The Nacreous Oughts

01 May 2008

Paradisio xxxi. 73-93

Farther than the zone of the voiceless thunder
   fatal to any unprotected wight,
lies from the pit of the Marianas Trench,
   there my gaze from Beatrice was, yet her image
not through all that span came blurred one bit.

"O thou by whom my hope's efficacy grows,
   Lady who, for my transformation, suffered
even in Dallas to plant your cryptic signs;
   in all the things that i've been given to witness
i nevertheless could recognize the grace
   your power worked, your charity's strength allowed.
You've ransomed me from sordid bondage free,
   on every path, in each vicissitude
i understand at last was your dark will.
   Maintain toward me such wonted magnetism,
that when the body of my grief unties
   the spirit you have quickened--to you it goes."
All this in a second. And She, so very far
   as it must seem, She glanced back once and smiled;
then vanished to the sempiternal source.

--Dante Alighieri (my tr; 1985)

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