Inferno

by: Dante Alighieri

Cantos XVIII–XX

Quotes Cantos XVIII–XX
So from the precipice’s base did crags
Project, which intersected dikes and oats,
Unto the outer bank are little bridges….
Upon my right hand I beheld new anguish,
New torments, and new wielders of the lash,
Wherewith the foremost Bolgia was replete.
Beheld I hornëd demons with great scourges,
Who cruelly were beating them behind.
Ah me! How they did make them lift their legs
At the first blows! And sooth not any one
The second waited for, nor for the third.
Thence we heard people, who are making moan
In the next Bolgia, snorting with their muzzles
And with their palms beating upon themselves.
The margins were encrusted with a mould
By exhalation from below, that sticks there,
And with the eyes and nostrils wages war.
To me less ample seemed they not, nor greater
Than those that in my beautiful Saint John
Are fashioned for the place of the baptizers….
Out of the mouth of each one there protruded
The feet of a transgressor, and the legs
Up to the calf, the rest within remained.
In all of them the soles were both on fire
Wherefore the joints so violently quivered
They would have snapped asunder withes and bands.
“Ye have made yourselves a god of gold and silver;
And from the idolater how differ ye,
Save that he one, and ye a hundred worship?”…
And while I sang such notes to him as these….
I think in sooth that it my Leader pleased,
With such contented lip he listened ever
Unto the sounds of the true words expressed.