Lxxiv. First Reading. - Poem by Michelangelo Buonarroti
A PRAYER FOR GRACE IN DEATH.
S' avvien che spesso.
What though strong love of life doth flatter me
With hope of yet more years on earth to stay,
Death none the less draws nearer day by day,
Who to sad souls alone comes lingeringly.
Yet why desire long life and jollity,
If in our griefs alone to God we pray?
Glad fortune, length of days, and pleasure slay
The soul that trusts to their felicity.
Then if at any hour through grace divine
The fiery shafts of love and faith that cheer
And fortify the soul, my heart assail,
Since nought achieve these mortal powers of mine,
Straight may I wing my way to heaven; for here
With lengthening days good thoughts and wishes fail.
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