Page:The Commedia and Canzoniere of Dante Alighieri vol i.djvu/13

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Dedication Sonnets


The Very Rev. R. W. CHURCH, D.C.L.,

Thine was the hand first led me to the page
Of the much vext, much conquering Florentine,
And taught me in that Comedy Divine
To find the man, the prophet, and the sage;
And now, as manhood passes into age.
The struggle and the blessing have been mine
To follow step by step, and line by line,
The course of that transcendent pilgrimage.
The forest wild, foul stream, and drear abyss.
The sunlit ocean, and the mountain fair.
The wondrous circles of the souls in bliss,
Where light and music tremble in the air:
These lie before thee. Seems it overbold
This newest way to pay that debt of old!

San Reno,
January 12th, 1883.