Dante Alighieri (c. 1265-1321)
“Just as a swimmer, who with his last breath
flounders ashore from perilous seas, might turn
to memorize the wide water of his death—
so did I turn, my soul still fugitive
from death’s surviving image, to stare down
that pass that none had ever left alive.”
- From The Divine Comedy (Inferno, Canto I, approximately lines 22-27) by Dante Alighieri, translated by John Ciardi (New American Library/Penguin Group, 1954, 1961, 1970).