Dantes Inferno Part of Canto 1– lost the way in a gloomy forest
Midway the path of life that men pursue I found me in a darkling wood astray, For the direct way had been lost to view. Ah me, how hard a thing it is to say What was this thorny wildwood intricate Whose memory renews the first dismay! Scarcely in death is bitterness more great: But as concerns the good discovered there The other things I saw will I relate.
In the midway of this our mortal life, I found me in a gloomy wood, astray Gone from the path direct: and e'en to tell, It were no easy task, how savage wild That forest, how robust and rough its growth, Which to remember only, my dismay Renews, in bitterness not far from death. Yet, to discourse of what there good befel, All else will I relate discover'd there.
How first I enter'd it I scarce can say, Such sleepy dulness in that instant weigh'd My senses down, when the true path I left; But when a mountain's foot I reach'd, where closed The valley that had pierced my heart with dread, I look'd aloft, and saw his shoulders broad Already vested with that planet's beam, Who leads all wanderers safe through every way.
Then was a little respite to the fear, That in my heart's recesses deep had lain All of that night, so pitifully past: And as a man, with difficult short breath, Forespent with toiling, 'scaped from sea to shore, Turns to the perilous wide waste, and stands