Paradiso: Canto V
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"If in the heat of love I flame upon thee
Beyond the measure that on earth is seen,
So that the valour of thine eyes I vanquish
Marvel thou not thereat; for this proceeds
From perfect sight, which as it apprehends
To the good apprehended
moves its feet.
Well I perceive how is already shining
Into thine intellect
the eternal light,
That only seen enkindles always love;
And if some other thing your love seduce
'Tis nothing but a vestige of the same,
Ill understood, which there is shining
wouldst know if with another service
For broken vow
can such return be made
As to secure the soul from further claim
This Canto thus did Beatrice
And, as a man who breaks not off his speech,
Continued thus her holy
"The greatest gift that in his largess God
Creating made, and unto his own goodness
, and that which he doth prize
Most highly, is the freedom of the will
Wherewith the creatures of intelligence
Both all and only were and are endowed.
Now wilt thou see, if thence thou reasonest
The high worth of a vow, if it he made
So that when thou consentest God
For, closing between God
and man the compact,
is of this treasure made,
Such as I say, and made by its own act.
What can be rendered
then as compensation
Think'st thou to make good use of what thou'st offered,
With gains ill gotten thou wouldst do good deed.
Now art thou certain of the greater point;
But because Holy Church
in this dispenses,
Which seems against the truth which I have shown thee,
thee still to sit awhile
Because the solid food which thou hast taken
Requireth further aid for thy digestion.
Open thy mind to that which I reveal,
And fix it there within; for 'tis not knowledge
The having heard without retaining it.
In the essence of this sacrifice
together; and the one is that
Of which 'tis made, the other is the agreement.
This last for evermore is cancelled not
with, and concerning this
With such precision
has above been spoken.
Therefore it was enjoined upon the Hebrews
To offer still, though sometimes what was offered
Might be commuted, as thou ought'st to know.
The other, which is known to thee as matter,
May well indeed be such that one errs not
If it for other matter be exchanged.
But let none shift the burden
on his shoulder
At his arbitrament
, without the turning
Both of the white and of the yellow key;
And every permutation
deem as foolish
If in the substitute the thing relinquished,
As the four is in six, be not contained.
Therefore whatever thing has so great weight
In value that it drags down every balance,
Cannot be satisfied
with other spending.
Let mortals never take a vow in jest;
Be faithful and not blind in doing that,
was in his first offering,
Whom more beseemed
to say, 'I have done wrong
Than to do worse by keeping; and as foolish
Thou the great leader of the Greek
s wilt find,
Whence wept Iphigenia
her fair face,
And made for her both wise and simple weep,
Who heard such kind of worship spoken of.'
, be ye more serious
in your movements
Be ye not like a feather
at each wind,
And think not every water washes you.
Ye have the Old
and the New Testament
And the Pastor
of the Church
who guideth you
Let this suffice
you unto your salvation
If evil appetite
cry aught else to you,
Be ye as men, and not as silly sheep
So that the Jew
among you may not mock you.
Be ye not as the lamb that doth abandon
Its mother's milk, and frolicsome and simple
Combats at its own pleasure with itself."
to me even as I write it;
Then all desireful
turned herself again
To that part where the world is most alive.
Her silence and her change of countenance
Silence imposed upon my eager
That had already in advance new questions
And as an arrow that upon the mark
Strikes ere the bowstring quiet hath become,
So did we speed into the second realm.
My Lady there so joyful I beheld,
As into the brightness of that heaven she entered,
More luminous thereat the planet grew;
And if the star itself was changed and smiled,
What became I, who by my nature am
in every guise
As, in a fish-pond which is pure and tranquil,
The fishes draw to that which from without
Comes in such fashion that their food they deem it;
So I beheld more than a thousand splendours
towards us, and in each was heard:
"Lo, this is she who shall increase our love."
And as each one was coming unto us,
Full of beatitude
By the effulgence
clear that issued from it.
, if what here is just beginning
No farther should proceed, how thou wouldst have
An agonizing need of knowing more;
And of thyself thou'lt see how I from these
Was in desire of hearing their conditions,
As they unto mine eyes were manifest.
"O thou well-born, unto whom Grace
To see the thrones
of the eternal triumph,
Or ever yet the warfare be abandoned
With light that through the whole of heaven is spread
are we, and hence if thou desirest
To know of us, at thine own pleasure sate thee."
Thus by some one among those holy spirits
Was spoken, and by Beatrice
Securely, and believe them even as God
"Well I perceive
how thou dost nest thyself
In thine own light
, and drawest it from thine eyes,
Because they coruscate
when thou dost smile,
But know not who thou art, nor why thou hast,
Spirit august, thy station in the sphere
That veils itself to men in alien rays."
This said I in direction of the light
Which first had spoken to me; whence it became
By far more lucent than it was before
Even as the sun, that doth conceal himself
By too much light, when heat
has worn away
The tempering influence of the vapours
By greater rapture
In its own radiance the figure saintly
And thus close, close enfolded answered me
In fashion as the following Canto
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