(For Eugenio Montale)

‘And so Beatrice became an obsession with Dante.’ 

                                     —NEW INTERPRETATION


Passing out of a great city 
A flower in confusion, 
I, the speaker, and you, the listener;
You, who would never listen except through words, 
Learning with your clay implement,
Moving to change even in daylight,
And I, holding neither the middle way 
Of this direction nor any part
Valid for measurement, will lead
Dead Virgil through my private world.

Finding that the wood has not altered,
The Leopard, the Lion
They remain constant, and through them is forward,
And they as unshaken as stone beasts 
On the walls, laughing at enemies;
Mating with their bodies after death, 
Fruit of a human craftsman;
But He knowing the Hound 
From outside, and he with me
Walking equal, the Knowledge and Discord.