[King Solomon]: …"As long as the festivity
of Paradise shall be, so long shall our
love radiate around us such a garment.
Its brightness takes its measure from our ardor,
our ardor from our vision, which is measured
by what grace each receives beyond his merit.
When, glorified and sanctified, the flesh
is once again our dress, our persons shall,
in being all complete, please all the more;
therefore, whatever light gratuitous
the Highest Good gives us will be enhanced –
the light that will allow us to see Him;
that light will cause our vision to increase,
the ardor vision kindles to increase,
the brightness born of ardor to increase.
Yet even as a coal engenders flame,
but with intenser glow outshines it, so
that in the flame the coal persists, it shows,
so will the brightness that envelops us
be then surpassed in visibility
by reborn flesh, which earth now covers up." (Par. XIV, 37-57)
As, graced with lesser and with larger lights
between the poles of the world, the Galaxy
gleams so that even sages are perplexed;
so, constellated in the depth of Mars,
those rays described the venerable sign
a circle's quadrants form where they are joined.
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.
Lights moved along that cross from horn to horn
and from the summit to the base, and as
they met and passed, they sparkled, radiant: (Par. XIV, 97-111)
She did not smile. Instead her speech to me
began: "Were I to smile, then you would be
like Semele when she was turned to ashes,
because, as you have seen, my loveliness –
which, even as we climb the steps of this
eternal palace, blazes with more brightness –
were it not tempered here, would be so brilliant
that, as I flashed, your mortal faculty
would seem a branch a lightning bolt has cracked." (Par. XXI, 4-12)