Friday, September 25, 2009

Eunoe: The sweet draught that ne'er would satiate me

But Eunoe behold, that yonder rises;
Lead him to it, and, as thou art accustomed,
Revive again the half-dead virtue in him."

Like gentle soul, that maketh no excuse,
But makes its own will of another's will
As soon as by a sign it is disclosed,

Even so, when she had taken hold of me,
The beautiful lady moved, and unto Statius
Said, in her womanly manner, "Come with him."

If, Reader, I possessed a longer space
For writing it, I yet would sing in part
Of the sweet draught that ne'er would satiate me.

Dante, The Divine Comedy, Purgatorio: Canto XXXIII


Eunoe is a feature of Dante's Commedia created by Dante as a sixth river of the dead. Penitents reaching the Garden of Eden at the top of Mount Purgatory are first washed in the waters of the river Lethe in order to forget the memories of their mortal sins. They then pass through Eunoe to have the memories of their good deeds in life strengthened.

The word "eunoe" is one of Dante's many neologisms presumably derived from Greek "eu-," meaning "good" and "noe," meaning "mind."

O Happy Dead!

[ source ]

"O happy dead! O spirits elect already!"
Virgilius made beginning, "by that peace
Which I believe is waiting for you all,

Tell us upon what side the mountain slopes,
So that the going up be possible,
For to lose time irks him most who most knows."

Dante, The Divine Comedy, Purgatorio: Canto III