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1 Beaverton Classics- Medieval and Nordic
14 Burnside Classics- Italian Medieval and Renaissance

Paradiso

by

Paradiso Cover

 

 

Excerpt

CANTO

ILa gloria di colui che tutto move

per l'universo penetra, e risplende

in una parte piu e meno altrove.

Nel ciel che piu de la sua luce prende4

fu' io, e vidi cose che ridire

ne sa ne puo chi di la su discende;

perche appressando se al suo disire,7

nostro intelletto si profonda tanto,

che dietro la memoria non puo ire.

Veramente quant' io del regno santo10

ne la mia mente potei far tesoro,

sara ora materia del mio canto.

O buono Appollo, a l'ultimo lavoro13

fammi del tuo valor si fatto vaso,

come dimandi a dar l'amato alloro.

Infino a qui l'un giogo di Parnaso16

assai mi fu; ma or con amendue

m'e uopo intrar ne l'aringo rimaso.

Entra nel petto mio, e spira tue19

si come quando Marsia traesti

de la vagina de le membra sue.

O divina virtu, se mi ti presti22

tanto che l'ombra del beato regno

segnata nel mio capo io manifesti,

vedra'mi al pie del tuo diletto legno25

venire, e coronarmi de le foglie

che la materia e tu mi farai degno.

Si rade volte, padre, se ne coglie28

per triunfare o cesare o poeta,

colpa e vergogna de l'umane voglie,

Proem and Invocation to Apollo. Dante's passing beyond the human, beyond the earth, in heavenward ascent with Beatrice. His wonder. Beatrice on the Empyrean and the order of the universe.

The glory of the One who moves all things

permeates the universe and glows

in one part more and in another less.

I was within the heaven that receives4

more of His light; and I saw things that he

who from that height descends, forgets or can

not speak; for nearing its desired end,7

our intellect sinks into an abyss

so deep that memory fails to follow it.

Nevertheless, as much as I, within10

my mind, could treasure of the holy kingdom

shall now become the matter of my song.

O good Apollo, for this final task

make me the vessel of your excellence,

what you, to merit your loved laurel, ask.

Until this point, one of Parnassus' peaks16

sufficed for me; but now I face the test,

the agon that is left; I need both crests.

Enter into my breast; within me breathe19

the very power you made manifest

when you drew Marsyas out from his limbs' sheath.

O godly force, if you so lend yourself22

to me, that I might show the shadow of

the blessed realm inscribed within my mind,

then you would see me underneath the tree25

you love; there I shall take as crown the leaves

of which my theme and you shall make me worthy.

So seldom, father, are those garlands gathered28

for triumph of a ruler or a poet—

a sign of fault or shame in human wills—

che parturir letizia in su la lieta31

delfica deita dovria la fronda

peneia, quando alcun di se asseta.

Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda:34

forse di retro a me con miglior voci

si preghera perche Cirra risponda.

Surge ai mortali per diverse foci37

la lucerna del mondo; ma da quella

che quattro cerchi giugne con tre croci,

con miglior corso e con migliore stella40

esce congiunta, e la mondana cera

piu a suo modo tempera e suggella.

Fatto avea di la mane e di qua sera43

tal foce, e quasi tutto era la bianco

quello emisperio, e l'altra parte nera,

quando Beatrice in sul sinistro fianco46

vidi rivolta e riguardar nel sole:

aguglia si non li s'affisse unquanco.

E si come secondo raggio suole49

uscir del primo e risalire in suso,

pur come pelegrin che tornar vuole,

cosi de l'atto suo, per li occhi infuso52

ne l'imagine mia, il mio si fece,

e fissi li occhi al sole oltre nostr' uso.

Molto e licito la, che qui non lece55

a le nostre virtu, merce del loco

fatto per proprio de l'umana spece.

Io nol soffersi molto, ne si poco,58

ch'io nol vedessi sfavillar dintorno,

com' ferro che bogliente esce del foco;

e di subito parve giorno a giorno61

essere aggiunto, come quei che puote

avesse il ciel d'un altro sole addorno.

Beatrice tutta ne l'etterne rote64

fissa con li occhi stava; e io in lei

le luci fissi, di la su rimote.

Nel suo aspetto tal dentro mi fei,67

qual si fe Glauco nel gustar de l'erba

che 'l fe consorto in mar de li altri dei.

that when Peneian branches can incite31

someone to long and thirst for them, delight

must fill the happy Delphic deity.

