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Portrait of the Artist as a Lone Tree

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From Dante's 'Vita nuova' part VII -

O voi che par la via

Translated by S. McEvoy, versified by Dave Knight

Click to hear (.mp3)


O you who walk love’s ways, behold my plight,
for I have suffered more than other men.
Hear, and advise me if I have the right
to say to fate, "don't torture me again!"
Love, though I never did deserve such care,
chose to make plain to me his nature, pure;
gave me a life of joy beyond compare,
through which I paced each day with footsteps sure.
And so they said of me "That lucky man -
who never knew the pangs of bitter pain!"
But then my fall was utter, swift, and deep.
In shame I put upon my tongue a ban,
and now my voice is silent in the main;
though outwardly I jest, inside I weep.


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