Trang trong tổng số 1 trang (1 bài trả lời)
If I possessed the crude and caustic verses
Suited to this desolate abyss
Where all the other crushing rocks converge,
I would squeeze out the juice of my conceit
5 More amply, but since I lack the words, it is
With some timidity I’d start to speak.
To describe the bottom of the whole universe
Is not a pastime taken up in sport
Nor baby-talk about Mamma and Daddy.
10 However, may those ladies aid my verse
Who aided Amphion to build the wall of Thebes,
So that the word not differ from the thing.
O misbegotten mob beyond all others
Trapped in this place so hard to describe,
15 Better had you been born as sheep or goats!
When we were there below in the darkened hole,
Far down the slope beneath the giant’s feet,
And I still stared up at the steep-pitched wall,
I heard someone tell me, "Watch out how you pass!
20 Be careful not to step upon the heads
Of this weary, wretched brotherhood."
At that I turned around and saw before me
And underneath my feet a lake of ice
So frozen that it looked like glass, not water.
25 Neither the Danube in Austria nor the Don,
Far-off under the cold sky, ever fashioned
So thick a veil in winter for its current
As was here: for if the peaks of Tambernic
Or Pietrapana had fallen down on it,
30 Not even at its edge would it have creaked.
The way frogs sit to croak with muzzles out
Of water, in the season when the peasant girl
Often dreams about her harvesting,
So these mournful shadows were sealed in ice,
35 Livid to where they blush their cheek with shame,
Teeth chattering with the clatter of a stork.
Each held his face bowed down before the ice,
Witnessing to the cold by their mouths,
Witnessing to the heartache with their eyes.
40 When I had gazed around me for a while,
I looked down at my feet and saw two shades
So clasped, the hair of their heads knit together.
"Tell me, you who squash your chests together,"
I said, "who are you?" They bent their necks back
45 And, when they had their faces lifted toward me,
Their eyes, which had before wept inwardly,
Wet drops down on their lips, and the frost froze
The tears between the two and locked them tight.
Never was board on board bolted more firmly
50 Than these two, so that they butted one another
Like two he-goats, such anger drove them wild.
And one shade who had lost both ears from cold,
With his eyes still cast downward, spoke to me,
"Why do you have to stare at us so hard?
55 "If you desire to know who this pair is,
The valley from which the Bisenzio cascades
Belonged to them and to their father Albert.
"One womb bore them both, and you can search
All Caina and you shall not find a shade
60 More worthy to be riveted in ice:
"Not Modred who had breast and shadow pierced
With but one blow dealt by the hand of Arthur,
Not Focaccia, not this one here who blocks
"My view with his head so I see no farther —
65 And his name was Sassol Mascheroni:
Should you be Tuscan, you now know who he is.
"And that you may not put me through more talk,
Know this: I was Camiscion de’ Pazzi,
And I wait for Carlino to absolve me."
70 After that I saw a thousand faces so
Purpled by cold that a shivering still
Grips me, and it always will, at frozen ponds.
Now while we walked onward toward the center
To which the whole weight of the world pulls down
75 And while I shuddered with the eternal chill,
Whether it happened by will or fate or chance
I don’t know, but, moving among the heads,
I struck my foot hard on one of the faces.
Through tears he screamed, "Why do you kick me?
80 If you haven’t come to take revenge on me
For Montaperti, why should you pester me?"
And I: "My master, please wait for me here:
Permit me to clear up a doubt about him,
Then I shall be as quick as you could wish."
85 My guide stood still, and I said to the shade
Who swore and cursed with hardened bitterness,
"Who are you, insulting other people?"
"Who are you who stroll through Antenora
Kicking the cheeks of others?" he responded,
90 "Were you alive, I wouldn’t take that from you!"
"I am alive, and it may be worth your effort,
Should you seek fame, that I would now note down
Your name with the others." This was my reply.
And he cried, "I want just the opposite!
95 You have a poor grasp of how to flatter us!
Get out of here and give me no more trouble!"
At that I grabbed him by the scruff of his neck
And said, "Either you give me your name now
Or you won’t have a hair left here on top!"
100 Then he cried at me, "Go right ahead and scalp me!
I wouldn’t tell you who I am or show you
Though you pummel my head a thousand times!"
I had already twisted his hair in my hand
And pulled out more than a full hank of it,
105 While he yelped on and kept his eyes down low,
When someone else shouted, "What’s with you, Bocca?
Don’t you sound off enough with your clattering jaws
But now you have to bark? What evil’s got you?"
"Now," I said, "I don't need you to blab more,
110 Evil-minded traitor, because to shame you
I’ll carry back the real news here about you!"
"Go away!" he answered, "Tell all you want!
But if you do get out of here, do not
Shut up about this one with the big mouth!
115 "He weeps here for the bribe of Frenchman’s silver.
‘I saw Buoso da Duera,’ you can report,
‘There where all the sinners cool their heels!’
"Should you be questioned, ‘And who else was there?’
Right at your side you have Beccheria
120 Whose head was cut off by the Florentines.
"Gianni de’ Soldanier I think is farther
On with Ganelon and Tebaldello
Who opened Faenza’s gates while it slept fast."
We left them, and soon afterward I saw
125 Two souls frozen in one hole so close
That one’s head served as the other’s hood.
Just as a hungry man chews on bread crusts,
So did the one on top sink his teeth into
The other’s nape at the base of the brain.
130 Tydeus gnawed the head of Menalippus
With no more fury than this sinner showed
In gnawing on the skull of skin and bone.
"O you who by this sign of bestiality
Show hatred for the one whom you devour,
135 Tell me why," I said; "and for the favor,
"If you have any reason for your grievance,
When I know who you are and what his sin,
I will pay you back in the world above
"Unless my tongue should dry up in my throat."
Trang trong tổng số 1 trang (1 bài trả lời)