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"...Se per questo cieco
carcere vai per altezza d'ingegno
mio figlio ov'è? perché non è teco?"

Inferno, X, 57

My ancestors hold that their ancestors' reap
of endless life as spirits can be
paid – contra doctrinam – in words,
dusty chantbooks, heads bent low,
filed, sceptic youths to bore
(as sacrifice due),
whispered refrains,
conjoined hands,
and wasted
While hasted
hourglass sands,
grain after grains,
(smoky incense-blue)
pour green oblivion for
fading love and patient crow
with ashen, wingéd shapes of lords
of endless life for them, and for me
of burning tombs where sons are not to weep.