Great fire can follow a small spark: there may34

be better voices after me to pray

to Cyrrha's god for aid--that he may answer.

The lantern of the world approaches mortals37

by varied paths: but on that way which links

four circles with three crosses, it emerges

joined to a better constellation and40

along a better course, and it can temper

and stamp the world's wax more in its own manner.

Its entry from that point of the horizon43

brought morning there and evening here;

almost all of that hemisphere was white--while ours

was dark--when I saw Beatrice turn round46

and left, that she might see the sun: no eagle

has ever stared so steadily at it.

And as a second ray will issue from49

the first and reascend, much like a pilgrim

who seeks his home again, so on her action,

fed by my eyes to my imagination,52

my action drew, and on the sun I set

my sight more than we usually do.

More is permitted to our powers there55

than is permitted here, by virtue of

that place, made for mankind as its true home.

I did not bear it long, but not so briefly58

as not to see it sparkling round about,

like molten iron emerging from the fire;

and suddenly it seemed that day had been61

added to day, as if the One who can

had graced the heavens with a second sun.

The eyes of Beatrice were all intent64

on the eternal circles; from the sun,

I turned aside: I set my eyes on her.

In watching her, within me I was changed67

as Glaucus changed, tasting the herb that made

him a companion of the other sea gods.

Trasumanar significar per verba70

non si poria; pero l'essemplo basti

a cui esperienza grazia serba.

S'i' era sol di me quel che creasti73

novellamente, amor che 'l ciel governi,

tu 'l sai, che col tuo lume mi levasti.

Quando la rota che tu sempiterni76

desiderato, a se mi fece atteso

con l'armonia che temperi e discerni,

parvemi tanto allor del cielo acceso79

de la fiamma del sol, che pioggia o fiume

lago non fece alcun tanto disteso.

La novita del suono e 'l grande lume82

di lor cagion m'accesero un disio

mai non sentito di cotanto acume.

Ond' ella, che vedea me si com' io,85

a quietarmi l'animo commosso,

pria ch'io a dimandar, la bocca aprio

e comincio: "Tu stesso ti fai grosso88

col falso imaginar, si che non vedi

cio che vedresti se l'avessi scosso.

Tu non se' in terra, si come tu credi;91

ma folgore, fuggendo il proprio sito,

non corse come tu ch'ad esso riedi.

"S'io fui del primo dubbio disvestito94

per le sorrise parolette brevi,

dentro ad un nuovo piu fu' inretitoe

dissi: "Gia contento requievi97

di grande ammirazion; ma ora ammiro

com' io trascenda questi corpi levi.

"Ond' ella, appresso d'un pio sospiro,100

li occhi drizzo ver' me con quel sembiante

che madre fa sovra figlio deliro,

e comincio: "Le cose tutte quante103

hanno ordine tra loro, e questo e forma

che l'universo a Dio fa simigliante.

Qui veggion l'alte creature l'orma106

de l'etterno valore, il qual e fine

al quale e fatta la toccata norma.

Passing beyond the human cannot be70

worded: let Glaucus serve as simile—

until grace grant you the experience.

Whether I only was the part of me73

that You created last, You—governing

the heavens--know: it was Your light that raised me.

When that wheel which You make eternal through76

the heavens' longing for You drew me with

the harmony You temper and distinguish,

the fire of the sun then seemed to me79

to kindle so much of the sky, that rain

or river never formed so broad a lake.

The newness of the sound and the great light82

incited me to learn their cause--I was

more keen than I had ever been before.

And she who read me as I read myself,85

to quiet the commotion in my mind,

opened her lips before I opened mine

to ask, and she began: "You make yourself88

obtuse with false imagining; you can

not see what you would see if you dispelled it.

You are not on the earth as you believe;91

but lightning, flying from its own abode,

is less swift than you are, returning home.

"While I was freed from my first doubt by these94

brief words she smiled to me, I was yet caught

in new perplexity. I said: "I was

content already; after such great wonder,97

I rested. But again I wonder how

my body rises past these lighter bodies.

"At which, after a sigh of pity, she100

settled her eyes on me with the same look

a mother casts upon a raving child,

and she began: "All things, among themselves,103

possess an order; and this order is

the form that makes the universe like God.

