Paradiso: Canto VII

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"Osanna sanctus Deus Sabaoth,
Superillustrans claritate tua
Felices ignes horum malahoth!"

In this wise, to his melody returning,
This substance, upon which a double light
Doubles itself, was seen by me to sing,

And to their dance this and the others moved,
And in the manner of swift-hurrying sparks
Veiled themselves from me with a sudden distance.

Doubting was I, and saying, "Tell her, tell her,"
Within me, "tell her," saying, "tell my Lady,"
Who slakes my thirst with her sweet effluences;

And yet that reverence which doth lord it over
The whole of me only by B and ICE,
Bowed me again like unto one who drowses.

Short while did Beatrice endure me thus;
And she began, lighting me with a smile
Such as would make one happy in the fire:

"According to infallible advisement,
After what manner a just vengeance justly
Could be avenged has put thee upon thinking,

But I will speedily thy mind unloose;
And do thou listen, for these words of mine
Of a great doctrine will a present make thee.

By not enduring on the power that wills
Curb for his good, that man who ne'er was born,
Damning himself damned all his progeny;

Whereby the human species down below
Lay sick for many centuries in great error,
Till to descend it pleased the Word of God

To where the nature, which from its own Maker
Estranged itself, he joined to him in person
By the sole act of his eternal love.

Now unto what is said direct thy sight;
This nature when united to its Maker,
Such as created, was sincere and good;

But by itself alone was banished forth
From Paradise, because it turned aside
Out of the way of truth and of its life.

Therefore the penalty the cross held out,
If measured by the nature thus assumed,
None ever yet with so great justice stung,

And none was ever of so great injustice,
Considering who the Person was that suffered,
Within whom such a nature was contracted.

From one act therefore issued things diverse;
To God and to the Jews one death was pleasing;
Earth trembled at it and the Heaven was opened.

It should no longer now seem difficult
To thee, when it is said that a just vengeance
By a just court was afterward avenged.

But now do I behold thy mind entangled
From thought to thought within a knot, from which
With great desire it waits to free itself.

Thou sayest, 'Well discern I what I hear;
But it is hidden from me why God willed
For our redemption only this one mode.'

Buried remaineth, brother, this decree
Unto the eyes of every one whose nature
Is in the flame of love not yet adult.

Verily, inasmuch as at this mark
One gazes long and little is discerned,
Wherefore this mode was worthiest will I say.

Goodness Divine, which from itself doth spurn
All envy, burning in itself so sparkles
That the eternal beauties it unfolds.

Whate'er from this immediately distils
Has afterwards no end, for ne'er removed
Is its impression when it sets its seal.

Whate'er from this immediately rains down
Is wholly free, because it is not subject
Unto the influences of novel things.

The more conformed thereto, the more it pleases;
For the blest ardour that irradiates all things
In that most like itself is most vivacious.

With all of these things has advantaged been
The human creature; and if one be wanting,
From his nobility he needs must fall.

'Tis sin alone which doth disfranchise him,
And render him unlike the Good Supreme,
So that he little with its light is blanched,

And to his dignity no more returns,
Unless he fill up where transgression empties
With righteous pains for criminal delights.

Your nature when it sinned so utterly
In its own seed, out of these dignities
Even as out of Paradise was driven,

Nor could itself recover, if thou notest
With nicest subtilty, by any way,
Except by passing one of these two fords:

Either that God through clemency alone
Had pardon granted, or that man himself
Had satisfaction for his folly made.

Fix now thine eye deep into the abyss
Of the eternal counsel, to my speech
As far as may be fastened steadfastly!

Man in his limitations had not power
To satisfy, not having power to sink
In his humility obeying then,

Far as he disobeying thought to rise;
And for this reason man has been from power
Of satisfying by himself excluded.

Therefore it God behoved in his own ways
Man to restore unto his perfect life,
I say in one, or else in both of them.

