Per altra via, che fu sì aspra e forte, che lo salire omai ne parrà gioco

Purgatory 2 60ish forward, English from Longfellow.

Da poppa stava il celestial nocchiero,
tal che faria beato pur descripto;
e più di cento spirti entro sediero.
“In exitu Isräel de Aegypto”
cantavan tutti insieme ad una voce
con quanto di quel salmo è poscia scripto.
Poi fece il segno lor di santa croce;
ond’ ei si gittar tutti in su la piaggia:
ed el sen gì, come venne, veloce.
La turba che rimase lì, selvaggia
parea del loco, rimirando intorno
come colui che nove cose assaggia.
Da tutte parti saettava il giorno
lo sol, ch’avea con le saette conte
di mezzo ‘l ciel cacciato Capricorno,
quando la nova gente alzò la fronte
ver’ noi, dicendo a noi: “Se voi sapete,
mostratene la via di gire al monte.”
E Virgilio rispuose: “Voi credete
forse che siamo esperti d’esto loco;
ma noi siam peregrin come voi siete.
Dianzi venimmo, innanzi a voi un poco,
per altra via, che fu sì aspra e forte,
che lo salire omai ne parrà gioco.”

Upon the stern stood the Celestial Pilot;
Beatitude seemed written in his face,
And more than a hundred spirits sat within.
“In exitu Israel de Aegypto!”
They chanted all together in one voice,
With whatso in that psalm is after written.
Then made he sign of holy rood upon them,
Whereat all cast themselves upon the shore,
And he departed swiftly as he came.
The throng which still remained there unfamiliar
Seemed with the place, all round about them gazing,
As one who in new matters makes essay.
On every side was darting forth the day.
The sun, who had with his resplendent shafts
From the mid-heaven chased forth the Capricorn,
When the new people lifted up their faces
Towards us, saying to us: “If ye know,
Show us the way to go unto the mountain.”
And answer made Virgilius: “Ye believe
Perchance that we have knowledge of this place,
But we are strangers even as yourselves.
Just now we came, a little while before you,
Another way, which was so rough and steep,
That mounting will henceforth seem sport to us.”

 

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