IF IT BE TRUE THAT ANY BEAUTEOUS | Forgive me if I cannot turn away
If it be true that any beauteous thing
Raises the pure and just desire of man
From earth to God, the eternal fount of all,
Such I believe my love; for as in her
So fair, in whom I all besides forget,
I view the gentle work of her Creator,
I have no care for any other thing,
Whilst thus I love. Nor is it marvellous,
Since the effect is not of my own power,
If the soul doth, by nature tempted forth,
Enamored through the eyes,
Repose upon the eyes which it resembleth,
MICHAEL ANGELO (Italian). Translation
of J. E. TAYLOR.
MUSES, that sing Love's sensual empirie,
And lovers kindling your enragèd fires
At Cupid's bonfires burning in the eye,
Blown with the empty breath of vain desires ;
You, that prefer the painted cabinet
Before the wealthy jewels it doth store ye,
That all your joys in dying figures set,
And stain the living substance of your glory;
Abjure those joys, abhor their memory ;
And let my love the honored subject be
Of love and honor's complete history!
Your eyes were never yet let in to see
The majesty and riches of the mind,
That dwell in darkness; for your god is blind.
THE MIGHT OF ONE FAIR FACE.
THE might of one fair face sublimes my love,
For it hath weaned my heart from low desires;
Nor death I heed, nor purgatorial fires.
Thy beauty, antepast of joys above,
Instructs me in the bliss that saints approve;
For O, how good, how beautiful, must be
The God that made so good a thing as thee,
So fair an image of the heavenly Dove!
From those sweet eyes that are my earthly
For they are guiding stars, benignly given
To tempt my footsteps to the upward way;
And if I dwell too fondly in thy sight,
I live and love in God's peculiar light.
And through them riseth to the Primal Love,
As to its end, and honors in admiring;
WERE I as base as is the lowly plain,
And you, my Love, as high as heaven above,
For who adores the Maker needs must love his Yet should the thoughts of me your humble
MICHAEL ANGELO (Italian). Translation of J. E. TAYLOR.
WERE I AS BASE AS IS THE LOWLY
Ascend to heaven, in honor of my Love.
Were I as high as heaven above the plain,
And you, my Love, as humble and as low
As are the deepest bottoms of the main,
Wheresoe'er you were, with you my Love should
Were you the earth, dear Love, and I the skies,
My love should shine on you like to the sun,
And look upon you with ten thousand eyes
Till heaven waxed blind, and till the world were
Wheresoe'er I am, below, or else above you, Wheresoe'er you are, my heart shall truly love you.
THE night has a thousand eyes,
The day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When its love is done.