dal "PURGATORIO - XV." from "PURGATORY - XV "
Dante Alighieritr. Peter Dale
Quanto tra l'ultimar de l'ora terza
e 'l principio del dì par de la spera
che sempre a guisa di fanciullo scherza,

tanto pareva già inver' la sera
essere al sol del suo corso rimaso;
vespero là, e qui mezza notte era.

E i raggi ne ferien per mezzo 'l naso,
perchè per noi girato era sì 'l monte,
che già dritti andavamo inver' l'occaso,

quand'io sentì a me gravar la fronte
a lo splendore assai più che di prima,
e stupor m'eran le cose non conte;

ond'io levai le mani inver' la cima
de le mie ciglia, e fecimi 'l solecchio,
che del soverchio visibile lima.

Come quando da l'acqua o da lo specchio
salta lo raggio a l'opposita parte,
salendo su per lo modo parecchio

a quel che scende, e tanto si diparte
dal cader de la pietra in igual tratta,
sì come mostra esperienza e arte;

così mi parve da luce rifratta
quivi dinanzi a me esser percosso;
per che a fuggir la mia vista fu ratta.

"Che è quel, dolce padre, a che non posso
schermar lo viso tanto che mi vaglia",
diss'io, "e pare inver' noi esser mosso?".

"Non ti maravigliar s'ancor t'abbaglia
la famiglia del cielo", a me rispuose:
"messo è che viene ad invitar ch'om saglia.

Tosto sarà ch'a veder queste cose
non ti fia grave, ma fieti diletto
quanto natura a sentir ti dispuose".

Poi giunti fummo a l'angel benedetto,
con lieta voce disse: "Intrate quinci
ad un scaleo vie men che li altri eretto".

Noi montavam, già partiti di linci,
e 'Beati misericordes!' fue
cantato retro, e 'Godi tu che vinci!'.

Lo mio maestro e io soli amendue
suso andavamo; e io pensai, andando,
prode acquistar ne le parole sue;

e dirizza'mi a lui sì dimandando:
"Che volse dir lo spirto di Romagna,
e 'divieto' e 'consorte' menzionando?".

Per ch'elli a me: "Di sua maggior magagna
conosce il danno; e però non s'ammiri
se ne riprende perchè men si piagna.

Perchè s'appuntano i vostri disiri
dove per compagnia parte si scema,
invidia move il mantaco a' sospiri.
As much as from the end of the third hour
And breaking of the daylight of that sphere
That plays as does a child about the bower,

	So much was still to come of  the sun's career
Towards the evening; it was vespers there
But time was at the midnight back down here.

	The rays were striking our faces with their glare,
For we had so far circled round the tor
That now directly west we came to fare.

	Then I felt my brow weighed down, much more
Than previously, by the splendour; and they were
Amazement to me, the things not known before.

	Therefore I raised my hands in the curvature
To form the shield we use above our lashes
To bar the glare of light that makes things blur.

	As when a ray of light from water dashes
Or from a mirror in reverse direction,
Rebounding from the surface as it flashes,

	Matches the angle struck before reflection
(Which varies from the line of a dropped stone
Evenly, as shown by scientific inspection);

	So I seemed struck by reflected radiance thrown
From in front of me; swiftly I turned aside
My eyesight from the brilliance of that zone.

	"Gentle Father, what's that I cannot hide
My eyes from now, that makes them function ill?
It seems to be approaching us!" I cried.

	"Don't marvel if the Heaven's household still
Dazzles you," he answered. "Its messenger
Has come to bid us now ascend the hill.

	It won't be painful soon to see the stir
Of sights like these, but more a joy to you
As great to feel as nature may confer."

	Then we had reached the blessèd angel who
With gladsome voice announced: "Enter here
A stairway less inclined than the last two."

	Already parted, we were climbing, tier by tier.
'Beati misericordes!' was sung behind
And: 'Rejoice you who overcome!' approached our ear.

	My master and I, we two, alone combined,
Were mounting and I thought I'd use the ascent
To profit by his words and learn his mind.

	So I addressed him, asking: "What is meant
By that Romagnole's choosing of the word
'Banishing' and 'partnership'? What's the intent?"

	At which he said: "He knows the evil stirred
By his greatest sin, so feel no bafflement
If he condemns it so less harm's incurred.

	So far as your desires are centred or bent
Where goods more thinly spread through partnership
Envy will pump the bellows of discontent.
........................
........................

Trans. Copyright: Peter Dale 1996 - publ. Anvil Press


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