Dante and Virgil

A poem by Henry Kendall

When lost Francesca sobbed her broken tale
Of love and sin and boundless agony,
While that wan spirit by her side did wail
And bite his lips for utter misery
The grief which could not speak, nor hear, nor see
So tender grew the superhuman face
Of one who listened, that a mighty trace
Of superhuman woe gave way, and pale
The sudden light up-struggled to its place;
While all his limbs began to faint and fail
With such excess of pity. But, behind,
The Roman Virgil stood the calm, the wise
With not a shadow in his regal eyes,
A stately type of all his stately kind.

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