“Gloria in excelsis Deo,” they all cried –
so did I understand from those nearby,
whose shouted words were able to be heard.
Just like the shepherds who first heard that song,
we stood, but did not move, in expectation,
until the trembling stopped, the song was done. (Purg. XX, 136-141)
[Statius]: “I had sufficient fame beyond,” that spirit
replied; “I bore the name that lasts the longest
and honors most – but faith was not yet mine.
So gentle was the spirit of my verse
that Rome drew me, son of Toulouse, to her
and there my brow deserved a crown of myrtle.
On earth my name is still remembered – Statius:
I sang of Thebes and then of great Achilles;
I fell along the way of that last labor.
The sparks that warmed me, the seeds of my ardor,
were from the holy fire – the same that gave
more than a thousand poets light and flame.
I speak of the Aeneid; when I wrote
verse, it was mother to me, it was nurse;
my work, without it, would not weigh an ounce.” (Purg. XXI, 85-99)
And – there! – “Labi mea, Domine”
was wept and sung and heard in such a manner
that it gave birth to both delight and sorrow. (Purg. XXIII, 10-12)