Message 215: To cast off sloth

… “To cast off sloth
Now well behooves you,” said my master then:
“For resting upon soft down, or underneath

The blanket’s cloth, is not how fame is won�
Without which, one spends life to leave behind
As vestige of himself on earth the sign

Smoke leaves on air, or foam on water. So stand
And overcome your panting�with the soul,
Which wins all battles if it does not despond

Under its heavy body’s weight. And still
A longer ladder remains for us to climb.” (XXIV, 46-56, pg. 249)

— Dante Alighieri, The Inferno of Dante, trans. Robert Pinsky (London: J.M. Dent, 1994).

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