To Giorgio Vasari. Vanity Of Vanities.

A poem by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

Le favole del mondo.


The fables of the world have filched away
The time I had for thinking upon God;
His grace lies buried 'neath oblivion's sod,
Whence springs an evil crop of sins alway.

What makes another wise, leads me astray,
Slow to discern the bad path I have trod:
Hope fades; but still desire ascends that God
May free me from self-love, my sure decay.

Shorten half-way my road to heaven from earth!
Dear Lord, I cannot even half-way rise,
Unless Thou help me on this pilgrimage.

Teach me to hate the world so little worth,
And all the lovely things I clasp and prize;
That endless life, ere death, may be my wage.

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