Front Page Titles (by Subject) INFERNO VI - The Divine Comedy, Vol. 1 (Inferno) (Bilingual edition)
INFERNO VI - Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Vol. 1 (Inferno) (Bilingual edition) 
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).
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The Third Circle. Intemperance in Food
- On my return to consciousness, which closed
- before the kindred couple’s piteous case,
- which utterly confounded me with grief,
- new torments all around me I behold,
- and new tormented ones, where’er I move,
- where’er I turn, and wheresoe’er I gaze.
- In the third circle am I, that of rain
- eternal, cursèd, cold and burdensome;
- its measure and quality are never new.
- Coarse hail, and snow, and dirty-colored water
- through the dark air are ever pouring down;
- and foully smells the ground receiving them.
- A wild beast, Cerberus, uncouth and cruel,
- is barking with three throats, as would a dog,
- over the people that are there submerged.
- Red eyes he hath, a dark and greasy beard,
- a belly big, and talons on his hands;
- he claws the spirits, flays and quarters them.
- The rainfall causes them to howl like dogs;
- with one side they make shelter for the other;
- oft do the poor profaners turn about.
- When Cerberus, the mighty worm, perceived us,
- his mouths he opened, showing us his fangs;
- nor had he any limb that he kept still.
- My Leader then stretched out his opened palms,
- and took some earth, and with his fists well filled,
- he threw it down into the greedy throats.
- And like a dog that, barking, yearns for food,
- and, when he comes to bite it, is appeased,
- since only to devour it doth he strain
- and fight; even such became those filthy faces
- of demon Cerberus, who, thundering, stuns
- the spirits so, that they would fain be deaf.
- Over the shades the heavy rain beats down
- we then were passing, as our feet we set
- upon their unreal bodies which seem real.
- They each and all were lying on the ground,
- excepting one, which rose and sat upright,
- when it perceived us pass in front of it.
- “O thou that through this Hell art being led,”
- it said to me, “recall me, if thou canst;
- for thou, before I unmade was, wast made.”
- And I to it: “The anguish thou art in
- perchance withdraws thee from my memory so,
- it doth not seem that thee I ever saw.
- But tell me who thou art, that in so painful
- a place art set, and to such punishment,
- that none, though greater, so repulsive is.”
- And he to me: “Thy town, which is so full
- of envy that the bag o’erflows already,
- owned me when I was in the peaceful life.
- Ciacco, you townsmen used to call me then;
- for my injurious fault of gluttony
- I ’m broken, as thou seest, by the rain;
- nor yet am I, sad soul, the only one,
- for all these here are subject, for like fault,
- unto like pain.” Thereat he spoke no more.
- “Thy trouble, Ciacco,” I replied to him,
- “so burdens me that it invites my tears;
- but tell me, if thou canst, to what will come
- the citizens of our divided town;
- if any one therein is just; and tell me
- the reason why such discord hath assailed her.”
- And he to me then: “After struggling long
- they ’ll come to bloodshed, and the boorish party
- will drive the other out with much offence.
- Then, afterward, the latter needs must fall
- within three suns, and the other party rise,
- by help of one who now is ‘on the fence.’
- A long time will it hold its forehead up,
- keeping the other under grievous weights,
- howe’er it weep therefor, and be ashamed.
- Two men are just, but are not heeded there;
- the three sparks that have set men’s hearts on fire,
- are overweening pride, envy and greed.”
- Herewith he closed his tear-inspiring speech.
- And I to him: “I ’d have thee teach me still,
- and grant the favor of some further talk.
- Farinàta and Tegghiàio, who so worthy were,
- Jàcopo Rusticùcci, Arrigo and Mosca,
- and the others who were set on doing good,
- tell me where these are, and let me know of them;
- for great desire constraineth me to learn
- if Heaven now sweeten, or Hell poison them.”
- And he: “Among the blackest souls are these;
- a different fault weighs toward the bottom each;
- if thou descend so far, thou mayst behold them.
- But when in the sweet world thou art again,
- recall me, prithee, unto others’ minds;
- I tell no more, nor further answer thee.”
- His fixed eyes thereupon he turned askance;
- a while he looked at me, then bowed his head,
- and fell therewith among the other blind.
- Then said my Leader: “He ’ll not wake again
- on this side of the angel-trumpet’s sound.
- What time the hostile Podestà shall come,
- each soul will find again its dismal tomb,
- each will take on again its flesh and shape,
- and hear what through eternity resounds.”
- We thus passed through with slowly moving steps
- the filthy mixture of the shades and rain,
- talking a little of the future life;
- because of which I said: “These torments, Teacher,
- after the Final Sentence will they grow,
- or less become, or burn the same as now.”
- And he to me: “Return thou to thy science,
- which holdeth that the more a thing is perfect,
- so much the more it feels of weal or woe.
- Although this cursèd folk shall nevermore
- arrive at true perfection, it expects
- to be more perfect after, than before.”
- As in a circle, round that road we went,
- speaking at greater length than I repeat,
- and came unto a place where one descends;
- there found we Plutus, the great enemy.