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The Divine Comedy, Volume 3, Paradise [Paradiso] by Dante Aligheri

Part 4 out of 4

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is defective which is perfect there.

Now will my speech be shorter, even in respect to that which I
remember, than an infant's who still bathes his tongue at the
breast. Not because more than one simple semblance was in the
Living Light wherein I was gazing, which is always such as it was
before; but through my sight, which was growing strong in me as I
looked, one sole appearance, as I myself changed, was altering
itself to me.

Within the profound and clear subsistence of the lofty Light
appeared to me three circles of three colors and of one
dimension; and one appeared reflected by the other, as Iris by
Iris,[1] and the third appeared fire which from the one and from
the other is equally breathed forth.

[1] As one arch of the rainbow by the other.

O how short is the telling, and how feeble toward my conception!
and this toward what I saw is such that it suffices not to call
it little.

O Light Eternal, that sole dwellest in Thyself, sole
understandest Thyself, and, by Thyself understood and
understanding, lovest and smilest on Thyself! That circle,
which, thus conceived, appeared in Thee as a reflected light,
being somewhile regarded by my eyes, seemed to me depicted within
itself, of its own very color, by our effigy, wherefore my sight
was wholly set upon it. As is the geometer who wholly applies
himself to measure the circle, and finds not by thinking that
principle of which he is in need, such was I at that new sight. I
wished to see how the image accorded with the circle, and how it
has its place therein; but my own wings were not for this, had it
not been that my mind was smitten by a flash in which its wish

To my high fantasy here power failed; but now my desire and my
will, like a wheel which evenly is moved, the Lovee was turning
which moves the Sun and the other stars.

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