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Upon the journey of my life midway,
I found myself within a darkling wood,
Where from the straight path I had gone astray.

[Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita,
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.]

Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Italian poet
The Divine Comedy [Divina Commedia], Book 1 “Inferno,” Canto 1, l. 1ff (1.1-3) (1320) [tr. Minchin (1885)]
    (Source)

Opening words of the work. (Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

When in my middle State of Life I found
Myself entangl'd in a wood obscure,
Having the right path miss'd ...
[tr. Rogers (1782)]

When life had labour'd up her midmost stage,
And, weary with her mortal pilgrimage,
Stood in suspense upon the point of Prime;
Far in a pathless grove I chanc'd to stray ...
[tr. Boyd (1802), st. 1]

In the midway of this our mortal life,
I found me in a gloomy wood, astray
Gone from the path direct.
[tr. Cary (1814)]

Midway the journey of our life along,
I found me in a gloomy woodland dell,
The right road all confounded with the wrong.
[tr. Dayman (1843)]

In the middle of the journey of our life I [came to] myself in a dark wood [where] the straight way was lost.
[tr. Carlyle (1849)]

Halfway through our mortal life I found
In a dark forest's wild and rugged ground,
Where the right way was lost in shaggy wood,
A rude and savage woodland solitude.
[tr. Bannerman (1850)]

In our life's journey at its midway stage
I found myself within a wood obscure,
Where the right path which guided me was lost.
[tr. Johnston (1867)]

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straight-forward pathway had been lost.
[tr. Longfellow (1867)]

Halfway upon the road of our life, I came to myself amid a dark wood where the straight path was confused.
[tr. Butler (1885)]

Midway upon the road of our life I found myself within a dark wood, for the right way had been missed.
[tr. Norton (1892)]

Midway on the journey of our life I found myself within a darksome wood, for the right way was lost.
[tr. Sullivan (1893)]

Midway upon the road of our life's journey
I found myself within a dark wood faring;
For the straight way was lost by misadventure.
[tr. Griffith (1908)]

In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost.
[tr. Sinclair (1939)]

Midway life's journey I was made aware
That I had strayed into a dark forest,
And the right path appeared not anywhere.
[tr. Binyon (1943)]

Midway this way of life we're bound upon,
I woke to find myself in a dark wood,
Where the right road was wholly lost and gone.
[tr. Sayers (1949)]

Midway in our life's journey, I went astray
from the straight road and woke to find myself
alone in a dark wood.
[tr. Ciardi (1954)]

Midway in the journey of our life I found myself in a dark wood, for the straight way was lost.
[tr. Singleton (1970)]

Midway along the journey of our life
I woke to find myself in some dark woods,
for I had wandered off from the straight path.
[tr. Musa (1971)]

When I had journeyed half of our life's way,
I found myself within a shadowed forest,
for I had lost the path that does not stray.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1980)]

Half way along the road we have to go,
I found myself obscured in a great forest,
Bewildered, and I knew I had lost the way.
[tr. Sisson (1981)]

Midway on our life's journey, I found myself
In dark woods, the right road lost.
[tr. Pinsky (1994)]

In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself in a dark wood, for the straight way was lost.
[tr. Durling (1996)]

In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself, in a dark wood, where the direct way was lost.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

At one point midway on our path in life,
I came around and found myself now searching
through a dark wood, the right way blurred and lost.
[tr. Kirkpatrick (2006)]

Midway in the journey of our life
I came to myself in a dark wood,
for the straight way was lost.
[tr. Hollander/Hollander (2007)]

Halfway along the road of this our life
I woke to find myself in a wood so dark
That straight and honest ways were gone, and light
Was lost.
[tr. Raffel (2010)]

At the mid-point of the path through life, I found
Myself lost in a wood so dark, the way
Ahead was blotted out.
[tr. James (2013)]

Added on 9-Sep-22 | Last updated 9-Sep-22
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More quotes by Dante Alighieri

And that comrade
who meets his death and destiny, speared or stabbed,
let him die! He dies fighting for fatherland —
no dishonor there!

[ὃς δέ κεν ὑμέων
βλήμενος ἠὲ τυπεὶς θάνατον καὶ πότμον ἐπίσπῃ
τεθνάτω: οὔ οἱ ἀεικὲς ἀμυνομένῳ περὶ πάτρης
τεθνάμεν.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Iliad [Ἰλιάς], Book 15, l. 494ff (15.494) [Hector] (c. 750 BC) [tr. Fagles (1990), l. 574ff]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alternate translations:

If any bravely buy
His fame or fate with wounds or death, in Jove’s name let him die.
Who for his country suffers death, sustains no shameful thing,
[tr. Chapman (1611), l. 452ff]

Death is the worst; a fate which all must try;
And for our country 'tis a bliss to die.
The gallant man, though slain in fight he be,
Yet leaves his nation safe, his children free;
Entails a debt on all the grateful state;
His own brave friends shall glory in his fate.
[tr. Pope (1715-20)]

Therefore stand fast, and whosoever gall’d
By arrow or by spear, dies -- let him die;
It shall not shame him that he died to serve
His country.
[tr. Cowper (1791), l. 599ff]

Whichever of you, wounded or stricken, shall draw on his death and fate, let him die; it is not inglorious to him to die fighting for his country.
[tr. Buckley (1860)]

And if there be among you, who this day
Shall meet his doom, by sword or arrow slain,
E’en let him die! a glorious death is his
Who for his country falls.
[tr. Derby (1864)]

If any of you is struck by spear or sword and loses his life, let him die; he dies with honour who dies fighting for his country.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

If so be any of you, smitten by dart or thrust, shall meet death and fate, let him lie in death. No unseemly thing is it for him to die while fighting for his country.
[tr. Murray (1924)]

And if one finds
his death, his end, in some spear-thrust or cast,
then that is that, and no ignoble death
for a man defending his own land.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1974)]
Added on 27-Jan-21 | Last updated 1-Dec-21
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More quotes by Homer

A man is a god in ruins.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Nature,” ch. 8, Nature: Addresses and Lectures (1849)
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Added on 16-Oct-17 | Last updated 24-Feb-22
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More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Anyone who idolizes you is going to hate you when he discovers that you are fallible. He never forgives. He has deceived himself, and he blames you for it.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
An American Bible [ed. Alice Hubbard] (1918)
Added on 13-Nov-15 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
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Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) German philosopher
“Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose [Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte in weltbürgerlicher Absicht]” (1784)
Added on 25-Sep-15 | Last updated 25-Sep-15
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It is not going in [to the brothel] that is a problem, but not being able to come out.

Aristippus of Cyrene (c. 435 – c. 356 BC) Cyrenaic philosopher, Hedonist
Fragment 59 [Mannebach]
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Added on 5-Jun-15 | Last updated 5-Jun-15
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O poor mortals, how ye make this earth bitter for each other.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish essayist and historian
The French Revolution: A History, 1.5.5 (1837)
Added on 6-Mar-12 | Last updated 12-May-15
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Everyone is as God has made him, and oftentimes a great deal worse.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Spanish novelist
Don Quixote, 11.5
Added on 16-Jul-07 | Last updated 9-Jun-15
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