To Pope Julius II.

A poem by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni

Signor, se vero è.

My Lord! if ever ancient saw spake sooth,
Hear this which saith: Who can, doth never will.
Lo! thou hast lent thine ear to fables still,
Rewarding those who hate the name of truth.
I am thy drudge and have been from my youth--
Thine, like the rays which the sun's circle fill;
Yet of my dear time's waste thou think'st no ill:
The more I toil, the less I move thy ruth.
Once 'twas my hope to raise me by thy height;
But 'tis the balance and the powerful sword
Of Justice, not false Echo, that we need.
Heaven, as it seems, plants virtue in despite
Here on the earth, if this be our reward--
To seek for fruit on trees too dry to breed.

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