Love's Furnace.

A poem by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

Sì amico al freddo sasso.

So friendly is the fire to flinty stone,
That, struck therefrom and kindled to a blaze,
It burns the stone, and from the ash doth raise
What lives thenceforward binding stones in one:
Kiln-hardened this resists both frost and sun,
Acquiring higher worth for endless days--
As the purged soul from hell returns with praise,
Amid the heavenly host to take her throne.
E'en so the fire struck from my soul, that lay
Close-hidden in my heart, may temper me,
Till burned and slaked to better life I rise.
If, made mere smoke and dust, I live to-day,
Fire-hardened I shall live eternally;
Such gold, not iron, my spirit strikes and tries.

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