Pitiless memory, ever gazing back at the time that is past

The opening lines of Dante’s Rime L, text and translation from my (new) Foster and Boyde edition. The full work can be found here (Italian only).


La dispietata mente, che pur mira
di retro al tempo che se n’è andato,
da l’un dei lati mi combatte il core;
e ’l disio amoroso, che mi tira
ver lo dolce paese c’ho lasciato,
d’altra part’è con la forza d’Amore;

Pitiless memory, ever gazing back at the time that is past, assails my heart on the one side; on the other, with the power of Love, is the love-longing that draws me towards the dear place where I have left.

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