Jacopone da Todi

(1230-1306 / Italy)

Of Man's Perfection in Love


0 minstrel, raise thy plaintive melody,
and let thy song be tender to my soul:
upon the subtle ninefold modes of love
display the secrets of a lover's heart.
One moment parted from the Friend, I die:
revive my heart with thy life-giving stream
that I may come into the lovers' ring
and grace the lovers' circle. Let me pass
one moment from the world, and for an hour
I will not heed my selfhood: being lost
to this false being, let me swiftly move
to realms of drunkenness where, like the drunk,
I will commence the dance, and raise the cry
of yearning love - for truly I do yearn
for my Beloved - standing in the field
of high ambition. I will shake my wings
like sacrificial bird, and fly at last
from empty word to true reality.
Then will I tell in order, each by each,
the beauty of the Friend, the lover's love.

Submitted: Tuesday, September 28, 2010

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