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And not because more than one simple semblance was in the Living Light at which I gazed— for It is always what It was before—. In the deep and bright. How incomplete is speech, how weak, when set against my thought! And this, to what I saw.

That circle—which, begotten so, appeared in You as light reflected—when my eyes had watched it with attention for some time,. As the geometer intently seeks to square the circle, but he cannot reach, through thought on thought, the principle he needs,. But then my mind was struck by light that flashed and, with this light, received what it had asked. Here force failed my high fantasy; but my desire and will were moved already—like a wheel revolving uniformly—by.

Thou art the one who such nobility To human nature gave, that its Creator Did not disdain to make himself its creature. Within thy womb rekindled was the love, By heat of which in the eternal peace After such wise this flower has germinated. Here unto us thou art a noonday torch Of charity, and below there among mortals Thou art the living fountain—head of hope.

Lady thou art so great, and so prevailing, That he who wishes grace, nor runs to thee His aspirations without wings would fly. Not only thy benignity gives succour To him who asketh it, but oftentimes Forerunneth of its own accord the asking. Now doth this man, who from the lowest depth Of the universe as far as here has seen One after one the spiritual lives,.

Supplicate thee through grace for so much power That with his eyes he may uplift himself Higher towards the uttermost salvation. And I, who never hurned for my own seeing More than I do for his, all of my prayers Proffer to thee, and pray they come not short,. That thou wouldst scatter from him every cloud Of his mortality so with thy prayers, That the Chief Pleasure be to him displayed. Let thy protection conquer human movements; See Beatrice and all the blessed ones My prayers to second clasp their handls to thee! The eyes beloved and revered of God, Fastened upon the speaker, showed to us How grateful unto her are prayers devout;.

Then unto the Eternal Light they turned, On which it is not credible could be By any creature bent an eye so clear. And I, who to the end of all desires Was now approaching, even as I ought The ardour of desire within me ended.


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Bernand was beckoning unto me, and smiling, That I should upward look; but I already Was of my own accord such as he wished. Because my sight, becoming purified, Was entering more and more into the ray Of the High Light which of itself is true. From that time forward what I saw was greater Than our discourse, that to such vision yields, And yields the memory unto such excess.

Even as he is who seeth in a dream, And after dreaming the imprinted passion Remains, and to his mind the rest returns not,. Even such am I, for almost utterly Ceases my vision, and distilleth yet Tithin my heart the sweetness born of it;. Even thus the snow is in the sun unsealed, Even thus upon the wind in the light leaves Were the soothsayings of the Sibyl lost. O Light Supreme, that dost so far uplift thee From the conceits of mortals, to my mimd Of what thou didst appear re—lend a little,. And make my tongue of so great puissance, That but a single sparkle of thy glory It may bequeath unto the future people;.

For by returning to my memory somewhat, And by a little sounding in these verses, More of thy victory shall be conceived! I think the keenness of the living ray Which I endured would have bewildered me, If but mine eyes had been averted from it;. I saw that in its depth far down is lying Bound up with love together in one volume, What through the universe in leaves is scattered;.

Substance, and accident, and their operations, All interfused together in such wise That what I speak of is one simple light. The universal fashion of this knot Methinks I saw, since more abundantly In saying this I feel that I rejoice. One moment is more lethargy to me, Than five and twenty centuries to the emprise That startled Neptune with the shade of Argo!

My mind in this wise wholly in suspense, Steadfast, immovable, attentive gazed, And evermore with gazing grew enkindled. Because the good, which object is of will, Is gathered all in this, and out of it That is defective which is perfect there. Not because more than one unmingled semblance Was in the living light on which I looked, For it is always what it was before;. But through the sight, that fortified itself In me by looking, one appearance only To me was ever changing as I changed. Within the deep and luminous subsistence Of the High Light appeared to me three circles, Of threefold colour and of one dimension.

And by the second seemed the first reflected As Iris is by Iris, and the third Seemed fire that equally from both is breathed. O Light Eterne, sole in thyself that dwellest, Sole knowest thyself, and, known unto thyself And knowing, lovest and smilest on thyself! That circulation, which being thus conceived Appeared in thee as a reflected light, When somewhat contemplated by mine eyes,. Within itself, of its own very colour Seemed to me painted with our effigy, Wherefore my sight was all absorbed therein.

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As the geometrician, who endeavours To square the circle, and discovers not. By taking thought, the principle he wants,. Even such was I at that new apparition; I wished to see how the image to the circle Conformed itself, and how it there finds place;. But my own wings were not enough for this, Had it not been that then my mind there smote A flash of lightning, wherein came its wish. Here vigour failed the lofty fantasy: But now was turning my desire and will, Even as a wheel that equally is moved,.

Paradiso Recommended Citation Barolini, Teodolinda. That love whose warmth allowed this flower to bloom within the everlasting peace—was love rekindled in your womb; for us above, you are the noonday torch of charity, and there below, on earth, among the mortals, you are a living spring of hope. Lady, you are so high, you can so intercede, that he who would have grace but does not seek your aid, may long to fly but has no wings. This man—who from the deepest hollow in the universe, up to this height, has seen the lives of spirits, one by one—now pleads with you, through grace, to grant him so much virtue that he may lift his vision higher still— may lift it toward the ultimate salvation.

