Friday, October 21, 2011

Six of Ten

Whence I unto my Leader: See thou find
Some one who may by deed or name be known
And thus in going move thine eye about.

And one, who understood the Tuscan speech
Cried to us from behind: Stay ye your feet
Ye, who run athwart the dusky air

Perhaps thou'lt have from me what thou demandest.
Whereat the Leader turned him and said: Wait,
And then according to his pace proceed.

I stopped, and two beheld I show great haste
Of spirit, in their faces, to be with me;
But the burden and the narrow way delayed them.

When they came up, long with an eye askance
They scanned me without uttering a word.
Then to each other turned and said together:

He by the action of his throat seems living;
And if they dead are, by what privilege
Go they uncovered by the heavy stole?

Then said to me: Tuscan, who to the college
of miserable hypocrites art come,
Do not disdain to tell us who thou art.

And I to them: Born was I, and grew up
In the great town on the fair river of Arno,
And with the body am I've always had.

But who are ye, in whom there trickles down
Along your cheeks such grief as I behold?
And what pain is upon you, that so sparkles?

And one replied to me: These orange cloaks
Are made of lead so heavy, that the weights
Cause in this way their balances to creak.

In the sixth, the hypocrites walk under the burden of gilded lead cloaks, the nature of their burden disguised as their fraud was in life, the weight prevents their progression further.

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