The scales of his armour flashed like flakes of lightning.
Thought cannot form itself to tell what I felt, thus received by the officers of heaven.' All I wanted and knew not, must be on its way to me !
We stood for a moment at the gate whence issued roaring the radiant river. I know not whence came the stones that fashioned it, but among them I saw the prototypes of all the gems I had loved on earth—far more beautiful than they, for these were living stones— such in which I saw, not the intent alone, but the intender too; not the idea alone, but the imbodier present, the operant outsender : nothing in this kingdom wTas dead; nothing was mere ; nothing only a thing.
We went up through the city and passed out. There was no wall on the upper side, but a huge pile of broken rocks, upsloping like the moraine of an eternal glacier ; and through the openings between the rocks, the river came billowing out. On their top I could dimly discern what seemed three or four great steps of a stair, disappearing in a cloud white as snow; and above the steps I saw, but with my mind's eye only, as it were a grand old chair, the throne of the Ancient of Days. Over and under and between those steps issued, plenteously, unceasingly new-born, the river of the water of life.
The great angel could guide us no farther: those rocks we must ascend alone !
My heart beating with hope and desire, I held
faster the hand of my Lona, and we began to climb ; but
soon we let each other go, to use hands as well as feet
in the toilsome ascent of the huge stones. At length
' Oma' vedrai di si fatti uficiali.—Del Purgatorio, 'I. 30.