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The Gate of Hell. Paolo and Francesca

The Gate of Hell warns sinners. It was created by God and is still without doors because Christ unhinged it when he went down to Limbo to bring out the biblical patriarchs. In the circle II, on the other hand, the lustful, those who have subdued reason to their senses, are punished. They are doomed to be dragged by an endless storm from one side of the circle to the other. Among them also those who died a violent death for love, including Paolo and Francesca.

“Through me the way is to the city dolent;
Through me the way is to eternal dole;
Through me the way among the people lost

Justice incited my sublime Creator;
Created me divine Omnipotence,
The highest Wisdom and the primal Love.

Before me there were no created things,
Only eterne, and I eternal last.
All hope abandon, ye who enter in!

These miscreants, who never were alive;
who live withouten infamy or praise.”

Inferno, 5, 88-109 – Hell's door

 

"O living creature gracious and benignant,
Who visiting goest through the purple air
Us, who have stained the world incarnadine,

If were the King of the Universe our friend,
We would pray unto him to give thee peace,
Since thou hast pity on our woe perverse.

Of what it pleases thee to hear or speak,
That will we hear, and we will speak to you,
While silent is the wind, as it is now.

Sitteth the city, wherein I was born,
Upon the sea-shore where the Po descends
To rest in peace with all his retinue.

Love, that on gentle heart doth swiftly seize,
Seized this man for the person beautiful
That was ta'en from me, and still the mode offends me.

Love, that exempts no one beloved from loving,
Seized me with pleasure of this man so strongly,
That, as thou seest, it doth not yet desert me;

Love has conducted us unto one death;
Caina waiteth him who quenched our life!" 

Inferno V 88-107. The Lustful.