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The Divine Comedy by Dante, Illustrated, Paradise, Volume 2

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True love, that ever shows itself as clearIn kindness, as loose appetite in wrong,Silenced that lyre harmonious, and still'dThe sacred chords, that are by heav'n's right handUnwound and tighten'd, flow to righteous prayersShould they not hearken, who, to give me willFor praying, in accordance thus were mute?He hath in sooth good cause for endless grief,Who, for the love of thing that lasteth not,Despoils himself forever of that love.     As oft along the still and pure serene,At nightfall, glides a sudden trail of fire,Attracting with involuntary heedThe eye to follow it, erewhile at rest,And seems some star that shifted place in heav'n,Only that, whence it kindles, none is lost,And it is soon extinct; thus from the horn,That on the dexter of the cross extends,Down to its foot, one luminary ranFrom mid the cluster shone there; yet no gemDropp'd from its foil; and through the beamy listLike flame in alabaster, glow'd its course.     So forward stretch'd him (if of credence aughtOur greater muse may claim) the pious ghostOf old Anchises, in the' Elysian bower,When he perceiv'd his son.  "O thou, my blood!O most exceeding grace divine! to whom,As now to thee, hath twice the heav'nly gateBeen e'er unclos'd?" so spake the light; whence ITurn'd me toward him; then unto my dameMy sight directed, and on either sideAmazement waited me; for in her eyesWas lighted such a smile, I thought that mineHad div'd unto the bottom of my graceAnd of my bliss in Paradise.  ForthwithTo hearing and to sight grateful alike,The spirit to his proem added thingsI understood not, so profound he spake;Yet not of choice but through necessityMysterious; for his high conception scar'dBeyond the mark of mortals.  When the flightOf holy transport had so spent its rage,That nearer to the level of our thoughtThe speech descended, the first sounds I heardWere, "Best he thou, Triunal Deity!That hast such favour in my seed vouchsaf'd!"Then follow'd: "No unpleasant thirst, tho' long,Which took me reading in the sacred book,Whose leaves or white or dusky never change,Thou hast allay'd, my son, within this light,From whence my voice thou hear'st; more thanks to her.Who for such lofty mounting has with plumesBegirt thee.  Thou dost deem thy thoughts to meFrom him transmitted, who is first of all,E'en as all numbers ray from unity;And therefore dost not ask me who I am,Or why to thee more joyous I appear,Than any other in this gladsome throng.The truth is as thou deem'st; for in this hueBoth less and greater in that mirror look,In which thy thoughts, or ere thou think'st, are shown.But, that the love, which keeps me wakeful ever,Urging with sacred thirst of sweet desire,May be contended fully, let thy voice,Fearless, and frank and jocund, utter forthThy will distinctly, utter forth the wish,Whereto my ready answer stands decreed."     I turn'd me to Beatrice; and she heardEre I had spoken, smiling, an assent,That to my will gave wings; and I began"To each among your tribe, what time ye kenn'dThe nature, in whom naught unequal dwells,Wisdom and love were in one measure dealt;For that they are so equal in the sun,From whence ye drew your radiance and your heat,As makes all likeness scant....