Wednesday, March 8

the spirits speak

At that moment, I say most truly that the spirit of life, which hath its dwelling in the secretest chamber of the heart, began to tremble so violently that the least pulses of my body shook therewith; and in trembling it said these words: "Here is a deity stronger than I; who, coming, shall rule over me." At that moment the animate spirit, which dwelleth in the lofty chamber whither all the senses carry their perceptions, was filled with wonder, and speaking more especially unto the spirits of the eyes, said these words: "Your beatitude hath now been made manifest unto you." At that moment the natural spirit, which dwelleth there where our nourishment is administered began to weep, and in weeping said these words: "Alas! how often shall I be disturbed from this time forth." I say that, from that time forward, Love quite governed my soul.

-- Dante Alighieri Vita Nuova (on the moment he first saw Beatrice when they were children)
Translated by D.G. Rossetti