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Friday, June 21, 2013

Moses reported abducted (1)

[2: 45]

Poi sale il Monte ove colui da lunge
Il promesso terren vedea mirando,
Ma prima a quel ch'è più vicino ei giunge,
Ove atra nube il circondò portando,
O sia rapto che l'alma a Dio congiunge,
O Morte pur di cui si cela il quando.
Così, sparito da l'humana vista,
S'ascose in guisa d'huom ch'il Cielo acquista.

He [a prince called Corcut] climbs the Mount where [Moses] saw the Promised Land from afar, in awe. But, before, he reaches the nearer one, where a dark cloud surrounded [Moses] and took him away - whether it was an abduction that unites the soul to God, or Death whose "when" has not been told. So, disappearing from human sight, he hid like a man attaining Heaven.

A proper comment will be provided tomorrow. Meanwhile, just a brief note to point out that the last verse - "s'ascose," he hid  - includes a Dantesque hint, Purgatorio 26: 148; the phrase "in guisa d'uom" (like a man . . . ) also echoes Dante's language.