The Atlantic Monthly/Volume 18/Number 105/On Translating the Divina Commedia

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ON TRANSLATING THE DIVINA COMMEDIA.

SECOND SONNET.

I enter, and see thee in the gloom
Of the long aisles, O poet saturnine!
And strive to make my steps keep pace with thine.
The air is filled with some unknown perfume;
The congregation of the dead make room
For thee to pass; the votive tapers shine;
Like rooks that haunt Ravenna's groves of pine
The hovering echoes fly from tomb to tomb.
From the confessionals I hear arise
Rehearsals of forgotten tragedies,
And lamentations from the crypts below;
And then a voice celestial that begins
With the pathetic words, "Although your sins
As scarlet be," and ends with "as the snow."

 

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.