"Our Father, who art in heaven, not bound there,
         But dwelling in it for the greater love
         Thou bearest toward thy firstborn works on high,
         "Hallowed be thy name and be thy worthiness
5         Through every creature, as it is most fitting
         To thank thee for the sweet breath of thy wisdom.
         "Thy kingdom come to us in peacefulness,
         Because we cannot reach it by ourselves,
         Unless it come, for all our striving effort.
10       "And as the angels do thy will in heaven
         By sacrificing theirs, singing hosanna,
         So let the men on earth do with their wills.
         "Give us this day our daily manna, since
         Without it, through this bitter wilderness
15       He retreats who tries hardest to advance.
         "And as we pardon all for the trespasses
         That we have suffered, so in loving kindness
         Forgive us: do not judge by our deserving.
         "Our strength so easily fails: lead us not
20       Into temptation through our ancient foe,
         But deliver us from the evil he provokes.
         "This last petition, dearest Lord, we make
         Not for our sake, since now we have no need,
         But for those people who remain behind us."
25       This way the souls, praying godspeed for both
         Themselves and us, trudged on beneath a burden
         Like that one pictures sometimes in a dream,
         Unequal in their anguish, all of them
         Plodding wearily around the first terrace,
30       Purging away the black dross of the world.
         If there they always speak up for our good,
         What for their good can here be said or done
         By those whose prayers are rooted in goodwill?
         Surely we should help them cleanse the stains
35       They brought from here, so that, buoyant and pure,
         They may take flight up to the wheeling stars.
         "Ah, so may justice and pity soon remove
         Your load of guilt that you may spread out wings
         Which will lift you to the limit of your longing,
40       "Show us on which side is the shortest way
         To reach the stairs, and if there’s more than one,
         Instruct us to the path that is least steep,
         "Because this man who walks with me, weighed down
         By Adam’s flesh, which he still wears about him,
45       Is slowed, against his will, in his climb up."
         Words of theirs were then returned in answer
         To those the guide I followed had addressed,
         But one could not be sure from whom they came:
         The words were: "Come with us along this bank
50       To the right, and you’ll find the passageway
         Possible for a living person to ascend.
         "And were I not encumbered by this stone
         Which has so tamed my proud neck to submission
         That I am forced to keep my face bent down,
55       "I would now gaze upon this man who lives
         But remains nameless, to see if I know him
         And to make him feel compassion for my load.
         "I was Italian, son of a great Tuscan:
         Guglielmo Aldobrandesco was my father;
60       I do not know if you ever heard his name.
         "The age-old blood and the gallant exploits
         Of my forebears made me so arrogant
         That, not thinking of our common mother,
         "I held all men in such complete contempt
65       It killed me, as the Sienese all know
         And every child in Campagnatico.
         "I am Omberto. And not only has pride
         Damaged me but it has dragged down all
         My kinsfolk with it into catastrophe.
70       "And for this sin I here must bear this weight
         Until I give God satisfaction — since I
         Gave none among the living — among the dead."
         Listening to him I held my head down lower;
         And one of them — not the one who’d spoken —
75       Shifted under the mass that pressed upon him
         And noticed me and knew me and called out,
         Struggling to keep his eyes fixed upon me
         While I, stooped over, walked along with them.
         "Oh," I cried out, "are you not Oderisi,
80       Honor of Gubbio, glory of that art
         Which in Paris they call ‘illuminating’?"
         "Brother," he said, "the pages painted by
         Franco Bolognese smile more brightly:
         All his the honor now — and partly mine.
85       "Certainly I would have been less courteous
         While I was alive, through my vaulting zeal
         For excellence to which my heart aspired.
         "The price of pride like this is paid out here;
         And still I’d not be here if it were not
90       That, capable of sin, I turned to God.
         "Oh, the vainglory of our human powers!
         How brief the time the green grows on the hilltop,
         Unless the age that follows it is barren!
         "Cimabue thought he held the field
95       In painting, but now the hue and cry is for
         Giotto, and the other’s fame is dulled.
         "So, one Guido has snatched from another
         Poetic glory, and perhaps the man
         Has been born who will chase both from the nest!
100      "Earthly fame is but a breath of wind,
         No more; huffing here and puffing there,
         It changes name when it changes quarter.
         "What more renown will you have, if you lose
         Your flesh through old age, than if you had died
105      Before you left your baby-talk behind you
         "In, say, a thousand years? That is a shorter
         Span to the eternal than the blink of an eye
         Is to the turn of the slowest of the spheres.
         "All Tuscany resounded with the name
110      Of him who creeps before me on this path:
         Now’s scarce a whisper of him in Siena
         "Where he was lord when they together crushed
         The rage of Florence — who was then in wartime
         As proud as she is prostituted now.
115      "Your reputation is like the shade of grass
         Which comes and goes: the sun that makes it spring
         Green from the ground soon causes it to fade."
         And I told him, "Your words ring true to my heart
         With fit humility and cure my puffed-up pride:
120     But who is he of whom you spoke just now?"
         "That," he replied, "is Provenzan Salvani,
         And he is here because in his presumption
         He tried to get his hands on all Siena.
         "So he goes on and has gone since he died,
125     Without rest: such is the coin which those
         Who dare too much must pay in satisfaction."
         And I: "If souls who postpone until the last
         Moment of life before they show repentance
         Stay there below and do not mount up here
130      "Until they wait as long as they once lived —
         Unless propitious prayers come to their aid —
         Then how was he allowed to hasten here?"
         "When he lived at the height of his own glory,"
         He said, "he in Siena’s marketplace,
135     Shunning all shame, freely took his stand:
         "And there, to gain release for his good friend
         From sufferings he endured in Charles’ dungeon,
         He reduced himself to shivering in his veins.
         "I say no more: I know that I speak darkly,
140      But after a short time has passed, your neighbors
         Will so behave that you can gloss it out:
         "This act delivered him from that confinement."

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