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The Comedy Purgatorio
painted by Marco Rinaldi
 
ch'aperse il ciel del suo lungo divieto,
verdi come fogliette pur mo nate
Ricorditi, lettor, se mai nell'alpe
E già per li splendori antelucani
ed ecco più andar mi tolse un rio


PURGATORIO
Canto VIII

Io vidi quello essercito gentile
tacito poscia riguardare in sùe,
quasi aspettando, palido e umìle;

e vidi uscir de l'alto e scender giùe
due angeli con due spade affocate,
tronche e private de le punte sue.

Verdi come fogliette pur mo nate
erano in veste, che da verdi penne
percosse traean dietro e ventilate.

L'un poco sovra noi a star si venne,
e l'altro scese in l'opposita sponda,
sì che la gente in mezzo si contenne.

Ben discernëa in lor la testa bionda;
ma ne la faccia l'occhio si smarria,
come virtù ch'a troppo si confonda.




I saw that army of the gentle-born
Thereafterward in silence upward gaze,
As if in expectation, pale and humble;

And from on high come forth and down descend,
I saw two Angels with two flaming swords,
Truncated and deprived of their points.

Green as the little leaflets just now born
Their garments were, which, by their verdant pinions
Beaten and blown abroad, they trailed behind.

One just above us came to take his station,
And one descended to the opposite bank,
So that the people were contained between them.

Clearly in them discerned I the blond head;
But in their faces was the eye bewildered,
As faculty confounded by excess.

Longfellow translation

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