Monday, December 03, 2007

Diligite Iustitiam Qui Iudicatis Terram

Loved star! what jewels, and how many of them
Showed me 'twas Justice whose terrestrial course
Is governed by the heaven thou dost begem!

Therefore I pray the Mind which is thy source
Of might and motion, that It mark whence comes
The smoke that dims thy rays and dulls their force;

That wrath rekindle soon to purge these scums
Of mart and sale within the temple wall
Built once with miracles and martyrdoms.

O soldiers of that host celestial

On whom I gaze, pray for a whole world run
Astray after ill example! Pray for all!

Wars, that the sword once waged, are waged and won
By banning now, wherever men think fit,
That Bread the Father's love locks up from none.

And thou, who writest but to annul the writ,
Take heed! for Peter and Paul, who died to save
The vineyard thou play'st havoc with, live yet.

But thou wilt answer: "I who only crave
For him who chose to dwell alone, and then
Was danced away into a martyr's grave,

Know naught of all your Pauls and Fishermen!"

Dante Alighieri, Paradise*, Canto XVIII.

*I could only find an online link to the Longfellow translation. The above comes from Dorothy Sayers'.