Go To The Devil - Poem by george fillingham
“Io diro vero, e tu ‘l ridi tra ‘vivi;
L’angel di Dio mi prese, e quell d’inferno
Gridava: ‘O tu del ciel, perche mi privy?
“Tut e ne porti di costui l’eterno
Per una lagrimetta che ‘l me toglie,
Ma io faro de l’altro altro governo! ”
Dante, Purgatorio Canto V,103-108*
I was traveling the back roads.
I passed the carcass of some large animal,
Perhaps a deer, beside the road.
Melting snow exposed it. Warm air ripened it,
Alerting scavengers. Two were there already.
But a hawk commanded the body.
The two vultures paced around the corpse,
Threatened by the smaller hawk.
The vultures would not challenge.
The talons of the hawk gripped hard the body.
The larger vultures stood and stared.
This was a study in metaphysics.
Each wanted what it wanted;
What God wants God takes.
The rest can go to the devil.
*(Truth will I speak, repeat it to the living;
God’s Angel took me up, and he of hell
Shouted: ‘O thou from heaven, why dost thou rob me?
‘Thou bearest away the eternal part of him,
For one poor tear, that takes him from me;
But with the rest I’ll deal in other fastion! ’
Trans: Henry W. Longfellow)
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