The Saints in Glory

Translated by Henry Francis Cary Selections from “The Divine Comedy” Paradise: Canto XXXI. IN fashion, as a snow-white rose, lay then Before my view the saintly multitude, Which is his own blood Christ espoused. Meanwhile, That other host, that soar aloft to gaze And celebrate his glory, whom they love, Hovered around; and, like a troop of bees, Amid the vernal sweets alighting now, Now, clustering, where their fragrant labor glows, Flew downward to the mighty flower, or rose From the redundant petals, streaming back Unto the steadfast dwelling of their joy. Faces had they of flame, and wings of gold: The rest was whiter than the driven snow; And, as they flitted down into the flower, From range to range, fanning their plumy loins, Whispered the peace and ardor, which they won From that soft winnowing. Shadow none, the vast Interposition of such numerous flight Cast, from above, upon the flower, or view Obstructed aught. For, through the universe, Wherever merited, celestial light Glides freely, and no obstacle prevents. All there, who reign in safety and in bliss, Ages long past or new, on one sole mark Their love and vision fixed. O trinal beam Of individual star, that charm’st them thus! Vouchsafe one glance to gild our storm below. If the grim brood, from Arctic shores that roamed (Where Helice forever, as she wheels, Sparkles a mother’s fondness on her son), Stood in mute wonder mid the works of Rome, When to their view the Lateran arose In greatness more than earthly; I, who then From human to divine had passed, from time Unto eternity, and out of Florence To justice and to truth, how might I chuse But marvel too? ’Twixt gladness and amaze, In sooth, no will had I to utter aught, Or hear. And, as a pilgrim, when he rests Within the temple of his vow, looks round In breathless awe, and hopes some time to tell Of all its goodly state; e’en so mine eyes Coursed up and down along the living light, Now low, and now aloft, and now around, Visiting every step. Looks I beheld, Where charity in soft persuasion sat; Smiles from within, and radiance from above; And, in each gesture, grace and honor high. So roved my ken, and in its general form All Paradise surveyed.

1285
Sub Title: 
VIII. Selections from “The Divine Comedy”

More from Poet

Translated by Henry Francis Cary Selections from “The Divine Comedy” Paradise: Canto XXXI. IN fashion, as a snow-white rose, lay then Before my view the saintly multitude, Which is his own blood Christ espoused. Meanwhile, That other host, that soar aloft to gaze And celebrate his glory, whom...

Translated by Henry Francis Cary Selections from “The Divine Comedy” Paradise: Canto XIV. AND lo! forthwith there rose up round about A lustre, over that already there; Of equal clearness, like the brightening up Of the horizon. As at evening hour Of twilight, new appearances through heaven...

Translated by Henry Francis Cary Selections from “The Divine Comedy” Paradise: Canto VII. WHAT I have heard, Is plain, thou say’st: but wherefore God this way For our redemption chose, eludes my search. “Brother! no eye of man not perfected, Nor fully ripened in the flame...

Translated by Henry Francis Cary Selections from “The Divine Comedy” Purgatory: Canto XXVII. NOW was the sun so stationed, as when first His early radiance quivers on the heights, Where streamed his Maker’s blood; while Libra hangs Above Hesperian Ebro; and new fires, Meridian, flash on Ganges’...

Translated by Henry Francis Cary Selections from “The Divine Comedy” Purgatory: Canto XVI. “YE, who live, Do so each cause refer to heaven above, E’en as its motion, of necessity, Drew with it all that moves. If this were so, Free choice in you were none; nor justice...