
- test Thou not through our ancient Enemy,
- but set us free from him, who tempts it so!
- This last request, dear Lord, is not, indeed,
- made for ourselves, who need not make it here,
- but is for their sake who behind us stayed.”
- Thus praying good speed for themselves and us,
- those shades beneath a burden went their way,
- not unlike that whereof one dreams at times,
- unequally tormented, all of them,
- and weary, o’er the first ring, round and round,
- purging away the world’s defiling mists.
- If good things there be always said for us,
- what can be said and done on their behalf
- down here, by those whose will is rooted well?
- Surely one ought to help them wash away
- the stains they brought with them, that they may issue,
- cleansed and unburdened, to the starry spheres.
- “Pray, so may pity and Justice speedily
- unburden you, that ye may move your wings,
- and raise yourselves according to your wish,
- show us on which hand lies the shortest way
- to reach the stairs; and, be there more than one,
- teach us the pass that hath the gentlest slope;
- for, owing to the load of Adam’s flesh,
- which clothes his spirit, he who with me comes
- is slow in climbing, though against his will.”
- As to the words, which in reply they said
- to those which he, whom I was following, spoke,
- it was not evident from whom they came;
- but this was said: “Come with us on the right
- along the bank, and ye shall find the pass,
- which may be climbed by one that’s still alive.
- And were I not prevented by the stone,
- which tames my haughty neck, and forces me
- to keep my face bowed down, at this man here,
- who liveth still and telleth not his name,
- I ’d look, to see if he is one I know,
- and stir his pity for this heavy load.
- Latin I was, and born to a great Tuscan;
- Guglielmo Aldobrandesco was my father;
- I know not if you ever knew his name.
- My forebears’ ancient blood and noble deeds
- caused me to be so arrogant, that I,
- unmindful of our common mother, earth,
- held every man in scorn to such extent,
- I died for it, as well knows Siena’s folk,
- and every child in Campagnàtico.
- I am Omberto; nor to me alone
- doth this work ill, for pride hath with itself
- drawn all my kin into calamity.
- And here, for this, must I needs bear this load
- among the dead, till God be satisfied,
- since I among the living bore it not.”
- Listening, I bowed my face; and one of them,
- not he who had been speaking, writhed around
- under the burden which was hampering him;
- and, having seen and recognized me, called,
- and kept his eyes with effort fixed on me,
- who, as I went along with them, was stooping.
- Then “Oh!” said I, “Art thou not Oderisi,
- the glory of Agobbio and the art,
- which is in Paris called ‘illuminating’?”
- “Brother,” said he, “more smiling are the parchments
- which Franco Bolognese paints; the glory
- is now all his and only partly mine.
- Because of that great longing to excel,
- whereon my heart was set, I certainly
- would not have been so courteous while I lived.
- Here is the forfeit paid for pride like this;
- nor should I be here yet, had it not been
- that, while I still could sin, I turned to God.
- O empty glory of our human powers,
- how short a time green lasts upon its top,
- unless uncultured ages overtake it!
- Once Cimabùe thought that he would hold
- the field in painting, yet the cry is all
- for Giotto now, hence that one’s fame is dark.
- Thus hath one Guido taken from the other
- the glory of our tongue; and he is born,
- perhaps, who from the nest will banish both.
- Worldly repute is but a breath of wind,
- which cometh now from here, and now from there,
- and shifts its name, because its quarter shifts.
- What greater fame shalt thou have — if when old
- thou quit thy flesh, than hadst thou died ere ‘pap’
- and ‘chink’ were dropped, — a thousand years from now?
- For that, if to eternity compared,
- is shorter than the twinkling of an eye
- is to the sky’s most slowly moving sphere.
- All Tuscany proclaimed the fame of him,
- who walks so slowly on the road before me;
- yet hardly is a whisper of him left
- in Siena now, whose governor he was,
- what time the rage of Florence was destroyed,
- which then as haughty was, as abject now.
- Your worldly fame is like the hue of grass,
- which comes and goes, and he discolors it,
- through whom it springs up tender from the ground.”
- And I: “Thy true speech heart’ning me with good
- humility, thou prickst my swollen pride;
- but who is he of whom thou spok’st just now?
- “That” he replied, “is Provenzàn Salvani;
- and here he is, because presumptuously
- he brought all Siena under his control.
- Thus hath he gone, and without rest he goes,
- e’er since he died; who yonder dares too much,
- in satisfaction pays such coin as this.”
- And I then: “If the spirit who delays,
- before repenting, till the verge of life,
- abides below, and cometh not up here,
- unless good prayers assist him, till as long
- a time be passed as he had been alive,
- wherefore hath this man’s coming been vouchsafed?”
- “When in his greatest glory,” he replied,
- “all shame removed, he freely took his stand
- in Siena’s Campo;
- and there, to free a friend
- suffering in Charles’ prison, he brought himself
- to quake in every vein. I ’ll say no more,
- and know that what I say is darkly spoken;
- but so, ere long, will thine own neighbors act,
- that thou ’lt be able to interpret it.
- This deed of his relieved him from those bounds.”