Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XXIII. Grief
‘Weep, Lovers, sith Love’s very self doth weep’
By Dante Alighieri (1265–1321)
From ‘La Vita Nuova’

Translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

WEEP, Lovers, sith Love’s very self doth weep,
    And sith the cause for weeping is so great;
    When now so many dames, of such estate
In worth, show with their eyes a grief so deep.
For Death the churl has laid his leaden sleep        5
    Upon a damsel who was fair of late,
    Defacing all our earth should celebrate,—
Yea all save virtue, which the soul doth keep.
Now hearken how much Love did honour her.
    I myself saw him in his proper form        10
      Bending above the motionless sweet dead,
And often gazing into Heaven; for there
    The soul now sits which when her life was warm
      Dwelt with the joyful beauty that is fled.

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