Beauty's Intolerable Splendour.

A poem by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

Se 'l foco alla bellezza.


If but the fire that lightens in thine eyes
Were equal with their beauty, all the snow
And frost of all the world would melt and glow
Like brands that blaze beneath fierce tropic skies.
But heaven in mercy to our miseries
Dulls and divides the fiery beams that flow
From thy great loveliness, that we may go
Through this stern mortal life in tranquil wise.
Thus beauty burns not with consuming rage;
For so much only of the heavenly light
Inflames our love as finds a fervent heart.
This is my case, lady, in sad old age:
If seeing thee, I do not die outright,
'Tis that I feel thy beauty but in part.

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