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James Russell Lowell, Among my books, Dante. (search)
till cautious, but answers the question indirectly in the next canto by putting the Trojan Ripheus among the blessed:— Who would believe, down in the errant world, That e'er the Trojan Ripheus in this round Could be the fifth one of these holy lights? Now knoweth he enough of what the world Has not the power to see of grace divine, Although his sight may not discern the bottom. Then he seems to hesitate again, brings in the Church legend of Trajan brought back to life by the prayers of Gregory the Great that he might be converted; and after an interval of fifty lines tells us how Ripheus was saved— The other one, through grace that from so deep A fountain wells that never hath the eye Of any creature reached its primal wave, Set all his love below on righteousness; Wherefore from grace to grace did God unclose His eye to our redemption yet to be, Whence he believed therein, and suffered not From that day forth the stench of Paganism, And he reproved there for the folk pervers