Lvii. Second Reading. - Poem by Michelangelo Buonarroti
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
Of every age and sex: whence I begin,
Burdened with griefs, but more with dull dismay,
To fear; nor find mid all their bright array
One that with full content my heart may win.
If mortal beauty be the food of love,
It came not with the soul from heaven, and thus
That love itself must be a mortal fire:
But if love reach to nobler hopes above,
Thy love shall scorn me not nor dread desire
That seeks a carnal prey assailing us.
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