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Message 203: Now needs thy best of man

“Now needs thy best of man;” so spake my guide:
“For not on downy plumes, nor under shade
Of canopy reposing, fame is won;
Without which whosoe’er consumes his days,
Leaveth such vestige of himself on earth,
As smoke in air, or foam upon the wave.
Thou therefore rise: vanquish thy weariness
By the mind’s effort, in each struggle form’d
To vanquish, if she suffer not the weight
Of her corporeal frame to crush her down.
A longer ladder yet remains to scale.” (XXIV, lines unnumbered, pg. 177-78)

— Dante Alighieri,The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, trans. Henry F. Cary (New York: Crown Publishers, 1900).

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