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 Canto XIV
      Solomon, who is one of the spirits in the inner circle, declares what the
 appearance of the blest will be after the resurrection of the body. Beatrice
 and Dante are translated into the fifth heaven, which is that of Mars; and
 here behold the souls of those, who had died fighting for the true faith,
 ranged in the sign of the cross, athwart which the spirits move to the sound
 of a melodious hymn.
 From centre to the circle, and so back
 From circle to the centre, water moves
 In the round chalice, even as the blow
 Impels it, inwardly, or from without.
 Such was the image[1] glanced into my mind,
 As the great spirit of Aquinum ceased;
 And Beatrice, after him, her words
 Resumed alternate: "Need there is (though yet
 He tells it to you not in words, nor e'en
 In thought) that he should fathom to its depth
 Another mystery. Tell him, if the light,
 Wherewith your substance blooms, shall stay with you
 Eternally, as now; and, if it doth,
 How, when[2] ye shall regain your visible forms,
 The sight may without harm endure the change,
 That also tell." As those, who in a ring
 Tread the light measure, in their fitful mirth
 Raise loud the voice, and spring with gladder bound;
 Thus, at the hearing of that pious suit,
 The saintly circles, in their tourneying
 And wondrous note, attested new delight.
 [1: The voice of Thomas Aquinas proceeding from the circle to the
 centre; and that of Beatrice, from the centre to the circle.]
 [2: "When." When ye shall be again clothed with your bodies at the
 Whoso laments, that we must doff this garb
 Of frail mortality, thenceforth to live
 Immortally above; he hath not seen
 The sweet refreshing of that heavenly shower.[3]
 [3: That effusion of beatific light.]
 Him, who lives ever, and forever reigns
 In mystic union of the three in one,
 Unbounded, bounding all, each spirit thrice
 Sang, with such melody, as, but to hear,
 For highest merit were an ample meed.
 And from the lesser orb the goodliest light,[4]
 With gentle voice and mild, such as perhaps
 The Angel's once to Mary, thus replied:
 "Long as the joy of Paradise shall last,
 Our love shall shine around that raiment, bright
 As fervent; fervent as, in vision, blest;
 And that as far, in blessedness, exceeding,
 As it hath grace, beyond its virtue, great.
 Our shape, regarmented with glorious weeds
 Of saintly flesh, must, being thus entire,
 Show yet more gracious. Therefore shall increase
 Whate'er, of light, gratuitous imparts
 The Supreme Good; light, ministering aid,
 The better to disclose His glory; whence,
 The vision needs increasing, must increase
 The fervour, which it kindles; and that too
 The ray, that comes from it. But as the gleed
 Which gives out flame, yet in its whiteness shines
 More livelily than that, and so preserves
 Its proper semblance; thus this circling sphere
 Of splendour shall to view less radiant seem,
 Than shall our fleshly robe, which yonder earth
 Now covers. Nor will such excess of light
 O'erpowtr us, in corporeal organs made
 Firm, and susceptible of all delight."
 [4: "The goodliest light." Solomon.]
 So ready and so cordial an "Amen"
 Follow'd from either choir, as plainly spoke
 Desire of their dead bodies; yet perchance
 Not for themselves, but for their kindred dear,
 Mothers and sires, and those whom best they loved,
 Ere they were made imperishable flame.
 And lo! forthwith there rose up round about
 A lustre, over that already there;
 Of equal clearness, like the brightening up
 Of the horizon. As at evening hour
 Of twilight, new appearances through Heaven
 Peer with faint glimmer, doubtfully descried;
 So, there, new substances, methought, began
 To rise in view beyond the other twain,
 And wheeling, sweep their ampler circuit wide.
 O genuine glitter of eternal Beam!
 With what a sudden whiteness did it flow,
 O'erpowering vision in me. But so fair,
 So passing lovely, Beatrice show'd,
 Mind cannot follow it, nor words express
 Her infinite sweetness. Thence mine eyes regain'd
 Power to look up; and I beheld myself,
 Sole with my lady, to more lofty bliss[5]
 Translated: for the star, with warmer smile
 Impurpled, well denoted our ascent.
 [5: "To more lofty bliss." To the planet Mars.]
 With all the heart, and with that tongue which speaks
 The same in all, an holocaust I made
 To God, befitting the new grace vouchsafed.
 And from my bosom had not yet upsteam'd
 The fuming of that incense, when I knew
 The rite accepted. With such mighty sheen
 And mantling crimson, in two listed rays
 The splendours shot before me, that I cried,
 "God of Sabaoth! that dost prank them thus!"
 As leads the galaxy from pole to pole,
 Distinguish'd into greater lights and less,
 Its pathway, which the wisest fail to spell;
 So thickly studded, in the depth of Mars,
 Those rays described the venerable sign,
 That quadrants in the round conjoining frame.
 Here memory mocks the toil of genius. Christ
 Beam'd on that cross; and pattern fails me now.
 But whoso takes his cross, and follows Christ,
 Will pardon me for that I leave untold,
 When in the flecker'd dawning he shall spy
 The glitterance of Christ. From horn to horn,
 And 'tween the summit and the base, did move
 Lights, scintillating, as they met and pass'd.
 Thus oft are seen with ever - changeful glance,
 Straight or athwart, now rapid and now slow,
 The atomies of bodies, long or short,
 To move along the sunbeam, whose slant line
 Checkers the shadow interposed by art
 Against the noontide heat. And as the chime
 Of minstrel music, dulcimer, and harp
 With many strings, a pleasant dinning makes
 To him, who heareth not distinct the note;
 So from the lights, which there appear'd to me,
 Gather'd along the cross a melody,
 That, indistinctly heard, with ravishment
 Possess'd me. Yet I mark'd it was a hymn
 Of lofty praises; for there came to me
 "Arise," and "Conquer," as to one who hears
 And comprehends not. Me such ecstasy
 O'ercame, that never, till that hour, was thing
 That held me in so sweet imprisonment.
 Perhaps my saying overbold appears,
 Accounting less the pleasure of those eyes,
 Whereon to look fulfilleth all desire.
 But he, who is aware those living seals
 Of every beauty work with quicker force,
 The higher they are risen; and that there
 I had not turn'd me to them; he may well
 Excuse me that, whereof in my excuse
 I do accuse me, and may own my truth;
 That holy pleasure here not yet reveal'd
 Which grows in transport as we mount aloof.