by: Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
- iscourteous Death! compassion's enemy,
- Of grief the parent old,
- O judgment, irresistible, severe,
- Since thou hast given a theme to this sad heart
- On which my thoughts still dwell,
- The tongue is wearied in upbraiding thee.
- And if to prayer thou wilt refuse all grace,
- 'Tis just that I denounce
- Thy cruelty, of wrongful deeds most wrong;
- Not that it can be hidden from the world,
- But I would stir the wrath
- Of all whose nourishment henceforth is love.
- From this world thou hast driven fair courtesy,
- And virtue most in lady to be prized;
- In gaiety of youth
- Thou hast destroyed the gracefulness of love.
- More of this lady I will not disclose
- Than by her attributes may here be known:
- He who deserves not heaven,
- May never hope to have her company.
POEMS BY DANTE ALIGHIERI
|"Discourteous Death" is reprinted from The Lyrical Poems of Dante Alighieri. Translated by Charles Lyell. London: William Smith, 1845.