'The New Life' by Dante (1295)

A selection from La Vita Nuova (The New Life) by Dante, 1295.

"If I'd believed that day he saw me first,
my phoenix love, that in his blazing gaze,
as in a myth, my self should be upraised,
renewed in ripe old age, I might have burst
beyond the ring of fire, a leopard's thirst
my speed or stag's hot fear, and so amaze
him by my secret closeness to his ways
in which through sluggard speediness I'm versed."

"Out of heaven in his mortal dress
he came, and having witnessed for us hell
and mercy, he returned with God to dwell,
leaving his vision like a light to us.
...I speak of Dante...."