TO EVERY CAPTIVE SOUL AND GENTLE HEART
by: Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)
- o every captive soul and gentle heart,
- Into whose sight the present song shall come,
- Praying their thoughts on what it may portend,
- Health in the name of Love, their sovereign lord.
- A third part of the hours had almost past
- Which show in brightest lustre every star,
- When suddenly before me Love appeared,
- Whose essence to remember gives me horror.
- Joyful Love seem'd, holding within his hand
- My heart, and in his arms enfolded lay
- Madonna sleeping, in a mantle wrapt.
- Then waking her, he with this burning heart
- Courteously fed her, and in fear she ate.
- That done, I saw him go his way in tears.
POEMS BY DANTE ALIGHIERI
|"To Every Captive Soul and Gentle Heart" is reprinted from The Lyrical Poems of Dante Alighieri. Translated by Charles Lyell. London: William Smith, 1845.