Variation on a Theme by Dante

My memory is a little shaky here (the variations were all written in 1965), but I believe the theme here comes from an English translation of  La Vita Nuova (The New Life), rather than from The Divine Comedy.  In any event, the lady in question is Beatrice.

Variations on a theme by Dante

So surely does my lady wend,
That ne’er a moment does she spend
Pausing on the upward path.
So fair and lovely is her face
That I must risk a harmless trace
Of praise in my little rhyme.
Her virtue is beyond dispute
And I am poor and dissolute
Risking holy angel’s wrath.
For I am bad, and she is good,
Yet would she love me if she could
Oh, God, please grant her time!
For she must go and I must stay
Gazing at the upward way.
Would that she returned my glance!
I watch her vision disappear
Until my heart is struck with fear
God grant me another chance!

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