GUIDO CAVALCANTI TO DANTE ALIGHIERI:
[Published by Forman (who assigns it to 1815), “Poetical Works of P. B.
Returning from its daily quest, my Spirit
Changed thoughts and vile in thee doth weep to find:
It grieves me that thy mild and gentle mind
Those ample virtues which it did inherit
Has lost. Once thou didst loathe the multitude
Of blind and madding men–I then loved thee–
I loved thy lofty songs and that sweet mood
When thou wert faithful to thyself and me
I dare not now through thy degraded state
Own the delight thy strains inspire–in vain
I seek what once thou wert–we cannot meet
And we were wont. Again and yet again
Ponder my words: so the false Spirit shall fly
And leave to thee thy true integrity.