Quand' il servo il signior.
When masters bind a slave with cruel chain,
And keep him hope-forlorn in bondage pent,
Use tames his temper to imprisonment,
And hardly would he fain be free again.
Use curbs the snake and tiger, and doth train
Fierce woodland lions to bear chastisement;
And the young artist, all with toil forspent,
By constant use a giant's strength doth gain
But with the force of flame it is not so:
For while fire sucks the sap of the green wood,
It warms a frore old man and makes him grow;
With such fine heat of youth and lustihood
Filling his heart and teaching it to glow,
That love enfolds him with beatitude.
If then in playful mood
He sport and jest, old age need no man blame;
For loving things divine implies no shame.
The soul that knows her aim,
Sins not by loving God's own counterfeit--
Due measure kept, and bounds, and order meet.