Sunday, June 21, 2009

Beatrice

And she appeared to me clad in a most noble colour, a subdued and pure crimson, girded and adorned in a manner befitting her extreme youth.

At that moment I say truly that the spirit of life, which dwelleth in the most secret chamber of the heart, began to tremble so violently, that it was painfully perceptible in the smallest pulses; and trembling it spake these words: "Behold a god stronger than I, who coming, shall rule over me."

At that moment the animal spirit, that inhabits the high chamber where the sensitive spirits have their perceptions, began to marvel greatly, and speaking more especially to the spirits of the eyes, he said these words: "Your beatitude hath now been manifested to you."

At that moment the natural spirit, which dwelleth in that part where we administer our nutriment, began to weep, and weeping spake these words: "Woe is me! for often I shall be troubled from this time forth!"

Henceforward I say Love swayed my soul, which was so early espoused to him, and he assumed such complete mastery over me, through the power of the imagination, that perforce I was compelled to fulfil all his behest. He commanded me many times, that I should seek this youngest of the angels: whence I in my boyhood went many times in search of her, and I beheld in her such noble and laudable bearing that certainly of her might be spoken the words of the poet Homer, "She doth not seem to be a daughter of a mortal, but of God."


Dante Alighieri, Vita Nuova

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