At length we came upon a mound and then

A noble shade, his retinue beside

Who must have numbered some ten thousand men.

 

‘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

 

Saint Peter cast me down to Hades where  

I’m damned 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

That when they reached the point that marked half way,

They neither occupied the peak nor base. 

'The Grand Old Duke of York' by Dante Alighieri

© 2019 by Rob Stuart