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The Cathedral at Padua

Падуанский собор

Marvellous, and sad — yes, that’s what this temple
is — a joy, a temptation, a threat.
Eyes exhausted with desire
bum in the slits of confessional windows.

The organ melody rises, falls,
then swells fuller and more terrible,
like blood in dark church-granite veins
rioting in drunken mutiny.

I want to run out of these black arches,
away from purple velvet, away from languid martyrs,
their bare white bodies:
or temptation may possess my soul.

I need to sit at some remote old tavern, out
on the terrace, with a glass of wine —
there, right there, the stone wall has gone green,
turned green by the sea.

Hurry! One last try!
— but then, outside, you suddenly weaken —
Catholicism spreads its gothic towers,
like wings, in the blue sky.

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Beatrice

Muses, enough, cease your sobbing, / Pour out your grief into singing, / Sing about Dante soul-stirring, / Or play the flute, play with feeling. / / Move on, annoying faun deities, / Music is dead in your screaming! / Haven’t you learned only lately / Beatrice exited Eden....

Yet All But Once

Yet all but once you’ll reminisce of me / And of my world mysterious and thrilling, / The quirky world of songs and fervency, / But among all, unique and undeceiving. / / It could have been yours also, but alas, / It was too much for you, or was too scanty, / I must have ...