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The Divine Comedy. Dante Alighieri

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) with illustrations by Gustave Doré (1832-1883)

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) with illustrations by Gustave Doré (1832-1883)

Table of Contents:


Inferno: Canto I
Inferno: Canto II
Inferno: Canto III
Inferno: Canto IV
Inferno: Canto V
Inferno: Canto VI
Inferno: Canto VII
Inferno: Canto VIII
Inferno: Canto IX
Inferno: Canto X
Inferno: Canto XI
Inferno: Canto XII
Inferno: Canto XIII
Inferno: Canto XIV
Inferno: Canto XV
Inferno: Canto XVI
Inferno: Canto XVII
Inferno: Canto XVIII
Inferno: Canto XIX
Inferno: Canto XX
Inferno: Canto XXI
Inferno: Canto XXII
Inferno: Canto XXIII
Inferno: Canto XXIV
Inferno: Canto XXV
Inferno: Canto XXVI
Inferno: Canto XXVII
Inferno: Canto XXVIII
Inferno: Canto XXIX
Inferno: Canto XXX
Inferno: Canto XXXI
Inferno: Canto XXXII
Inferno: Canto XXXIII
Inferno: Canto XXXIV


Purgatorio: Canto I
Purgatorio: Canto II
Purgatorio: Canto III
Purgatorio: Canto IV
Purgatorio: Canto V
Purgatorio: Canto VI
Purgatorio: Canto VII
Purgatorio: Canto VIII
Purgatorio: Canto IX
Purgatorio: Canto X
Purgatorio: Canto XI
Purgatorio: Canto XII
Purgatorio: Canto XIII
Purgatorio: Canto XIV
Purgatorio: Canto XV
Purgatorio: Canto XVI
Purgatorio: Canto XVII
Purgatorio: Canto XVIII
Purgatorio: Canto XIX
Purgatorio: Canto XX
Purgatorio: Canto XXI
Purgatorio: Canto XXII
Purgatorio: Canto XXIII
Purgatorio: Canto XXIV
Purgatorio: Canto XXV
Purgatorio: Canto XXVI
Purgatorio: Canto XXVII
Purgatorio: Canto XXVIII
Purgatorio: Canto XXIX
Purgatorio: Canto XXX
Purgatorio: Canto XXXI
Purgatorio: Canto XXXII
Purgatorio: Canto XXXIII


Paradiso: Canto I
Paradiso: Canto II
Paradiso: Canto III
Paradiso: Canto IV
Paradiso: Canto V
Paradiso: Canto VI
Paradiso: Canto VII
Paradiso: Canto VIII
Paradiso: Canto IX
Paradiso: Canto X
Paradiso: Canto XI
Paradiso: Canto XII
Paradiso: Canto XIII
Paradiso: Canto XIV
Paradiso: Canto XV
Paradiso: Canto XVI
Paradiso: Canto XVII
Paradiso: Canto XVIII
Paradiso: Canto XIX
Paradiso: Canto XX
Paradiso: Canto XXI
Paradiso: Canto XXII
Paradiso: Canto XXIII
Paradiso: Canto XXIV
Paradiso: Canto XXV
Paradiso: Canto XXVI
Paradiso: Canto XXVII
Paradiso: Canto XXVIII
Paradiso: Canto XXIX
Paradiso: Canto XXX
Paradiso: Canto XXXI
Paradiso: Canto XXXII
Paradiso: Canto XXXIII

Inferno: Canto I

Midway upon the journey of our life
  I found myself within a forest dark,
  For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). Illustrated by Gustave Doré (1832-1883)

Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
  What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
  Which in the very thought renews the fear.

So bitter is it, death is little more;
  But of the good to treat, which there I found,
  Speak will I of the other things I saw there.

I cannot well repeat how there I entered,
  So full was I of slumber at the moment
  In which I had abandoned the true way.

But after I had reached a mountain′s foot,
  At that point where the valley terminated,
  Which had with consternation pierced my heart,

Upward I looked, and I beheld its shoulders,
  Vested already with that planet′s rays
  Which leadeth others right by every road.

Then was the fear a little quieted
  That in my heart′s lake had endured throughout
  The night, which I had passed so piteously.

And even as he, who, with distressful breath,
  Forth issued from the sea upon the shore,
  Turns to the water perilous and gazes;

So did my soul, that still was fleeing onward,
  Turn itself back to re-behold the pass
  Which never yet a living person left.

After my weary body I had rested,
  The way resumed I on the desert slope,
  So that the firm foot ever was the lower.

And lo! almost where the ascent began,
  A panther light and swift exceedingly,
  Which with a spotted skin was covered o′er!

