Martin Robertson

Now and Then

Virgil’s Farewell to Dante

Of eternity in Hell

I had passed thirteen hundred years.

Not ice or fire, no shrieks, no tears,

but hopeless ill yearning for well.

Then—music of the spheres,

light—your Lady broke the spell

of eternity in Hell.

I had passed thirteen hundred years

of paralysed yearning.  All fell

away in action, hopes, fears

for you.  Eternal bliss nears

for you, for me the parallel

of eternity in Hell.