Michelangelo Buonarroti

(1475-1564 / Italy)

Viii. To Luigi Del Riccio, - Poem by Michelangelo Buonarroti


A pena prima.

Scarce had I seen for the first time his eyes
Which to your living eyes were life and light,
When closed at last in death's injurious night
He opened them on God in Paradise.
I know it and I weep, too late made wise:
Yet was the fault not mine; for death's fell spite
Robbed my desire of that supreme delight,
Which in your better memory never dies.
Therefore, Luigi, if the task be mine
To make unique Cecchino smile in stone
For ever, now that earth hath made him dim,
If the beloved within the lover shine,
Since art without him cannot work alone,
You must I carve to tell the world of him.

Comments about Viii. To Luigi Del Riccio, by Michelangelo Buonarroti

  • Fabrizio Frosini (12/30/2015 11:39:00 AM)

    A further note:
    about the relationship between Cecchino and Michelangelo (who composed more than forty-two epigrams for Cecchino) , some wrote that the two were lovers. But it is considered false by many historians.
    (Report) Reply

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  • Fabrizio Frosini (12/30/2015 11:37:00 AM)

    Michelangelo wrote this poem after the death of his pupil Cecchino Bracci. He died at the age of 16 and Michelangelo designed his tomb. Luigi Del Riccio was Cecchino's uncle. (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (12/30/2015 11:29:00 AM)

    Michelangelo Buonarroti -
    193. A pena prima aperti gli vidd'io

    A pena prima aperti gli vidd’io
    i suo begli occhi in questa fragil vita,
    che, chiusi el dì dell’ultima partita,
    gli aperse in cielo a contemplare Dio.
    Conosco e piango, e non fu l’error mio,5
    col cor sì tardi a lor beltà gradita,
    ma di morte anzi tempo, ond’è sparita
    a voi non già, m’al mie ’rdente desio.
    Dunche, Luigi, a far l’unica forma
    di Cecchin, di ch’i’ parlo, in pietra viva10
    etterna, or ch’è già terra qui tra noi,
    se l’un nell’altro amante si trasforma,
    po’ che sanz’essa l’arte non v’arriva,
    convien che per far lui ritragga voi.
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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