The poet pushed back from the table and looked out the window at his beloved city. Though her architecture and streets called to him, they did so with hollow voices. It was as if a great light had been extinguished, not just from the city, but from the world. “Quomodo sedet sola civitas plena populo! Facta est quasi vidua domina gentium . . .” His eyes scanned the Lamentation he’d quoted only moments previous. The words of the prophet Jeremiah were woefully inadequate. “Beatrice,” he whispered, his heart seizing in his chest. Even now, two years after her death, he had difficulty writing about his loss. She would remain forever young, forever noble, forever his blessedness, and not all the poetry in the world could express his devotion to her. But for the sake of her memory and their love, he would try.