[Virgil quoting Beatrice]: "‘In Heaven there’s a gentle lady – one
who weeps for the distress toward which I send you,
so that stern judgment up above is shattered.
And it was she who called upon Lucia,
requesting of her: "Now your faithful one
has need of you, and I commend him to you."
Lucia, enemy of every cruelty,
arose and made her way to where I was,
sitting beside the venerable Rachel.
She said: "You, Beatrice, true praise of God,
why have you not helped him who loves you so
that – for your sake – he’s left the vulgar crowd?
Do you not hear the anguish in his cry?
Do you not see the death he wars against
upon that river ruthless as the sea?"
No one within this world has ever been
so quick to seek his good or flee his harm
as I…’" (Inf. II, 94-111)
As little flowers, which the chill of night
has bent and huddled, when the white sun strikes,
grow straight and open fully on their stems,
so did I, too, with my exhausted force;
and such warm daring rushed into my heart
that I – as one who has been freed – began:
"O she, compassionate, who has helped me!
And you who, courteous, obeyed so quickly
the true words that she had addressed to you!
You, with your words, have so disposed my heart
to longing for this journey – I return
to what I was at first prepared to do." (Inf. II, 127-138)
But I, who’d seen the change in his [Virgil’s] complexion,
said: "How shall I go on if you are frightened,
you who have always helped dispel my doubts?"
And he to me: "The anguish of the people
whose place is here below, has touched my face
with the compassion you mistake for fear." (Inf. IV, 16-22)