Io son sì stanco sotto 'l fascio antico.
HE CONFESSES HIS ERRORS, AND THROWS HIMSELF ON THE MERCY OF GOD.
Evil by custom, as by nature frail,
I am so wearied with the long disgrace,
That much I dread my fainting in the race
Should let th' original enemy prevail.
Once an Eternal Friend, that heard my cries,
Came to my rescue, glorious in his might,
Arm'd with all-conquering love, then took his flight,
That I in vain pursued Him with my eyes.
But his dear words, yet sounding, sweetly say,
"O ye that faint with travel, see the way!
Hopeless of other refuge, come to me."
What grace, what kindness, or what destiny
Will give me wings, as the fair-feather'd dove,
To raise me hence and seek my rest above?
So weary am I 'neath the constant thrall
Of mine own vile heart, and the false world's taint,
That much I fear while on the way to faint,
And in the hands of my worst foe to fall.
Well came, ineffably, supremely kind,
A friend to free me from the guilty bond,
But too soon upward flew my sight beyond,
So that in vain I strive his track to find;
But still his words stamp'd on my heart remain,
All ye who labour, lo! the way in me;
Come unto me, nor let the world detain!
Oh! that to me, by grace divine, were given
Wings like a dove, then I away would flee,
And be at rest, up, up from earth to heaven!