How can anyone be afraid of death,
fear their last hours, fear dissolution,
fear the last savage blow, if with utter
faith, they fix their minds on Christ's agony
on the cross. Who'd foresee dreadful ravings,
in that moment dark cloudy confusion,
if a real Light directed the mind's eye
onto one's contrite heart. So armed, you'd have
final victory, from that last battle,
peace; after earth's terrors, relief; and joy,
after the fearful anguish of dying.
With these to lead one to God, one must not
slide into the earth afraid, do not be
fearful, these are old enemies' new lies.
|An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition|
From V XLVI:204. See also Bullock S1, 74, 122. Key