If that which has been said of her so far
were all contained within a single praise,
it would be much too scant to serve me now.
The loveliness I saw surpassed not only
our human measure – and I think that, surely,
only its Maker can enjoy it fully.
I yield: I am defeated at this passage
more than a comic or a tragic poet
has ever been by a barrier in his theme;
for like the sun that strikes the frailest eyes,
so does the memory of her sweet smile
deprive me of the use of my own mind.
From that first day when, in this life, I saw
her face, until I had vision
no thing ever cut the sequence of my song,
but now I must desist from this pursuit,
in verses, of her loveliness, just as
each artist who has reached his limit must. (Par. XXX, 16-33)
because my sight, becoming pure, was able
to penetrate the ray of Light more deeply –
that Light, sublime, which in Itself is true.
From that point on, what I could see was greater
than speech can show: at such a sight, it fails –
and memory fails when faced with such excess. (Par. XXXIII, 52-58)
O Highest Light, You, raised so far above
the minds of mortals, to my memory
give back something of Your epiphany,
and make my tongue so powerful that I
may leave to people of the future one
gleam of the glory that is Yours, for by
returning somewhat to my memory
and echoing awhile within these lines,
Your victory will be more understood. (Par. XXXIII, 67-75)