And I, who never burned for my own vision more than I burn for his, do offer you all of my prayers—and pray that they may not fall short—that, with your prayers, you may disperse all of the clouds of his mortality so that the Highest Joy be his to see. Bernard was signaling—he smiled—to me to turn my eyes on high; but I, already was doing what he wanted me to do, because my sight, becoming pure, was able to penetrate the ray of Light more deeply— that Light, sublime, which in Itself is true.

As one who sees within a dream, and, later, the passion that had been imprinted stays, but nothing of the rest returns to mind, such am I, for my vision almost fades completely, yet it still distills within my heart the sweetness that was born of it. O Highest Light, You, raised so far above the minds of mortals, to my memory give back something of Your epiphany, and make my tongue so powerful that I may leave to people of the future one gleam of the glory that is Yours, for by returning somewhat to my memory and echoing awhile within these lines, Your victory will be more understood.

In its profundity I saw—ingathered and bound by love into one single volume— what, in the universe, seems separate, scattered: substances, accidents, and dispositions as if conjoined—in such a way that what I tell is only rudimentary. Whoever sees that Light is soon made such that it would be impossible for him to set that Light aside for other sight; because the good, the object of the will, is fully gathered in that Light; outside that Light, what there is perfect is defective.

And not because more than one simple semblance was in the Living Light at which I gazed— for It is always what It was before— but through my sight, which as I gazed grew stronger, that sole appearance, even as I altered, seemed to be changing. Not that there is more than a single semblance Within that living Light on which I looked And which is always what it was before, But by the sight that gathered strength in me As I gazed on, what was One in appearance Was altering for me as I was changing. One seemed to be reflected by the other, Rainbow by rainbow, while the third seemed fire Breathed equally from one and from the other.

O how pale now is language and how paltry For my conception!

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The Divine Comedy, vol. 3 (Paradiso) (English trans.) - Online Library of Liberty

And for what I saw My words are not enough to call them meager. O everlasting Light, you dwell alone In yourself, know yourself alone, and known And knowing, love and smile upon yourself!


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That middle circle which appeared in you To be conceived as a reflected light, After my eyes had studied it a while, Within itself and in its coloring Seemed to be painted with our human likeness So that my eyes were wholly focused on it. As the geometer who sets himself To square the circle and who cannot find, For all his thought, the principle he needs, Just so was I on seeing this new vision I wanted to see how our image fuses Into the circle and finds its place in it, Yet my wings were not meant for such a flight — Except that then my mind was struck by lightning Through which my longing was at last fulfilled.

Here powers failed my high imagination: But by now my desire and will were turned, Like a balanced wheel rotated evenly, By the Love that moves the sun and the other stars. The prayer to the Virgin at the beginning of the Canto, which Dante derived from St. Bernard, seems to have been Chaucer's favorite passage in the Divine Comedy. A few quotations will suffice to illustrate this. Rosarium Virginis Mariae paragraph Praying to Christ with Mary http: In the first moment, Dante views the world as composed of numerous pages bound together in a single volume within the eternal light: Within its depths I saw gathered together, Bound by love into a single volume, Leaves that lie scattered through the universe.

Paradise XXXIII , The image is all important because, the poet states, he believes he saw in it "the universal pattern of this knot" that makes the whole cohere in one. The famous metaphor, in fact, contains a meaning too often missed. The volume here is a sacred text: The second moment of vision comes in the form of the three circles of Light; they are of "one dimension and three different colors": All he can manage is to exclaim in the form of a prayer: The essential oneness and circularity of God, always coming back on itself while subtly emphasizing the intimate connection between God and the Virgin is expressed through the sound of the original words in Italian: O luce etterna che sole in te sidi sola t'intendi, e da te intelletta e intendente te ami e arridi!


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Paradiso 33 , The moment of the third vision arrives, the epitome and apex of the poem: Gaze meets gaze, and the seer becomes one with the "Love that moves the sun and the other stars. Monday, 23 January "The cosmic excursion in which Dante, in his "Divine Comedy", wishes to involve the reader, ends in front of the perennial Light that is God himself, before that Light which is at the same time "the love that moves the sun and the other stars" Par.

Commentary on Dante's The Divine Comedy, Paradiso, Canto XXXIII

Light and love are one and the same. They are the primordial creative powers that move the universe. If these words in Dante's Paradiso betray the thought of Aristotle, who saw in the eros the power that moves the world, Dante nevertheless perceives something completely new and inconceivable for the Greek philosopher.

Dante's Inferno - Canto 33 Summary & Analysis

Not only that the eternal Light is shown in three circles which Dante addresses using those terse verses familiar to us: As a matter of fact, even more overwhelming than this revelation of God as a trinitarian circle of knowledge and love, is the perception of a human face - the face of Jesus Christ - which, to Dante, appears in the central circle of the Light.

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