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Our army met Perugia’s on the plain
beside the hospital. All day we fought
with crossbow, sword, and lancet to obtain
our freedom, but by dusk it came to naught.
So I became a prisoner of men,
as glorious as a rat holed in its nest,
and mourned for joys I might not taste again,
considering him pierced the truly blessed.
Then skulking home, I gained some intimation
of grace in watching lepers beg their food,
and learned no earthly city is my nation,
and that affliction borne can proffer good.
For Heaven holds neither Ghibelline nor Guelph,
but those whom God abases for himself.

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