Poem – The Prayer of the Proud in Purgatory

Our Father in Heaven, not by Heaven bounded
But there indwelling for the greater love
Thou bear’st Thy first works in the realm first-founded,

Hallowed be Thy name, hallowed Thy Power
By every creature as its nature grants it
To praise Thy quickening breath in its brief hour.

Let come to us the sweet peace of Thy reign,
For if it come not we cannot ourselves
Attain to it however much we strain.

And as Thine Angels kneeling at the throne
Offer their wills to Thee, singing Hosannah,
So teach all men to offer up their own.

Give us this day Thy manna, Lord we pray,
For if he have it not, though man most strive
Through these harsh wastes, his speed is his delay.

As we forgive our trespassers the ill
We have endured, do Thou forgive, not weighing
Our merits, but the mercy of Thy will.

Our strength is as a reed bent to the ground:
Do not Thou test us with the Adversary,
But deliver us from him who sets us round.

This last petition, Lord, with grateful mind,
We pray not for ourselves who have no need,
But for the souls of those we left behind.

-Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio, Canto XI, 1-24 (Ciardi translation)

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