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Who ever could, e'en with untrammelled
Tell of the Blood
and of the wounds in full
Which now I saw, by many times narrating?
Each tongue would for a certainty fall short
of our speech and memory,
That have small room to comprehend so much.
If were again assembled all the people
Which formerly upon the fateful land
were lamenting for their Blood
Shed by the Romans
and the lingering war
That of the rings made such illustrious spoils,
has recorded, who errs not,
With those who felt the agony
By making counterstand to Robert Guiscard
And all the rest, whose bones are gathered still
, where a renegade
Was each Apulian
, and at Tagliacozzo
Where without arms
the old Alardo
And one his limb transpierced
, and one lopped off,
Should show, it would be nothing to compare
With the Disgusting
mode of the ninth Bolgia
A cask by losing centre-piece or cant
Was never shattered so, as I saw one
Rent from the chin to where one breaketh wind
Between his legs were hanging down his entrails
was visible, and the dismal
That maketh excrement of what is eaten
While I was all absorbed in seeing him,
He looked at me, and opened with his hands
His bosom, saying: "See now how I rend me;
How mutilated, see, is Mahomet
In front of me doth Ali weep
in the face from forelock unto chin
And all the others whom thou here beholdest,
Disseminators of scandal
and of schism
While living were, and therefore are cleft thus.
is behind here, who doth cleave us
Thus cruelly, unto the falchion
Putting again each one of all this ream,
When we have gone around the doleful road;
that our wounds are closed again
Ere any one in front of him repass.
But who art
thou, that musest on the crag,
Perchance to postpone going to the pain
That is adjudged upon thine accusations?"
hath reached him yet, nor guilt doth bring him,"
made reply, "to be tormented;
But to procure
him full experience,
Me, who am dead, behoves it to conduct him
Down here through Hell
, from circle unto circle;
And this is true as that I speak to thee."
More than a hundred were there when they heard him,
Who in the moat stood still to look at me,
Through wonderment oblivious of their torture.
"Now say to Fra Dolcino
, then, to arm
Thou, who perhaps wilt shortly see the sun,
If soon he wish not here to follow me,
So with provisions, that no stress of snow
May give the victory to the Novarese
Which otherwise to gain would not be easy."
After one foot
to go away he lifted,
This word did Mahomet
say unto me,
Then to depart upon the ground he stretched it.
Another one, who had his throat pierced through,
And nose cut off close underneath the brows,
And had no longer but a single ear
Staying to look in wonder with the others,
Before the others did his gullet
Which outwardly was red in every part,
And said: "O thou, whom guilt doth not condemn,
And whom I once saw up in Latian
Unless too great similitude deceive me,
Call to remembrance Pier da Medicina
If e'er thou see again the lovely plain
That from Vercelli
slopes to Marcabo
And make it known to the best two of Fano
To Messer Guido
That if foreseeing here be not in vain,
Cast over from their vessel shall they be,
And drowned near unto the Cattolica
By the betrayal of a tyrant fell.
Between the isles of Cyprus
ne'er yet beheld so great a crime
Neither of pirates nor Argolic people.
, who sees only with one eye,
And holds the land, which some one here with me
Would fain be fasting from the vision of,
Will make them come unto a parley with him;
Then will do so, that to Focara
They will not stand in need of vow or prayer."
And I to him: "Show to me and declare,
If thou wouldst have me bear up news of thee,
Who is this person
of the bitter vision."
Then did he lay his hand upon the jaw
Of one of his companions, and his mouth
Oped, crying: "This is he, and he speaks not.
This one, being banished, every doubt submerged
by affirming the forearmed
Always with detriment allowed delay."
O how bewildered unto me appeared,
With tongue asunder in his windpipe slit
, who in speaking was so bold!
And one, who both his hands dissevered
The stumps uplifting through the murky air,
So that the Blood
made horrible his face,
Cried out: "Thou shalt
Who said, alas! 'A thing done has an end!'
Which was an ill seed for the Tuscan
unto thy race," thereto I added;
Whence he, accumulating woe on woe,
Departed, like a person
sad and crazed.
But I remained to look upon the crowd;
And saw a thing which I should be afraid,
Without some further proof, even to recount,
If it were not that conscience reassures me,
That good companion which emboldens man
Beneath the hauberk
of its feeling pure.
I truly saw, and still I seem to see it,
A trunk without a head walk in like manner
As walked the others of the mournful herd.
And by the hair
it held the head dissevered
Hung from the hand in fashion of a lantern,
And that upon us gazed and said: "O me!"
It of itself made to itself a lamp,
And they were two in one, and one in two;
How that can be, He knows who so ordains it.
When it was come close to the bridge's foot
It lifted high its arm
with all the head,
To bring more closely unto us its words,
Which were: "Behold now the sore penalty,
Thou, who dost breathing go the dead beholding;
Behold if any be as great as this.
And so that thou may carry news of me,
Know that Bertram de Born
am I, the same
Who gave to the Young King
I made the father
and the son
not more with Absalom
did with his accursed goadings.
Because I parted person
s so united,
Parted do I now bear my brain
From its beginning, which is in this trunk.
Thus is observed in me the counterpoise
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