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The Atlantic Monthly/Volume 14/Number 86/On Translating the Divina Commedia


 

ON TRANSLATING THE DIVINA COMMEDIA.

 

Oft have I seen at some cathedral-door
A laborer, pausing in the dust and heat,
Lay down his burden, and with reverent feet
Enter, and cross himself, and on the floor
Kneel to repeat his pater-noster o'er;
Far off the noises of the world retreat;
The loud vociferations of the street
Become an undistinguishable roar.
So, as I enter here from day to day,
And leave my burden at this minster-gate,
Kneeling in prayer, and not ashamed to pray,
The tumult of the time disconsolate
To inarticulate murmurs dies away,
While the eternal ages watch and wait.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.