Thoughts (Borrowed) While Looking at the Sky in Maine

By such signs, and on foot of such examples,
some say that bees have supped a draught that is divine,
that, as a matter of true fact, a god pervades the whole wide world,
sea’s expanse and heaven’s height,
whence flocks and herds and men, and all species of savage beast,
derive that fine line of life the second they are born.
And, what’s more, to him all things return in time, dissolved
and reabsorbed; there is no place for death–instead they soar,
still alive–to take their rightful place among the stars.
Georgics, IV.219-27 (trans. Fallon)
If, reader, I had ampler space in which
to write, I’d sing–though incompletely–that
sweet draught for which my thirst was limitless;
but since all of the pages pre-disposed
for this, the second canticle, are full,
the curb of art will not let me continue.
From the most holy wave I now returned
to Beatrice; remade, as new trees are
renewed when they bring forth new boughs, I was
pure and prepared to climb unto the stars
Purgatorio, XXXIII.136-145 (trans. Mandelbaum)

2 responses to “Thoughts (Borrowed) While Looking at the Sky in Maine”

  1. […] called this “the best poem by the best poet.”  Works for me.  I quoted some passages here and […]

  2. […] And, of course, you have Dante ending every book of The Divine Comedy with the stars. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: