On Rome In The Pontificate Of Julius II.

A poem by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

Qua si fa elmi.


Here helms and swords are made of chalices:
The blood of Christ is sold so much the quart:
His cross and thorns are spears and shields; and short
Must be the time ere even his patience cease.
Nay let him come no more to raise the fees
Of this foul sacrilege beyond report!
For Rome still flays and sells him at the court,
Where paths are closed to virtue's fair increase.
Now were fit time for me to scrape a treasure!
Seeing that work and gain are gone; while he
Who wears the robe, is my Medusa still.
God welcomes poverty perchance with pleasure:
But of that better life what hope have we,
When the blessed banner leads to nought but ill?

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