Dante, Inferno Canto 23 (1st part)

[23] Escape from the Malabranche. The Sixth Bolgia: Hypocrites. Caiaphas.

Hearts slowing, returning to something like,
As if the haunted house, examined and decided against,
With creak of great oaken door, quietly close and retreat,
Something black behind, a shadow, a flicker,
Rising, rising, what’s that chord, augmented?
Diminished? Minor third plus minor third… diminished seventh…
Tiptoeing away,
Single file, like Franciscans, Capuchins,
The ones who take on the petrified, cowed
When they do their humble road.

So, anyway, this mouse and a frog and a fable from Aesop:
The mouse gets a lift across the river from the frog,
But the frog attempts to drown the mouse,
When all of a sudden, a falcon plucks the frog away,
And the mouse is home free.

Which is what we had just been through,
A chain of events – and even as one thought springs from another,
Cause and effect, even as one emotion climbs on top of the first,
Lifted, aufbau – so out of thoughts, thoughts must be born,
Which doubled the fear,
And not forgetting nous poietikos… redoubled.

I think they’re after us… But I really don’t want to look behind,
Just keep walking. We’ve made them look stupid,
We’ve enraged them,
And these are malicious creatures to start with,
They’re not going to forget,
The hair on the back of the neck,
The goosebumps coming,
Nothing behind at the moment,
Cold hand of fate – yes, cold hand clamped to pumping aorta,
I just know it’s going to happen.

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