Front Page Titles (by Subject) PARADISO XI - The Divine Comedy, vol. 3 (Paradiso) (English trans.)
PARADISO XI - Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, vol. 3 (Paradiso) (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. 3 Paradiso (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1921).
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The Fourth Heaven. The Sun. Intellectual Happiness
The Spirits of Theologians and Philosophers. St. Francis
- O foolish care of mortal men, how full
- of fallacies the syllogisms, which cause thee
- over a nether course to beat thy wings!
- One given to legal learning went his way,
- one medicine, the priesthood one pursued,
- and lordship one, by force or sophistry;
- one practised theft, and public business one,
- one, in the pleasures of the flesh involved,
- was growing weary, one to idleness
- and ease was giving up his life, while I,
- from all these things set free, was up in Heaven
- with Beatrice so gloriously received.
- When each had to the point returned again,
- where in the ring he was before, he stayed there,
- still as a candle in a candle-stick.
- And I within the light which had before
- addressed me, heard one smilingly begin,
- as more and more resplendent it became:
- “As with Its radiance I am shining here,
- so I, by gazing at the Eternal Light,
- learn whence thou tak’st occasion for thy thoughts.
- In doubt, thou wouldst that I repeat, in words
- so clear and so distinct that they will suit
- thine understanding, that late speech of mine,
- wherein I said: ‘Whereon one thriveth well,’
- and where I said: ‘No second hath arisen;’
- for clearly must one needs distinguish here.
- The Providence, which with that counsel rules
- the world, whereby, before it reach the bottom,
- every created sight is overcome,
- in order that the Bride of Him, who cried
- aloud, and spoused her with His blessèd blood,
- might go toward her Delight, safe in herself,
- and unto Him more faithful, too, ordained
- in her behalf two Princes who should serve
- as guides to her on this side and on that.
- One, in his burning love, was all Seraphic;
- the other, by his wisdom, was on earth
- a splendor of Cherubic light. I ’ll speak
- of one of them, for both are spoken of,
- when one is praised, whichever one be taken,
- for to the same end were the deeds of both.
- Between Tupino and the stream that flows
- adown the hill which blest Ubaldo chose,
- a lofty mountain’s fertile slope impends,
- from which Perugia feels at Porta Sole
- both cold and heat; while, for their heavy yoke,
- behind it Gualdo and Nocera weep.
- Out of this hillside, where it breaketh most
- its steepness, to the world a sun was born,
- as out of Ganges this one is at times;
- therefore let him who talks about that place
- not say Ascesi, which were not enough;
- but Orient say, if he would rightly speak.
- Not distant from his rising was he yet,
- when he began to cause the world to feel
- somewhat encouraged by his wondrous virtue;
- for, still a youth, he strove against his father
- for such a Lady’s sake, that unto her,
- as unto death, none open pleasure’s door;
- and then, before his church’s legal court,
- and in his father’s presence, joined himself
- to her; and ever after day by day
- loved her the more intensely. She, bereft
- of her First Husband, slighted and scorned, remained
- unwooed eleven hundred years and more,
- till that one came; nor aught availed to hear,
- that he, whom all the world was fearing, found her
- undaunted, with Amyclas, by his voice;
- nor aught, her being so unmoved and firm,
- that ev’n when Mary stayed beneath it, she
- went up with Christ upon the cross.
- But now,
- lest in my long talk I proceed too darkly,
- take Poverty and Francis as these lovers.
- Their concord and their joyful countenance
- caused wonder, love and gentle looks to end
- in others’ holy thoughts; and so much so,
- that venerable Bernard was the first
- to bare his feet, and run behind such peace,
- and, running, feel that he was slow of foot.
- O wealth unrealized, O fertile goodness!
- Egidio bares his feet, Sylvester his,
- behind the groom, so pleasing is the bride!
- That father, then, and master went his way
- with both his Lady and that family,
- which now was girding on the humble cord;
- nor let base-heartedness weigh down his brow
- for being Peter Bernardòne’s son,
- nor yet for seeming so contemptible
- to others; but revealed his stern resolve
- to Innocent with royal dignity,
- and won from him his Order’s primal seal.
- When Poverty’s belovèd followers
- had grown behind the man, whose wondrous life
- would in the glory of Heaven be better sung,
- the holy purpose of this head of flocks
- was through Honorius by the Holy Spirit
- crowned with a second crown. Thereafter, when,
- by reason of his thirst for martyrdom,
- Christ and the rest, His followers, he had preached
- before the haughty Soldan; and, on finding
- his folk too restive to conversion, not
- to stay in vain, returned to pick the fruit
- of Latin fields; among the savage rocks,
- which ’tween the Tiber and the Arno rise,
- he took from Christ himself the final seal,
- which on his limbs he bore for two whole years.
- When Him it pleased, who granted him such weal,
- to draw him up to that reward, which he,
- by making himself lowly, had deserved,
- to his own brethren, as to rightful heirs,
- he recommended his most precious Lady,
- and ordered them to love her faithfully;
- then from her bosom his illustrious soul
- willed to depart, and to its realm returned,
- and for its body wished no other bier.
- Think now what he was, who, as his companion,
- was worthy deemed to keep the bark of Peter
- true to its course, when sailing on the deep!
- That was our Patriarch; thou, hence, canst see
- that he who follows him as he commands,
- loadeth his vessel with good merchandise.
- And yet his flock, so greedy for new food
- hath grown, that it can hardly fail to scatter
- through various wood and mountain pasture lands;
- and hence, the more his sheep like vagabonds
- wander away, and further go from him,
- emptier of milk do they regain the fold.
- Yet surely some there are, who, dreading harm,
- cling to their shepherd; but so few are these,
- that little cloth will furnish them with cowls.
- If, now, my words have not been indistinct,
- and if thy hearing hath attentive been,
- and thou recall to mind what I have said,
- partly contented will thy wishes be;
- because thou ’lt see the plant whence hewn they are,
- and what the limitation means: ‘Whereon
- one thriveth well, if one go not astray.”’