Dante to the Fedeli d’Amore

A poem Dante Alighieri wrote to the Fedeli as a way of applying for membership.

To every heart which the sweet pain doth move,
 And unto which these words may now be brought
 For true interpretation and kind thought,
Be greeting in our Lord’s name, which is Love.
Of those long hours wherein the stars, above,
 Wake and keep watch, the third was almost nought,
 When Love was shown me with such terrors fraught
As may not carelessly be spoken of.
He seemed like one who is full of joy and had
 My heart within his hand, and on his arm
 My lady, with a mantle round her, slept;
Whom (having wakened her) anon he made
 To eat that heart; she ate, as fearing harm.
 Then he went out; and as he went, he wept.

   (tr. D. G. Rossetti)

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