Here do the higher beings see the imprint106

of the Eternal Worth, which is the end

to which the pattern I have mentioned tends.

Ne l'ordine ch'io dico sono accline109

tutte nature, per diverse sorti,

piu al principio loro e men vicine;

onde si muovono a diversi porti112

per lo gran mar de l'essere, e ciascuna

con istinto a lei dato che la porti.

Questi ne porta il foco inver' la luna;115

questi ne' cor mortali e permotore;

questi la terra in se stringe e aduna;

ne pur le creature che son fore118

d'intelligenza quest' arco saetta,

ma quelle c'hanno intelletto e amore.

La provedenza, che cotanto assetta,121

del suo lume fa 'l ciel sempre quieto

nel qual si volge quel c'ha maggior fretta;

e ora li, come a sito decreto,124

cen porta la virtu di quella corda

che cio che scocca drizza in segno lieto.

Vero e che, come forma non s'accorda127

molte fiate a l'intenzion de l'arte,

perch' a risponder la materia e sorda,

cosi da qesto corso si diparte130

talor la creatura, c'ha podere

di piegar, cosi pinta, in altra parte;

e si come veder si puo cadere133

foco di nube, si l'impeto primo

l'atterra torto da falso piacere.

Non dei piu ammirar, se bene stimo,136

lo tuo salir, se non come d'un rivo

se d'alto monte scende giuso ad imo.

Maraviglia sarebbe in te se, privo139

d'impedimento, giu ti fossi assiso,

com' a terra quiete in foco vivo."

Quinci rivolse inver' lo cielo il viso.142

Within that order, every nature has109

its bent, according to a different station,

nearer or less near to its origin.

Therefore, these natures move to different ports112

across the mighty sea of being, each

given the impulse that will bear it on.

This impulse carries fire to the moon:115

this is the motive force in mortal creatures:

this binds the earth together, makes it one.

Not only does the shaft shot from this bow118

strike creatures lacking intellect, but those

who have intelligence, and who can love.

The Providence that has arrayed all this121

forever quiets--with Its light--that heaven

in which the swiftest of the spheres revolves;

to there, as toward a destined place, we now124

are carried by the power of the bow

that always aims its shaft at a glad mark.

Yet it is true that, even as a shape127

may, often, not accord with art's intent,

since matter may be unresponsive, deaf,

so, from this course, the creature strays at times130

because he has the power, once impelled,

to swerve elsewhere; as lightning from a cloud

is seen to fall, so does the first impulse,133

when man has been diverted by false pleasure,

turn him toward earth. You should--if I am right—

not feel more marvel at your climbing than136

you would were you considering a stream

that from a mountain's height falls to its base.

It would be cause for wonder in you if,139

no longer hindered, you remained below,

as if, on earth, a living flame stood still."

Then she again turned her gaze heavenward. 142

Product Details

ISBN:
9780553212044
Translator:
Mandelbaum, Allen
Author:
Mandelbaum, Allen
Author:
Dante
Author:
Dante Alighieri
Publisher:
Bantam Classics
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
Single Author *
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
Poetry (poetic works by one author)
Subject:
Continental european
Subject:
Anthologies-Miscellaneous International Poetry
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Bantam Classic ed.
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series Volume:
v. 1-2
Publication Date:
19860131
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
6.86 x 4.17 x 1 in 0.5 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Miscellaneous International Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Italian Medieval and Renaissance
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Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Medieval and Renaissance
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
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Paradiso Used Mass Market
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Product details 464 pages Bantam Classics - English 9780553212044 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The Paradiso is a luminous poem of love and light, of optics, angelology, polemics, prayer, prophecy, and transcendent experience. As Dante ascends to the Celestial Rose, in the tenth and final heaven, all the spectacle and splendor of a great poet's vision now becomes accessible to the modern reader in this highly acclaimed, superb dual language edition.
"Synopsis" by , This brilliant new verse translation by Allen Mandelbaum captures the consummate beauty of the third and last part of Dante's Divine Comedy. The Paradiso is a luminous poem of love and light, of optics, angelology, polemics, prayer, prophecy, and transcendent experience. As Dante ascends to the Celestial Rose, in the tenth and final heaven, all the spectacle and splendor of a great poet's vision now becomes accessible to the modern reader in this highly acclaimed, superb dual language edition. With extensive notes and commentary.
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