Jacopone da Todi

(1230-1306 / Italy)

Sing for Very Love


Thou, Jubilus, the heart dost move;
And makest us sing for very love.

The Jubilus in fire awakes,
And straight the man must sing and pray;
His tongue in childish stammering shakes,
Nor knows he what his lips may say;
He cannot quench nor hide away
That Sweetness pure and infinite.

The Jubilus in flame is lit,
And straight the man must shout and sing;
So close to Love his heart is knit,
He scarce can bear the honeyed sting;
His clamor and his cries must ring,
And shame forever take to flight.

The Jubilus enslaves man's heart
- A love-bewildered prisoner -
And see! his neighbors stand apart,
And mock the senseless chatterer:
They deem his speech a foolish blur,
A shadow of his spirit's light.

Yea, when thou enterest the mind,
0 Jubilus, thou rapture fair,
The heart of man new skill doth find
Love's own disguise to grasp and wear,
The suffering of Love to bear,
With song and clamor of delight!

And thus the uninitiate
Will deam that thou art crazed indeed;
They see thy strange and fevered state,
But have not wit thy heart to read;
Within, deep-pierced, that heart may bleed,
Hidden from curious mortal sight.

Submitted: Tuesday, September 28, 2010

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