Here we find the moat of thieves. And just as a lizard, with a quick, slick slither, Flicks across the highway from hedge to hedge, Fleeter than a flash, in the battering dog-day weather, A fiery little monster, livid, in a rage, Black as any peppercorn, came and made a dart At the guts of the others, and leaping to engage One of the pair, it pierced him at the part Through which we first draw food; then loosed its grip And fell before him, outstretched and apart.
Here we see hypocrites, plodding forever around in their circle: And now we saw a people decked with paint, Who trod their circling way with tear and groan And slow, slow steps, seeming subdued and faint They all wore cloaks, with deep hoods forward thrown Over their eyes, and shaped in fashion quite Like the great cowls the monks wear at Cologne; Outwardly they were gilded dazzling bright, But all within was lead, and weighed thereby, King Frederick's copes would have seemed feather-light. O weary mantle for eternity! Once more we turned to the left, and by their side Paced on, intent upon their mournful cry.
And here Dante describes an evidently spherical world... "The lamp of the world [the sun] rises to mortals through different passages; but through that which joins four circles with three crosses [the position of the rising sun at the vernal equinox] it issues with a better course and conjoined with better stars, and tempers and stamps the wax of the world more after its own fashion. Although such an outlet had made morning there and evening here, and all the hemisphere there was bright, and the other dark..."