Paradiso: Canto VII
Felices ignes horum malahoth!"
In this wise, to
his melody returning,
substance, upon which a double light
Doubles itself, was seen by me to sing,
And to their dance
this and the others moved,
in the manner of swift-hurrying sparks
Veiled themselves from me with a sudden distance.
Doubting was I, and
saying, "Tell her, tell her,"
me, "tell her," saying, "tell my Lady,"
Who slakes my thirst with her sweet effluences;
And yet that
reverence which doth lord it over
whole of me only by B and ICE,
Bowed me again like unto one who drowses.
Short while did
Beatrice endure me thus;
she began, lighting me with a smile
Such as would make one happy in the fire:
what manner a just vengeance justly
Could be avenged has put thee upon thinking,
But I will speedily
thy mind unloose;
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
for his good, that man who ne'er was born,
Damning himself damned all his progeny;
Whereby the human
species down below
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
itself, he joined to him in person
By the sole act of his eternal love.
Now unto what is
said direct thy sight;
nature when united to its Maker,
Such as created, was sincere and good;
But by itself alone
was banished forth
Paradise, because it turned aside
Out of the way of truth and of its life.
penalty the cross held out,
measured by the nature thus assumed,
None ever yet with so great justice stung,
And none was ever
of so great injustice,
who the Person was that suffered,
Within whom such a nature was contracted.
From one act
therefore issued things diverse;
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
thee, when it is said that a just vengeance
By a just court was afterward avenged.
But now do I behold
thy mind entangled
thought to thought within a knot, from which
With great desire it waits to free itself.
Thou sayest, 'Well
discern I what I hear;
it is hidden from me why God willed
For our redemption only this one mode.'
brother, this decree
the eyes of every one whose nature
Is in the flame of love not yet adult.
Verily, inasmuch as
at this mark
gazes long and little is discerned,
Wherefore this mode was worthiest will I say.
which from itself doth spurn
envy, burning in itself so sparkles
That the eternal beauties it unfolds.
Whate'er from this
afterwards no end, for ne'er removed
Is its impression when it sets its seal.
Whate'er from this
immediately rains down
wholly free, because it is not subject
Unto the influences of novel things.
The more conformed
thereto, the more it pleases;
the blest ardour that irradiates all things
In that most like itself is most vivacious.
With all of these
things has advantaged been
human creature; and if one be wanting,
From his nobility he needs must fall.
'Tis sin alone
which doth disfranchise him,
render him unlike the Good Supreme,
So that he little with its light is blanched,
And to his dignity
no more returns,
he fill up where transgression empties
With righteous pains for criminal delights.
Your nature when it
sinned so utterly
its own seed, out of these dignities
Even as out of Paradise was driven,
Nor could itself
recover, if thou notest
nicest subtilty, by any way,
Except by passing one of these two fords:
Either that God
through clemency alone
pardon granted, or that man himself
Had satisfaction for his folly made.
Fix now thine eye
deep into the abyss
the eternal counsel, to my speech
As far as may be fastened steadfastly!
Man in his
limitations had not power
satisfy, not having power to sink
In his humility obeying then,
Far as he
disobeying thought to rise;
for this reason man has been from power
Of satisfying by himself excluded.
Therefore it God
behoved in his own ways
to restore unto his perfect life,
I say in one, or else in both of them.
But since the
action of the doer is
much more grateful, as it more presents
The goodness of the heart from which it issues,
that doth imprint the world,
been contented to proceed by each
And all its ways to lift you up again;
Nor 'twixt the
first day and the final night
high and such magnificent proceeding
By one or by the other was or shall be;
For God more
bounteous was himself to give
make man able to uplift himself,
Than if he only of himself had pardoned;
And all the other
modes were insufficient
justice, were it not the Son of God
Himself had humbled to become incarnate.
Now, to fill fully
each desire of thine,
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,
water, and the earth, and all their mixtures
Come to corruption, and short while endure;
And these things
notwithstanding were created;'
if that which I have said were true,
They should have been secure against corruption.
brother, and the land sincere
which thou art, created may be called
Just as they are in their entire existence;
But all the
elements which thou hast named,
all those things which out of them are made,
By a created virtue are informed.
Created was the
matter which they have;
was the informing influence
Within these stars that round about them go.
The soul of every
brute and of the plants
its potential temperament attracts
The ray and motion of the holy lights;
But your own life
Beneficence, and enamours it
So with herself, it evermore desires her.
And thou from this
mayst argue furthermore
resurrection, if thou think again
How human flesh was fashioned at that time
When the first
parents both of them were made."
This document (last modifiedJanuary 08, 1998) from Believerscafe.com
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