“If you can always offer a reply
so to readily to others,” said all three,
“then happy you who speak, at will, so clearly.
So, if you can escape these lands of darkness
and see the stars on your return,
when you repeat with pleasure, ‘I was there,’
be sure that you remember us to men.”

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More from The Divine Comedy

The day was now departing; the dark air
released the living beings of the earth
from work and weariness.

Inferno: Canto II, lines 1-3

When I had journeyed half of our life’s way,
I found myself within a shadowed forest,
for I had lost the path that does not stray.

Moving again, I tried the lonely slope-
my firm foot was always the one below.

Inferno, Canto I, lines 29-30

The time was the beginning of the morning;
the sun was rising now in fellowship
with the same stars that had escorted it
when Divine Love first moved those things of beauty.

Inferno, Canto I, lines 37-40

But here I can’t be still; and by the lines
of this my Comedy, reader, I swear-
and may my verse find favor for long years.