he [Dante] goes in search of liberty – so precious,
as he who gives his life for it must know.
You know it – who, in Utica, found death
for freedom was not bitter, when you left
the garb that will be bright on the great day.
Eternal edicts are not broken for us;
this man’s alive, and I’m not bound by Minos…(Purg. I, 71-77)
[Jacopo del Cassero]: “My home was Fano; but the piercing wounds
from which there poured the blood where my life lived –
those I received among Antenor’s sons,
there where I thought that I was most secure;
for he of Este, hating me far more
than justice warranted, had that deed done.
But had I fled instead toward Mira when
they overtook me at Oriaco, then
I should still be beyond, where men draw breath.
I hurried to the marsh. The mud, the reeds
entangled me; I fell. And there I saw
a pool, poured from my beings, form on the ground.” (Purg. V, 73-84)
But those who are alive within you [Italy] now
can’t live without their warring – even those
whom one same wall and one same moat enclose
gnaw at each other. Squalid Italy,
search round your shores and then look inland – see
if any part of you delight in peace. (Purg. VI, 82-87)