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The Divine Comedy by Dante, Illustrated, Purgatory, Complete
written by "Cary, Henry Francis, 1772-1844"
...to heaven he holds them rear'd, Winnowing the air with those eternal plumes, That not like mortal hairs fall off or change!" As more and more toward us came, more bright Appear'd the bird of God, nor could the eye Endure his splendor near: I mine bent down. He drove ashore in a small bark so swift And light, that in its course no wave it drank. The heav'nly steersman at the prow was seen, Visibly written blessed in his looks. Within a hundred spirits and more there sat. "In Exitu Israel de Aegypto;" All with one voice together sang, with what In the remainder of that hymn is writ. Then soon as with the sign of holy cross He bless'd them, they at once leap'd out on land, The swiftly as he came return'd. The crew, There left, appear'd astounded with the place, Gazing around as one who sees new sights. From every side the sun darted his beams, And with his arrowy radiance from mid heav'n Had chas'd the Capricorn, when that strange tribe Lifting their eyes towards us: "If ye know, Declare what path will Lead us to the mount." Them Virgil answer'd.  "Ye suppose perchance Us well acquainted with this place: but here, We, as yourselves, are strangers.  Not long erst We came, before you but a little space, By other road so rough and hard, that now The' ascent will seem to us as play."  The spirits, Who from my breathing had perceiv'd I liv'd, Grew pale with wonder.  As the multitude Flock round a herald, sent with olive branch, To hear what news he brings, and in their haste Tread one another down, e'en so at sight Of me those happy spirits were fix'd, each one Forgetful of its errand, to depart, Where cleans'd from sin, it might be made all fair. Then one I saw darting before the rest With such fond ardour to embrace me, I To do the like was mov'd.  O shadows vain Except in outward semblance! thrice my hands I clasp'd behind it, they as oft return'd Empty into my breast again.  Surprise ...

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