Oh, pilgrims walking by oblivious,
your minds, it seems, on something not at hand,
can you have come from such a distant land”
the way you look suggests as much to us”
that you’re not weeping, even as you pass
right through the suffering city, like that band
of people who, it seems, don’t understand
a thing about the measure of its loss?

If you’ll just halt your progress now to hear
the tale”I swear it by my sighing heart”
your eyes will fill with tears before you leave.
For she who blessed the city is nowhere
in sight: what words about her we impart
have force enough to make a stranger grieve.

Articles by Dante Alighieri, translated by Andrew Frisardi

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