But since the action of the doer is
So much more grateful, as it more presents
The goodness of the heart from which it issues,

Goodness Divine, that doth imprint the world,
Has been contented to proceed by each
And all its ways to lift you up again;

Nor 'twixt the first day and the final night
Such high and such magnificent proceeding
By one or by the other was or shall be;

For God more bounteous was himself to give
To make man able to uplift himself,
Than if he only of himself had pardoned;

And all the other modes were insufficient
For justice, were it not the Son of God
Himself had humbled to become incarnate.

Now, to fill fully each desire of thine,
Return I to elucidate one place,
In order that thou there mayst see as I do.

Thou sayst: 'I see the air, I see the fire,
The water, and the earth, and all their mixtures
Come to corruption, and short while endure;

And these things notwithstanding were created;'
Therefore if that which I have said were true,
They should have been secure against corruption.

The Angels, brother, and the land sincere
In which thou art, created may be called
Just as they are in their entire existence;

But all the elements which thou hast named,
And all those things which out of them are made,
By a created virtue are informed.

Created was the matter which they have;
Created was the informing influence
Within these stars that round about them go.

The soul of every brute and of the plants
By its potential temperament attracts
The ray and motion of the holy lights;

But your own life immediately inspires
Supreme Beneficence, and enamours it
So with herself, it evermore desires her.

And thou from this mayst argue furthermore
Your resurrection, if thou think again
How human flesh was fashioned at that time

When the first parents both of them were made."

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La Divina Commedia di Dante: Paradiso: Canto VII
"Osanna, sanctus Deus sabaoth,
  superillustrans claritate tua
  felices ignes horum malacoth!".

Cosi`, volgendosi a la nota sua,
  fu viso a me cantare essa sustanza,
  sopra la qual doppio lume s'addua:

ed essa e l'altre mossero a sua danza,
  e quasi velocissime faville,
  mi si velar di subita distanza.

Io dubitava e dicea 'Dille, dille!'
  fra me, 'dille', dicea, 'a la mia donna
  che mi diseta con le dolci stille'.

Ma quella reverenza che s'indonna
  di tutto me, pur per Be e per ice,
  mi richinava come l'uom ch'assonna.

Poco sofferse me cotal Beatrice
  e comincio`, raggiandomi d'un riso
  tal, che nel foco faria l'uom felice:

"Secondo mio infallibile avviso,
  come giusta vendetta giustamente
  punita fosse, t'ha in pensier miso;

ma io ti solvero` tosto la mente;
  e tu ascolta, che' le mie parole
  di gran sentenza ti faran presente.

Per non soffrire a la virtu` che vole
  freno a suo prode, quell'uom che non nacque,
  dannando se', danno` tutta sua prole;

onde l'umana specie inferma giacque
  giu` per secoli molti in grande errore,
  fin ch'al Verbo di Dio discender piacque

u' la natura, che dal suo fattore
  s'era allungata, uni` a se' in persona
  con l'atto sol del suo etterno amore.

Or drizza il viso a quel ch'or si ragiona:
  questa natura al suo fattore unita,
  qual fu creata, fu sincera e buona;

ma per se' stessa pur fu ella sbandita
  di paradiso, pero` che si torse
  da via di verita` e da sua vita.

La pena dunque che la croce porse
  s'a la natura assunta si misura,
  nulla gia` mai si` giustamente morse;

e cosi` nulla fu di tanta ingiura,
  guardando a la persona che sofferse,
  in che era contratta tal natura.

Pero` d'un atto uscir cose diverse:
  ch'a Dio e a' Giudei piacque una morte;
  per lei tremo` la terra e 'l ciel s'aperse.

Non ti dee oramai parer piu` forte,
  quando si dice che giusta vendetta
  poscia vengiata fu da giusta corte.

Ma io veggi' or la tua mente ristretta
  di pensiero in pensier dentro ad un nodo,
  del qual con gran disio solver s'aspetta.

Tu dici: "Ben discerno cio` ch'i' odo;
  ma perche' Dio volesse, m'e` occulto,
  a nostra redenzion pur questo modo".

Questo decreto, frate, sta sepulto
  a li occhi di ciascuno il cui ingegno
  ne la fiamma d'amor non e` adulto.