And lo! almost where the ascent began, a panther light and swift exceedingly, which with a spotted skin was covered o′er! The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). Illustrated by Gustave Doré (1832-1883)

And never moved she from before my face,
  Nay, rather did impede so much my way,
  That many times I to return had turned.

The time was the beginning of the morning,
  And up the sun was mounting with those stars
  That with him were, what time the Love Divine

At first in motion set those beauteous things;
  So were to me occasion of good hope,
  The variegated skin of that wild beast,

The hour of time, and the delicious season;
  But not so much, that did not give me fear
  A lion′s aspect which appeared to me.

A lion′s aspect which appeared to me. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). Illustrated by Gustave Doré (1832-1883)

He seemed as if against me he were coming
  With head uplifted, and with ravenous hunger,
  So that it seemed the air was afraid of him;

And a she-wolf, that with all hungerings
  Seemed to be laden in her meagreness,
  And many folk has caused to live forlorn!

She brought upon me so much heaviness,
  With the affright that from her aspect came,
  That I the hope relinquished of the height.

And as he is who willingly acquires,
  And the time comes that causes him to lose,
  Who weeps in all his thoughts and is despondent,

E′en such made me that beast withouten peace,
  Which, coming on against me by degrees
  Thrust me back thither where the sun is silent.

While I was rushing downward to the lowland,
  Before mine eyes did one present himself,
  Who seemed from long-continued silence hoarse.

When I beheld him in the desert vast,
  "Have pity on me," unto him I cried,
  "Whiche′er thou art, or shade or real man!"

He answered me: "Not man; man once I was,
  And both my parents were of Lombardy,
  And Mantuans by country both of them.

′Sub Julio′ was I born, though it was late,
  And lived at Rome under the good Augustus,
  During the time of false and lying gods.

A poet was I, and I sang that just
  Son of Anchises, who came forth from Troy,
  After that Ilion the superb was burned.

But thou, why goest thou back to such annoyance?
  Why climb′st thou not the Mount Delectable,
  Which is the source and cause of every joy?"

"Now, art thou that Virgilius and that fountain
  Which spreads abroad so wide a river of speech?"
  I made response to him with bashful forehead.

"O, of the other poets honour and light,
  Avail me the long study and great love
  That have impelled me to explore thy volume!

Thou art my master, and my author thou,
  Thou art alone the one from whom I took
  The beautiful style that has done honour to me.

Behold the beast, for which I have turned back;
  Do thou protect me from her, famous Sage,
  For she doth make my veins and pulses tremble."

Dante and Virgil. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). Illustrated by Gustave Doré (1832-1883)

"Thee it behoves to take another road,"
  Responded he, when he beheld me weeping,
  "If from this savage place thou wouldst escape;

Because this beast, at which thou criest out,
  Suffers not any one to pass her way,
  But so doth harass him, that she destroys him;

And has a nature so malign and ruthless,
  That never doth she glut her greedy will,
  And after food is hungrier than before.

Many the animals with whom she weds,
  And more they shall be still, until the Greyhound
  Comes, who shall make her perish in her pain.

He shall not feed on either earth or pelf,
  But upon wisdom, and on love and virtue;
  ′Twixt Feltro and Feltro shall his nation be;

Of that low Italy shall he be the saviour,
  On whose account the maid Camilla died,
  Euryalus, Turnus, Nisus, of their wounds;

Through every city shall he hunt her down,
  Until he shall have driven her back to Hell,
  There from whence envy first did let her loose.

Therefore I think and judge it for thy best
  Thou follow me, and I will be thy guide,
  And lead thee hence through the eternal place,

Where thou shalt hear the desperate lamentations,
  Shalt see the ancient spirits disconsolate,
  Who cry out each one for the second death;

And thou shalt see those who contented are
  Within the fire, because they hope to come,
  Whene′er it may be, to the blessed people;

To whom, then, if thou wishest to ascend,
  A soul shall be for that than I more worthy;
  With her at my departure I will leave thee;

Because that Emperor, who reigns above,
  In that I was rebellious to his law,
  Wills that through me none come into his city.

He governs everywhere, and there he reigns;
  There is his city and his lofty throne;
  O happy he whom thereto he elects!"

And I to him: "Poet, I thee entreat,
  By that same God whom thou didst never know,
  So that I may escape this woe and worse,

Thou wouldst conduct me there where thou hast said,
  That I may see the portal of Saint Peter,
  And those thou makest so disconsolate."

Then he moved on, and I behind him followed.

Then he moved on, and I behind him followed. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). Illustrated by Gustave Doré (1832-1883)

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