To the left is the cover for Book 4 of the Castalia Library, THE DIVINE COMEDY, which is based on medieval maps of Dante’s cosmography. The edition is 612 pages and features the 1867 translation of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as well as illustrations adapted by Tamburn Bindery from woodcuts in the Venetian edition of 1497. We have also included the six Italian-form sonnets that Longfellow, inspired by his translation of Dante’s masterwork, wrote to accompany his translation, the first of which follows:
Oft have I seen at some cathedral door
A laborer, pausing in the dust and heat,
Lay down his burden, and with reverent feet
Enter, and cross himself, and on the floor
Kneel to repeat his paternoster o’er;
Far off the noises of the world retreat;
The loud vociferations of the street
Become an undistinguishable roar.
So, as I enter here from day to day,
And leave my burden at this minster gate,
Kneeling in prayer, and not ashamed to pray,
The tumult of the time disconsolate
To inarticulate murmurs dies away,
While the eternal ages watch and wait.
How strange the sculptures that adorn these towers!
This crowd of statues, in whose folded sleeves
Birds build their nests; while canopied with leaves
Parvis and portal bloom like trellised bowers,
And the vast minster seems a cross of flowers!
But ^ends and dragons on the gargoyled eaves
Watch the dead Christ between the living thieves,
And, underneath, the traitor Judas lowers!
Ah! from what agonies of heart and brain,
What exultations trampling on despair,
What tenderness, what tears, what hate of wrong,
What passionate outcry of a soul in pain,
Uprose this poem of the earth and air,
This mediæval miracle of song!
To the right is the cover of the Libraria Castalia edition. It was our goal to distinguish this edition of THE DIVINE COMEDY from both editions published by the Franklin Library as well as the edition published by Easton Press, and the general consensus on SocialGalactic is that we succeeded. If you wish to join our campaign to preserve Western civilization and subscribe to the Castalia Library, you can do so here. The current volume is Plutarch’s THE LIVES OF THE GREEKS AND ROMANS, VOL. I.
In other Library news, we will be offering the remaining copies of THE MISSIONARIES and MEDITATIONS at the retail price of $150 later this week. The Library edition of AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND will be shipping to subscribers next week; the Libraria editions are awaiting the arrival of the goatskins at the bindery and are anticipated to ship the last week of September.