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Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Translations

VII

DANTE

What should be said of him cannot be said;
  By too great splendor is his name attended;
  To blame is easier those who him offended,
  Than reach the faintest glory round him shed.
This man descended to the doomed and dead
  For our instruction; then to God ascended;
  Heaven opened wide to him its portals splendid,
  Who from his country's, closed against him, fled.
Ungrateful land!  To its own prejudice
  Nurse of his fortunes; and this showeth well,
  That the most perfect most of grief shall see.
Among a thousand proofs let one suffice,
  That as his exile hath no parallel,
  Ne'er walked the earth a greater man than he.