For one reason or another, I am feeling mortal.
112 Therefore I think and judge it for thy best
113 Thou follow me, and I will be thy guide,
114 And lead thee hence through the eternal place,
115 Where thou shalt hear the desperate lamentations,
116 Shalt see the ancient spirits disconsolate,
117 Who cry out each one for the second death;
118 And thou shalt see those who contented are
119 Within the fire, because they hope to come,
120 Whene’er it may be, to the blessed people;
121 To whom, then, if thou wishest to ascend,
122 A soul shall be for that than I more worthy;
123 With her at my departure I will leave thee.
I suppose I most recommend Longfellow’s translation of The Divine Comedy, which you can read – if you feel so inclined – in multiple versions online thanks to the Electronic Literature Foundation (ELF). That said, check out their project on Jane Austen. Longfellow has a better knack for the poetry of it, I think; moreso than the literal translations you must digest in school. Just like Heaney’s Beowulf. Solid.
There is also one hell of a digital gallery at ELF, checkout Salvador Dali’s “Cerberus” (I didn’t know this stuff even existed! – horrifying):
or Gustave Dore’s “Souls of Paolo and Francesca”
I just Amazoned me a copy.
In other news, Happy Birthday Mrs. P.