Saturday, March 23, 2013

Some weekend thinking: from Dante's Paradise

From Dorothy L. Sayers' translation of The Divine Comedy, III: Paradise, Canto IV.  Dante has been questioning Beatrice, his conductress through the heavenly realm, about some of the things he has seen so far.  Sudddenly it makes sense to him, and he bursts into thanks.

My love's whole store is too diminutive,
Too poor in thanks to give back grace for grace;
May He that sees, and has the power, so give!

That nothing save the light of truth allays
Our intellect's disquiet I now see plain--
God's truth, which holds all truth within its rays.

Intellect, like a wild thing in its den,
When it has run and reached it, there can rest,
As reach it must, else all desire were vain.

Hence, at the foot of truth, the undying quest
Springs like a shoot, and doubt is still the lure
That speeds us toward the height from crest to crest.

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