Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dante 28

Dante 28

Blake Dante Hell XXIV Thieves.jpg
Female Figures Attacked by Serpents(See Klonski's Blake's Dante)

Inferno: Canto XXXIV

"'Vexilla Regis prodeunt Inferni'
  Towards us; therefore look in front of thee,"
  My Master said, "if thou discernest him."

As, when there breathes a heavy fog, or when
  Our hemisphere is darkening into night,
  Appears far off a mill the wind is turning,

Methought that such a building then I saw;
  And, for the wind, I drew myself behind
  My Guide, because there was no other shelter.

Now was I, and with fear in verse I put it,
  There where the shades were wholly covered up,
  And glimmered through like unto straws in glass.

Some prone are lying, others stand erect,
  This with the head, and that one with the soles;
  Another, bow-like, face to feet inverts.

When in advance so far we had proceeded,
  That it my Master pleased to show to me
  The creature who once had the beauteous semblance,

He from before me moved and made me stop,
  Saying: "Behold Dis, and behold the place
  Where thou with fortitude must arm thyself."

How frozen I became and powerless then,
  Ask it not, Reader, for I write it not,
  Because all language would be insufficient.

Inferno: Canto XXV

At the conclusion of his words, the thief
  Lifted his hands aloft with both the figs,
  Crying: "Take that, God, for at thee I aim them."

From that time forth the serpents were my friends;
  For one entwined itself about his neck
  As if it said: "I will not thou speak more;"

And round his arms another, and rebound him,
  Clinching itself together so in front,
  That with them he could not a motion make.
(cf Marriage of Heaven and Hell: "Now the sneaking serpent walksIn mild humility.And the just man rages in the wildsWhere lions roam.")

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