Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
XXVIII. Loneliness
‘That lady of all gentle memories’
By Dante Alighieri (1265–1321)
 
From ‘La Vita Nuova’

Translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

THAT lady of all gentle memories
  Had lighted on my soul;—whose new abode
  Lies now, as it was well ordained of God,
Among the poor in heart, where Mary is.
Love, knowing that dear image to be his,        5
  Woke up within the sick heart sorrow-bow’d,
  Unto the sighs which are its weary load
Saying, ‘Go forth.’ And they went forth, I wis;
Forth went they from my breast that throbbed and ached;
  With such a pang as oftentimes will bathe        10
    Mine eyes with tears when I am left alone.
  And still those sighs which drew the heaviest breath
Came whispering thus: ‘O noble intellect!
    It is a year to-day that thou art gone.’
 
 
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