Through me you pass into the city of woe: Through me you pass into eternal pain: Through me among the people lost for aye. Justice the founder of my fabric moved: To rear me was the task of power divine, Supremest wisdom, and primeval love. Before me things create were none, save things Eternal, and eternal I shall endure. All hope abandon, ye who enter here.
The man who lies asleep will never waken fame, and his desire and all his life drift past him like a dream, and the traces of his memory fade from time like smoke in air, or ripples on a stream.
Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost.
The day that man allows true love to appear, those things which are well made will fall into cofusion and will overturn everything we believe to be right and true.
In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost. Ah, how hard a thing it is to tell what a wild, and rough, and stubborn wood this was, which in my thought renews the fear!.
The mind which is created quick to love, is responsive to everything that is pleasing, soon as by pleasure it is awakened into activity. Your apprehensive faculty draws an impression from a real object, and unfolds it within you, so that it makes the mind turn thereto. And if, being turned, it inclines towards it, that inclination is love; that is nature, which through pleasure is bound anew within you.
Those ancients who in poetry presented the golden age, who sang its happy state, perhaps, in their Parnassus, dreamt this place. Here, mankind's root was innocent; and here were every fruit and never-ending spring; these streams--the nectar of which poets sing.
Love, that exempts no one beloved from loving, Seized me with pleasure of this man so strongly, That, as thou seest, it doth not yet desert me.
Midway along the journey of our life I woke to find myself in a dark wood, for I had wandered off from the straight path.
I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightfoward pathway had been lost. Ah me! How hard a thing is to say, what was this forest savage, rough, and stern, which in the very thought renews the fear. So bitter is it, death is little more...
Oh blind, oh ignorant, self-seeking cupidity which spurs as so in the short mortal life and steeps as through all eternity.
As the geometer intently seeks to square the circle, but he cannot reach, through thought on thought, the principle he needs, so I searched that strange sight.
Now you must cast aside your laziness," my master said, "for he who rests on down or under covers cannot come to fame; and he who spends his life without renown leaves such a vestige of himself on earth as smoke bequeaths to air or foam to water. Therefore, get up; defeat your breathlessness with spirit that can win all battles if the body's heaviness does not deter it. A longer ladder still is to be climbed; it's not enough to have left them behind; if you have understood, now profit from it.
The only answer that I give to you is doing it," he said. "A just request is to be met in silence, by the act.
And as he, who with laboring breath has escaped from the deep to the shore, turns to the perilous waters and gazes.
Why have you let your mind get so entwined," my master said, "that you have slowed your walk? Why should you care about what's whispered here? Come, follow me, and let these people talk: stand like a sturdy tower that does not shake its summit though the winds may blast; always the man in whom thought thrusts ahead of thought allows the goal he's set to move far off- the force of one thought saps the other's force.
They had their faces twisted toward their haunches and found it necessary to walk backward, because they could not see ahead of them. ...And since he wanted so to see ahead, he looks behind and walks a backward path.
And I was told about this torture, that it was the Hell of carnal sins when reasons give way to desire.
Salvation must grow out of understanding, total understanding can follow only from total experience, and experience must be won by the laborious discipline of shaping one’s absolute attention.
When any of our faculties retains a strong impression of delight or pain, the soul will wholly concentrate on that, neglecting any other power it has; and thus, when something seen or heard secures the soul in stringent grip, time moves and yet we do not notice it.
Life is a " vale of tears" a period of trial and suffering, an unpleasant but necessary preparation for the afterlife where alone man could expect to enjoy happiness - Archibald T. MacAllister (The Inferno; Dante Alighieri translated by John Ciardi).