Michelangelo Buonarroti

Lvii.

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FIRST READING.

CARNAL AND SPIRITUAL LOVE.

Passa per gli occhi.


Swift through the eyes unto the heart within
All lovely forms that thrall our spirit stray;
So smooth and broad and open is the way
That thousands and not hundreds enter in.
Burdened with scruples and weighed down with sin,
These mortal beauties fill me with dismay;
Nor find I one that doth not strive to stay
My soul on transient joy, or lets me win
The heaven I yearn for. Lo, when erring love--
Who fills the world, howe'er his power we shun,
Else were the world a grave and we undone--
Assails the soul, if grace refuse to fan
Our purged desires and make them soar above,
What grief it were to have been born a man!

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Michelangelo Buonarroti