Wednesday, May 20, 2015

DANTE'S SUBLIME COMEDY: PARADISE: Chapter 32


CHAPTER 32: The Rose’s Plan

Gazing upon the source of his delight
            my co-adorer kindly lectured me
            beginning with these holy words: “The wounds         3

of nails and spear that Mary ointmented
            and closed, derived from Eve the beautiful
            who sits below her feet. You will recall                      6

Eve opened them by eating of a fruit.
            In the third row below sits one you know –
            Beatrice; then Jewish mothers: Rachel,                       9

Sarah, Rebecca, Judith, also Ruth
            grandmamma of King David, sinner,
            singer of the penitential psalm.                                   12

After the Hebrew women’s seventh tier
            a separation starts. On the left side
            sit those who looked for Christ before his birth,         15

for they had faith in God’s Old Testament.
            On the right side are seats for those who know
            that Christ did come, some of them empty still.          18

Now look behind. On the side opposite
equal divisions reign. Facing our Heaven’s Queen
sits John the Baptist who prepared Christ’s way,  21                                                      

suffered the wilderness and martyrdom,
            then went to Hell before Christ set him free.
            Below him see Augustine, Benedict,                          24

Francis and others down to where we stand,
            but split between, as on the women’s side,
            good Jews and Christian men, who shall remain        27

until both sides are filled up equally.
Also see that halfway down this flower
a tier encircling us has those beneath                          30

whose merits did not win this place for them.
            Look and listen well. Their faces, voices
            tell they are souls of children who have died              33

before their innocence was tested by
            fighting to conquer sin, resist Hell’s snare.
            I see a doubt in you, striking you dumb.                     36

Let me untie the knot that binds your tongue.
            Chance accidents in Paradise, like thirst,
            hunger and suffering cannot exist.                               39

All that befalls souls here is fitting them
            surely as rings fit fingers, so accept
            God’s foresight and His Grace will give to all             42

their rightful place. Do not try to know more.
            Look on her face whose face is most like Christ’s.
            Only her brightness can enlarge your mind.”                45

From the first angels soaring in these heights
            I now saw gladness raining down on her.
            All that appeared before was not so full                       48

of such wonder and love. I seemed to see
            The Holy Dove descend, and hear the hymn
            Hail Mary, full of Grace, saw the wings spread,          51

heard on each side the divine court respond
            tunefully to the divine voice. Each face
            melodiously grew more glorious.                                 54

“O holy father whose great courtesy
            in guiding me removes you from your throne,
            which angel gazes so enchantedly                               57

upon the Virgin, he appears on fire?”
            I asked the saint. He answered, “He contains
            all gallantry an angel can, so brought                          60

Mary word she would bear the son of God.
            Attend again, for I will point out more
            nobilities in this most merciful                                     63

empire of the just. Upon either side
            of our Queen sit the twin roots of this rose.
            On her left is Adam, the first dad who                         66

tasted the bitter fruit, causing The Fall.
            All are engendered from his seed. Look right
            where sits the Kirk’s father and foundation,                69

who was given keys to this bonny bloom;
            beside him John, the prophet who foresaw
            the tribulations Christ’s Kirk had to face.                    72

Beside the other rests the great guide who
            led ungrateful tribes through the desert where
            he nourished them with manna from the skies.           75

But now time flies and soon your dream must end.
            Good tailors cut a coat according to
            the cloth available, so point your eyes                         78

toward the Primal Love. Look into His
            radiance deep as you can. In striving
            to advance you may, for lack of God’s Grace,            81

fall back. Pray hard for it. Salvation lies
            in prayer. Follow my words with love. Let
            nothing come between them and your heart.”                                        

He began his holy supplication.                                              84
           

           
           

           


0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home