'The Grand Old Duke of York' by Dante Alighieri
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 weary 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.