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  • Translation

A ciascun’alma presa, e gentil core by Dante Alighieri

To every gentle heart true Love may move,

And unto whom my words must now be brought

For wise interpretation’s tender thought,

I greet you in our Lord’s name, which is Love.

Through night’s last watch, as winking stars, above,

Kept their high vigil over men, distraught,

Love came to me, with such dark terrors fraught

As mortals may not casually speak of.

Love seemed a being of pure Joy and held

My heart, pulsating. On his other arm

My lady, wrapped in thinnest gossamers, slept.

He, having roused her from her sleep, then made

My heart her feast—devoured, with alarm.

Love then departed; as he left, he wept.

Featured in New Lyre Summer 2023

Loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

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