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Portrait of the Artist as a Lone Tree


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From Dante’s “Vita nuova” part III -

A ciascun´alma presa e gentil core
(The vision of the Eaten Heart)

Translated by S. McEvoy, versified by Dave Knight

Click to hear (.mp3)

To lovers, who with tender hearts have soared,
and yet may read this passionate appeal -
I write, so you may tell me what you feel;
I greet you in the name of Love, your lord.
Deep in the night when stars shine bright and gladly,
an apparition, Love, appeared like magic;
and though his manner seemed more glad than tragic,
the memory bestirs my passions madly.
With ardent eyes expectant, blazing sable,
Love held within his hand my beating heart,
and in his arms my lover, softly sleeping.
He woke her; and she ate, though barely able,
the fearful feast that he had made her part;
and then he left, in search of others - weeping.

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