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

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Now had I left those spirits, and pursuedThe steps of my Conductor, when beheldPointing the finger at me one exclaim'd:"See how it seems as if the light not shoneFrom the left hand of him beneath, and he,As living, seems to be led on."  Mine eyesI at that sound reverting, saw them gazeThrough wonder first at me, and then at meAnd the light broken underneath, by turns."Why are thy thoughts thus riveted?"  my guideExclaim'd, "that thou hast slack'd thy pace?  or howImports it thee, what thing is whisper'd here?Come after me, and to their babblings leaveThe crowd. Be as a tower, that, firmly set,Shakes not its top for any blast that blows!He, in whose bosom thought on thought shoots out,Still of his aim is wide, in that the oneSicklies and wastes to nought the other's strength."     What other could I answer save "I come?"I said it, somewhat with that colour ting'dWhich ofttimes pardon meriteth for man.     Meanwhile traverse along the hill there came,A little way before us, some who sangThe "Miserere" in responsive Strains.When they perceiv'd that through my body IGave way not for the rays to pass, their songStraight to a long and hoarse exclaim they chang'd;And two of them, in guise of messengers,Ran on to meet us, and inquiring ask'd:"Of your condition we would gladly learn."     To them my guide.  "Ye may return, and bearTidings to them who sent you, that his frameIs real flesh.  If, as I deem, to viewHis shade they paus'd, enough is answer'd them.Him let them honour, they may prize him well."     Ne'er saw I fiery vapours with such speedCut through the serene air at fall of night,Nor August's clouds athwart the setting sun,That upward these did not in shorter spaceReturn; and, there arriving, with the restWheel back on us, as with loose rein a troop.     "Many," exclaim'd the bard, "are these, who throngAround us: to petition thee they come.Go therefore on, and listen as thou go'st."     "O spirit! who go'st on to blessednessWith the same limbs, that clad thee at thy birth."Shouting they came, "a little rest thy step.Look if thou any one amongst our tribeHast e'er beheld, that tidings of him thereThou mayst report.  Ah, wherefore go'st thou on?Ah wherefore tarriest thou not?  We allBy violence died, and to our latest hourWere sinners, but then warn'd by light from heav'n,So that, repenting and forgiving, weDid issue out of life at peace with God,Who with desire to see him fills our heart."     Then I: "The visages of all I scanYet none of ye remember.  But if aught,That I can do, may please you, gentle spirits!Speak; and I will perform it, by that peace,Which on the steps of guide so excellentFollowing from world to world intent I seek."     In answer he began: "None here distrustsThy kindness, though not promis'd with an oath;So as the will fail not for want of power.Whence I, who sole before the others speak,Entreat thee, if thou ever see that land,Which lies between Romagna and the realmOf Charles, that of thy courtesy thou prayThose who inhabit Fano, that for meTheir adorations duly be put up,By which I may purge off my grievous sins....