Michelangelo Buonarroti

Viii. to luigi del riccio,

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A pena prima.

Scarce had I seen for the first time his eyes
Which to your living eyes were life and light,
When closed at last in death's injurious night
He opened them on God in Paradise.
I know it and I weep, too late made wise:
Yet was the fault not mine; for death's fell spite
Robbed my desire of that supreme delight,
Which in your better memory never dies.
Therefore, Luigi, if the task be mine
To make unique Cecchino smile in stone
For ever, now that earth hath made him dim,
If the beloved within the lover shine,
Since art without him cannot work alone,
You must I carve to tell the world of him.

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Michelangelo Buonarroti