And here my memory defeats my wit:
Christ's flaming from that cross was such that I
can find no fit similitude for it.
But he who takes his cross and follows Christ
will pardon me again for my omission –
my seeing Christ flash forth undid my force. (Par. XIV, 103-108)
If here below, where sentiment is far
too weak to withstand error, I should see
men glorying in you, nobility
of blood – a meager thing! – I should not wonder,
for even where desire is not awry,
I mean in Heaven, I too felt such pride.
You are indeed a cloak that soon wears out,
so that if, day by day, we add no patch,
then circling time will trim you with its shears.
My speech began again with you, the word
that Rome was the first city to allow,
although her people seldom speak it now;
at this word, Beatrice, somewhat apart,
smiling, seemed like the woman who had coughed –
so goes the tale – at Guinevere's first fault. (Par. XVI, 1-15)
so, with a voice more gentle and more sweet –
not in our modern speech – it [Cacciaguida's light] said to me:
"Down from that day when Ave was pronounced,
until my mother (blessed now), by giving
birth, eased the burden borne in bearing me,
this fire of Mars had come five-hundred-fifty
and thirty more times to its Lion – there
to be rekindled underneath its paw.
My ancestors and I were born just where
the runner in your yearly games first comes
upon the boundary of the final ward.
That is enough concerning my forebears:
what were their names, from where they came – of that,
silence, not speech, is most appropriate." (Par. XVI, 32-45)