Love's Justification. Second Reading.

A poem by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

Ben può talor col casto.

It must be right sometimes to entertain
Chaste love with hope not over-credulous;
Since if all human loves were impious,
Unto what end did God the world ordain?
If I love thee and bend beneath thy reign,
'Tis for the sake of beauty glorious
Which in thine eyes divine is stored for us,
And drives all evil thought from its domain.
That is not love whose tyranny we own
In loveliness that every moment dies;
Which, like the face it worships, fades away:
True love is that which the pure heart hath known,
Which alters not with time or death's decay,
Yielding on earth earnest of Paradise.

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