Purgatorio: Canto XI

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"Our Father, thou who dwellest in the heavens,
Not circumscribed, but from the greater love
Thou bearest to the first effects on high,

Praised be thy name and thine omnipotence
By every creature, as befitting is
To render thanks to thy sweet effluence.

Come unto us the peace of thy dominion,
For unto it we cannot of ourselves,
If it come not, with all our intellect.

Even as thine own Angels of their will
Make sacrifice to thee, Hosanna singing,
So may all men make sacrifice of theirs.

Give unto us this day our daily manna,
Withouten which in this rough wilderness
Backward goes he who toils most to advance.

And even as we the trespass we have suffered
Pardon in one another, pardon thou
Benignly, and regard not our desert.

Our virtue, which is easily o'ercome,
Put not to proof with the old Adversary,
But thou from him who spurs it so, deliver.

This last petition verily, dear Lord,
Not for ourselves is made, who need it not,
But for their sake who have remained behind us."

Thus for themselves and us good furtherance
Those shades imploring, went beneath a weight
Like unto that of which we sometimes dream,

Unequally in anguish round and round
And weary all, upon that foremost cornice,
Purging away the smoke-stains of the world.

If there good words are always said for us,
What may not here be said and done for them,
By those who have a good root to their will?

Well may we help them wash away the marks
That hence they carried, so that clean and light
They may ascend unto the starry wheels!

"Ah! so may pity and justice you disburden
Soon, that ye may have power to move the wing,
That shall uplift you after your desire,

Show us on which hand tow'rd the stairs the way
Is shortest, and if more than one the passes,
Point us out that which least abruptly falls;

For he who cometh with me, through the burden
Of Adam's flesh wherewith he is invested,
Against his will is chary of his climbing."

The words of theirs which they returned to those
That he whom I was following had spoken,
It was not manifest from whom they came,

But it was said: "To the right hand come with us
Along the bank, and ye shall find a pass
Possible for living person to ascend.

And were I not impeded by the stone,
Which this proud neck of mine doth subjugate,
Whence I am forced to hold my visage down,

Him, who still lives and does not name himself,
Would I regard, to see if I may know him
And make him piteous unto this burden.

A Latian was I, and born of a great Tuscan;
Guglielmo Aldobrandeschi was my father;
I know not if his name were ever with you.

The ancient blood and deeds of gallantry
Of my progenitors so arrogant made me
That, thinking not upon the common mother,

All men I held in scorn to such extent
I died therefor, as know the Sienese,
And every child in Campagnatico.

I am Omberto; and not to me alone
Has Pride done harm, but all my kith and kin
Has with it dragged into adversity.

And here must I this burden bear for it
Till God be satisfied, since I did not
Among the living, here among the dead."

Listening I downward bent my countenance;
And one of them, not this one who was speaking,
Twisted himself beneath the weight that cramps him,

And looked at me, and knew me, and called out,
Keeping his eyes laboriously fixed
On me, who all bowed down was going with them.

"O," asked I him, "art thou not Oderisi,
Agobbio's honour, and honour of that art
Which is in Paris called illuminating?"

"Brother," said he, "more laughing are the leaves
Touched by the brush of Franco Bolognese;
All his the honour now, and mine in part.

In sooth I had not been so courteous
While I was living, for the great desire
Of excellence, on which my heart was bent.

Here of such Pride is paid the forfeiture;
And yet I should not be here, were it not
That, having power to sin, I turned to God.

O thou vain glory of the human powers,
How little green upon thy summit lingers,
If't be not followed by an age of grossness!

In painting Cimabue thought that he
Should hold the field, now Giotto has the cry,
So that the other's fame is growing dim.

So has one Guido from the other taken
The glory of our tongue, and he perchance
Is born, who from the nest shall chase them both.

Naught is this mundane rumour but a breath
Of wind, that comes now this way and now that,
And changes name, because it changes side.

What fame shalt thou have more, if old peel off
From thee thy flesh, than if thou hadst been dead
Before thou left the 'pappo' and the 'dindi,'

Ere pass a thousand years? which is a shorter
Space to the eterne, than twinkling of an eye
Unto the circle that in heaven wheels slowest.