Veramente, pero` ch'a questo segno
  molto si mira e poco si discerne,
  diro` perche' tal modo fu piu` degno.

La divina bonta`, che da se' sperne
  ogne livore, ardendo in se', sfavilla
  si` che dispiega le bellezze etterne.

Cio` che da lei sanza mezzo distilla
  non ha poi fine, perche' non si move
  la sua imprenta quand'ella sigilla.

Cio` che da essa sanza mezzo piove
  libero e` tutto, perche' non soggiace
  a la virtute de le cose nove.

Piu` l'e` conforme, e pero` piu` le piace;
  che' l'ardor santo ch'ogne cosa raggia,
  ne la piu` somigliante e` piu` vivace.

Di tutte queste dote s'avvantaggia
  l'umana creatura; e s'una manca,
  di sua nobilita` convien che caggia.

Solo il peccato e` quel che la disfranca
  e falla dissimile al sommo bene,
  per che del lume suo poco s'imbianca;

e in sua dignita` mai non rivene,
  se non riempie, dove colpa vota,
  contra mal dilettar con giuste pene.

Vostra natura, quando pecco` tota
  nel seme suo, da queste dignitadi,
  come di paradiso, fu remota;

ne' ricovrar potiensi, se tu badi
  ben sottilmente, per alcuna via,
  sanza passar per un di questi guadi:

o che Dio solo per sua cortesia
  dimesso avesse, o che l'uom per se' isso
  avesse sodisfatto a sua follia.

Ficca mo l'occhio per entro l'abisso
  de l'etterno consiglio, quanto puoi
  al mio parlar distrettamente fisso.

Non potea l'uomo ne' termini suoi
  mai sodisfar, per non potere ir giuso
  con umiltate obediendo poi,

quanto disobediendo intese ir suso;
  e questa e` la cagion per che l'uom fue
  da poter sodisfar per se' dischiuso.

Dunque a Dio convenia con le vie sue
  riparar l'omo a sua intera vita,
  dico con l'una, o ver con amendue.

Ma perche' l'ovra tanto e` piu` gradita
  da l'operante, quanto piu` appresenta
  de la bonta` del core ond'ell'e` uscita,

la divina bonta` che 'l mondo imprenta,
  di proceder per tutte le sue vie,
  a rilevarvi suso, fu contenta.

Ne' tra l'ultima notte e 'l primo die
  si` alto o si` magnifico processo,
  o per l'una o per l'altra, fu o fie:

che' piu` largo fu Dio a dar se' stesso
  per far l'uom sufficiente a rilevarsi,
  che s'elli avesse sol da se' dimesso;

e tutti li altri modi erano scarsi
  a la giustizia, se 'l Figliuol di Dio
  non fosse umiliato ad incarnarsi.

Or per empierti bene ogni disio,
  ritorno a dichiararti in alcun loco,
  perche' tu veggi li` cosi` com'io.

Tu dici: "Io veggio l'acqua, io veggio il foco,
  l'aere e la terra e tutte lor misture
  venire a corruzione, e durar poco;

e queste cose pur furon creature;
  per che, se cio` ch'e` detto e` stato vero,
  esser dovrien da corruzion sicure".

Li angeli, frate, e 'l paese sincero
  nel qual tu se', dir si posson creati,
  si` come sono, in loro essere intero;

ma li elementi che tu hai nomati
  e quelle cose che di lor si fanno
  da creata virtu` sono informati.

Creata fu la materia ch'elli hanno;
  creata fu la virtu` informante
  in queste stelle che 'ntorno a lor vanno.

L'anima d'ogne bruto e de le piante
  di complession potenziata tira
  lo raggio e 'l moto de le luci sante;

ma vostra vita sanza mezzo spira
  la somma beninanza, e la innamora
  di se' si` che poi sempre la disira.

E quinci puoi argomentare ancora
  vostra resurrezion, se tu ripensi
  come l'umana carne fessi allora

che li primi parenti intrambo fensi".

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