In a flowery valley of Antipurgatorio Dante and Virgil, led by Sordello, see the souls of the negligent princes. Here Dante mentions Bohemia for the first time, pointing it through the names of its two rivers Vltava and Elbe (in Czech, Labe). When Dante meets the soul of King Ottokar II of Bohemia, he presents him next to his former enemy Rudolf of Hapsburg, showing that in Purgatory every earthly passion disappears. In fact, the two antagonistic princes even take comfort in each other in that flowery valley. The Poet also points out that King Ottokar was a better ruler than his son Wenceslas, who ascended the throne of Bohemia when his father died.
See below the two terzine (Purg., VII, 97-102) both in the original language and in the Czech translation of Otto František Babler and Jan Zahradníček .
L’altro che ne la vista lui conforta,
resse la terra dove l’acqua nasce
che Molta in Albia, e Albia in mar ne porta:
Ottacchero ebbe nome, e ne le fasce
fu meglio assai che Vincislao suo figlio
barbuto, cui lussuria e ozio pasce.
Druhý, jenž milou společnost mu tvoří,
vlád’ zemi, v níž je vodstev zrod, jichž příval
k Labi jde Vltavou a Labem k moří.
Otakar slul a v plenkách lepší býval
Než s volse Václav, jeho syn, jenž zase
Jen lenivost a neřest v sobě míval.
The same lines were translated into English by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as follows:
The other, who in look doth comfort him,
Governed the region where the water springs,
The Moldau bears the Elbe, and Elbe the sea.
His name was Ottocar; and in swaddling-clothes
Far better he than bearded Winceslaus
His son, who feeds in luxury and ease.