Rob Stuart: 'The Grand Old Duke Of York' by Dante

At length we came upon a mound and saw
A noble shade, his retinue beside
Who numbered some ten thousand men or more.

“What is thy name?”, I asked him. He replied
“The Duke, I was, of York in England fair.
Alas, I was a bore, so when I died

I found myself flung down to Hades where
I’m made to march my men up yonder hill
And down again, continuing for e’er.”

He blew then on a whistle, loud and shrill,
As so he a did a hundred times each day,
And up his soldiers climbed, with practiced skill.

We watched them crest that mighty knoll, then they
Descended to its bottom. ‘Twas the case
Whene’er they reached a point that marked half way
They neither occupied its peak nor base.