Saturday, May 12, 2007

Purgatorio 21, 61-66

De la mondizia sol voler fa prova,
che, tutto libero a mutar convento,
l'alma sorprende, e di voler le giova.

Prima vuol ben, ma non lascia il talento
che divina giustizia, contra voglia,
come fu al peccar, pone al tormento.

(substituting a much improved translation by friend and Dantist Peter D'Epiro:)

The will alone is judge of purity,
And, free to change its dwelling when it pleases,
Surprises the soul, encouraging it to will.

Indeed, the will is willing before, but stopped
By the longing that God’s Justice, against the will,
Inclines to torment as much as once to sin.

The English partly mimics the syntax, bursting with paradox, of the original.

No comments: