Dante’s Inferno Canto III Paraphrased to current english.
Divine Comedy – Canto III
Lines: Translation :
1-9 I AM THE WAY INTO THE CITY OF WOE.
I AM THE WAY TO A FORSAKEN PEOPLE.
I AM THE WAY INTO ETERNAL SORROW.
SACRED JUSTICE MOVED MY ARCHITECT. I WAS RAISED HERE BY DIVINE OMNIPOTENCE,
PRIMORDIAL LOVE AND ULTIMATE INTELLECT.
ONLY THOSE ELEMENTS TIME CANNOT WEAR
WERE MADE BEFORE ME, AND BEYOND TIME I STAND.
ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE.
10-12 I read the inscription written above the Gates of Hell and asked my master what it meant.
13-15 He spoke as my superior and told me to be brave.
16-18 He told me I would pass among the lost people.
19-21 He held my hand and encouraged me to continue.
22-24 I cried as I heard others sighs and cries.
25-29 The angry voices created pandemonium.
30-31 Horrified, I asked who these people were.
32-36 He said to me they were the people who were neither good nor evil,
37-39 for Heaven was too perfect for them and Hell too wicked.
40-41 I asked him why they were so miserable.
42-47 He answered they have no hope of death from this nameless state.
48 He told me to move on.
49-52 I saw a banner amongst new people.
53-54 I did not know death had claimed so many.
55-57 I recognized one man. He had made the Great Denial.
58-60 I understood these were the people who hated God.
61-65 They ran naked with hornets and wasps who ate their skin.
65-66 The blood from their faces trickled down to their feet where it was devoured by maggots.
67-69 I saw group assembled at a river bank.
70-72 I asked who they were and why they seemed eager to cross the water.
73-74 He reprimanded me and said I would soon find out when we reached Acheron
75-78 I was ashamed and walked in silence.
79-80 An old man steered toward us in a boat.
81-84 He said he came to take souls into eternal darkness.
85-86 He told us to leave because we were alive.
87-90 He recognized I was a good soul and told me to go away to the other shore where an angel would escort me.
91-93 My guide told the man not to question him. He called the man Charon.
94-96 Charon became angry and yelled.
97-99 The spirits were fearful of him.
100-102 The spirits blasphemed God and family for they were damned and could not repent.
103-114 Charon took those evil spirits from the shore to Hell.
115-117 The spirits were gone, but new spirits came to the shore.
118-120 My master told me all those spirits were those who died in God’s wrath.
121-123 He said the spirits were pleased to be here because Hell is what they desired.
124-126 He explained no soul in grace ever came here, and that was why Charon was upset at his presence.
127-129 The country shook and terrified me.
130-132 The ground let out a flame and I became blind