With him, who takes so little of the road
In front of me, all Tuscany resounded;
And now he scarce is lisped of in Siena,

Where he was lord, what time was overthrown
The Florentine delirium, that superb
Was at that day as now 'tis prostitute.

Your reputation is the colour of grass
Which comes and goes, and that discolours it
By which it issues green from out the earth."

And I: "Thy true speech fills my heart with good
Humility, and great tumour thou assuagest;
But who is he, of whom just now thou spakest?"

"That," he replied, "is Provenzan Salvani,
And he is here because he had presumed
To bring Siena all into his hands.

He has gone thus, and goeth without rest
E'er since he died; such money renders back
In payment he who is on earth too daring."

And I: "If every spirit who awaits
The verge of life before that he repent,
Remains below there and ascends not hither,

(Unless good orison shall him bestead,)
Until as much time as he lived be passed,
How was the coming granted him in largess?"

"When he in greatest splendour lived," said he,
"Freely upon the Campo of Siena,
All shame being laid aside, he placed himself;

And there to draw his friend from the duress
Which in the prison-house of Charles he suffered,
He brought himself to tremble in each vein.

I say no more, and know that I speak darkly;
Yet little time shall pass before thy neighbours
Will so demean themselves that thou canst gloss it.

This action has released him from those confines."

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La Divina Commedia di Dante: Purgatorio: Canto XI

"O Padre nostro, che ne' cieli stai,
  non circunscritto, ma per piu` amore
  ch'ai primi effetti di la` su` tu hai,

laudato sia 'l tuo nome e 'l tuo valore
  da ogni creatura, com'e` degno
  di render grazie al tuo dolce vapore.

Vegna ver' noi la pace del tuo regno,
  che' noi ad essa non potem da noi,
  s'ella non vien, con tutto nostro ingegno.

Come del suo voler li angeli tuoi
  fan sacrificio a te, cantando osanna,
  cosi` facciano li uomini de' suoi.

Da` oggi a noi la cotidiana manna,
  sanza la qual per questo aspro diserto
  a retro va chi piu` di gir s'affanna.

E come noi lo mal ch'avem sofferto
  perdoniamo a ciascuno, e tu perdona
  benigno, e non guardar lo nostro merto.

Nostra virtu` che di legger s'adona,
  non spermentar con l'antico avversaro,
  ma libera da lui che si` la sprona.

Quest'ultima preghiera, segnor caro,
  gia` non si fa per noi, che' non bisogna,
  ma per color che dietro a noi restaro".

Cosi` a se' e noi buona ramogna
  quell'ombre orando, andavan sotto 'l pondo,
  simile a quel che tal volta si sogna,

disparmente angosciate tutte a tondo
  e lasse su per la prima cornice,
  purgando la caligine del mondo.

Se di la` sempre ben per noi si dice,
  di qua che dire e far per lor si puote
  da quei ch'hanno al voler buona radice?

Ben si de' loro atar lavar le note
  che portar quinci, si` che, mondi e lievi,
  possano uscire a le stellate ruote.

"Deh, se giustizia e pieta` vi disgrievi
  tosto, si` che possiate muover l'ala,
  che secondo il disio vostro vi lievi,

mostrate da qual mano inver' la scala
  si va piu` corto; e se c'e` piu` d'un varco,
  quel ne 'nsegnate che men erto cala;

che' questi che vien meco, per lo 'ncarco
  de la carne d'Adamo onde si veste,
  al montar su`, contra sua voglia, e` parco".

Le lor parole, che rendero a queste
  che dette avea colui cu' io seguiva,
  non fur da cui venisser manifeste;

ma fu detto: "A man destra per la riva
  con noi venite, e troverete il passo
  possibile a salir persona viva.

E s'io non fossi impedito dal sasso
  che la cervice mia superba doma,
  onde portar convienmi il viso basso,

cotesti, ch'ancor vive e non si noma,
  guardere' io, per veder s'i' 'l conosco,
  e per farlo pietoso a questa soma.

Io fui latino e nato d'un gran Tosco:
  Guiglielmo Aldobrandesco fu mio padre;
  non so se 'l nome suo gia` mai fu vosco.

L'antico sangue e l'opere leggiadre
  d'i miei maggior mi fer si` arrogante,
  che, non pensando a la comune madre,

ogn'uomo ebbi in despetto tanto avante,
  ch'io ne mori', come i Sanesi sanno
  e sallo in Campagnatico ogne fante.

Io sono Omberto; e non pur a me danno
  superbia fa, che' tutti miei consorti
  ha ella tratti seco nel malanno.

E qui convien ch'io questo peso porti
  per lei, tanto che a Dio si sodisfaccia,
  poi ch'io nol fe' tra ' vivi, qui tra ' morti".

Ascoltando chinai in giu` la faccia;
  e un di lor, non questi che parlava,
  si torse sotto il peso che li 'mpaccia,

e videmi e conobbemi e chiamava,
  tenendo li occhi con fatica fisi
  a me che tutto chin con loro andava.

"Oh!", diss'io lui, "non se' tu Oderisi,
  l'onor d'Agobbio e l'onor di quell'arte
  ch'alluminar chiamata e` in Parisi?".

"Frate", diss'elli, "piu` ridon le carte
  che pennelleggia Franco Bolognese;
  l'onore e` tutto or suo, e mio in parte.

Ben non sare' io stato si` cortese
  mentre ch'io vissi, per lo gran disio
  de l'eccellenza ove mio core intese.

Di tal superbia qui si paga il fio;
  e ancor non sarei qui, se non fosse
  che, possendo peccar, mi volsi a Dio.

Oh vana gloria de l'umane posse!
  com'poco verde in su la cima dura,
  se non e` giunta da l'etati grosse!

Credette Cimabue ne la pittura
  tener lo campo, e ora ha Giotto il grido,
  si` che la fama di colui e` scura:

cosi` ha tolto l'uno a l'altro Guido
  la gloria de la lingua; e forse e` nato
  chi l'uno e l'altro caccera` del nido.

Non e` il mondan romore altro ch'un fiato
  di vento, ch'or vien quinci e or vien quindi,
  e muta nome perche' muta lato.

Che voce avrai tu piu`, se vecchia scindi
  da te la carne, che se fossi morto
  anzi che tu lasciassi il 'pappo' e 'l 'dindi',

pria che passin mill'anni? ch'e` piu` corto
  spazio a l'etterno, ch'un muover di ciglia
  al cerchio che piu` tardi in cielo e` torto.

Colui che del cammin si` poco piglia
  dinanzi a me, Toscana sono` tutta;
  e ora a pena in Siena sen pispiglia,

ond'era sire quando fu distrutta
  la rabbia fiorentina, che superba
  fu a quel tempo si` com'ora e` putta.

La vostra nominanza e` color d'erba,
  che viene e va, e quei la discolora
  per cui ella esce de la terra acerba".

E io a lui: "Tuo vero dir m'incora
  bona umilta`, e gran tumor m'appiani;
  ma chi e` quei di cui tu parlavi ora?".

"Quelli e`", rispuose, "Provenzan Salvani;
  ed e` qui perche' fu presuntuoso
  a recar Siena tutta a le sue mani.

Ito e` cosi` e va, sanza riposo,
  poi che mori`; cotal moneta rende
  a sodisfar chi e` di la` troppo oso".

E io: "Se quello spirito ch'attende,
  pria che si penta, l'orlo de la vita,
  qua giu` dimora e qua su` non ascende,

se buona orazion lui non aita,
  prima che passi tempo quanto visse,
  come fu la venuta lui largita?".

"Quando vivea piu` glorioso", disse,
  "liberamente nel Campo di Siena,
  ogne vergogna diposta, s'affisse;

e li`, per trar l'amico suo di pena
  ch'e' sostenea ne la prigion di Carlo,
  si condusse a tremar per ogne vena.

Piu` non diro`, e scuro so che parlo;
  ma poco tempo andra`, che ' tuoi vicini
  faranno si` che tu potrai chiosarlo.

Quest'opera li tolse quei confini".

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