Apr 232011
 

‘‘Then the maidens – those with honour –
Artemis in love, Selene,
Keep thee near the world as Moon Queen,
Govern tides and turn. Athena

‘You shall take the name, Minerva,
Teach the legions with your learning;
Help the Romans conquer Hellas,
Thereby, still be known as Pallas.

‘Hestia, keep your honoured status,
May the Earth exalt your greatness.
You, Demeter, shall be Ceres
Governing over every season.

Zeus who radiates with lightening,
Thunderbolts so freely striking,
Then be Jove with circles binding –
Halos – rings of dust surrounding.

Though I shan’t recall the priestess,
She who kept the gold-leaf mystery,
Shroud the oracle of Delphi
With the endless veil of history.

Jun 272010
 

The glory of him who moves everything penetrates the universe and shines in one part more and, in another, less.

I have been in the heaven which takes most of his light, and I have seen things which cannot be told, possibly, by anyone who comes down from up there.

Because, approaching the object of its desires, our intellect is so deeply absorbed that memory cannot follow it all the way.

Nevertheless, what I was able to store up of that holy kingdom, in my mind, will now be the matter of my poem.

*

O you who are in your little boat, anxious to listen, having followed so far behind my ship which puts to sea singing,

Turn back and revisit the shores you have left: Avoid the high seas in case, perhaps, losing me, you should find yourself bewildered.

The water I venture upon has never been sailed: Minerva breathes, Apollo shows the way and the nine muses point to the bears.

You other few, who have stretched up your necks in time to the bread of angels, upon which life is lived here and no one has too much,

You may well put out on the salt deep with your ships, following in my furrow before the water closes up again.

Dante, Paradiso