Il mal mi preme, e mi spaventa il peggio.
TO A FRIEND, IN LOVE LIKE HIMSELF, HE CAN GIVE NO ADVICE BUT TO RAISE HIS SOUL TO GOD.
Evil oppresses me and worse dismay,
To which a plain and ample way I find;
Driven like thee by frantic passion, blind,
Urged by harsh thoughts I bend like thee my way.
Nor know I if for war or peace to pray:
To war is ruin, shame to peace, assign'd.
But wherefore languish thus?--Rather, resign'd,
Whate'er the Will Supreme ordains, obey.
However ill that honour me beseem
By thee conferr'd, whom that affection cheats
Which many a perfect eye to error sways,
To raise thy spirit to that realm supreme
My counsel is, and win those blissful seats:
For short the time, and few the allotted days.
The bad oppresses me, the worse dismays,
To which so broad and plain a path I see;
My spirit, to like frenzy led with thee,
Tried by the same hard thoughts, in dotage strays,
Nor knows if peace or war of God it prays,
Though great the loss and deep the shame to me.
But why pine longer? Best our lot will be,
What Heaven's high will ordains when man obeys.
Though I of that great honour worthless prove
Offer'd by thee--herein Love leads to err
Who often makes the sound eye to see wrong--
My counsel this, instant on Heaven above
Thy soul to elevate, thy heart to spur,
For though the time be short, the way is long.