If, to make the coals last all the night long

If, to make the coals last all the night long,
it was right to light them in the evening,
then cover them with the wood's burnt ashes,
so they cannot be seen from the outside,

how much better to close ourselves off from
all the ways this earth allures the senses
at every hour, to make them the means
God's presence uses to dwell lastingly,

vividly, and intensely in the heart.
In this dim dark cold night, open one's heart
it's a door for the enemy--see how

swiftly the wind blows out the heart's embers.
Care for your body? Watch for lurking snares,
but in so doing kill your soul. Not right.

An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition
From V XLV:205. See also B S1:76:123. Key

Amaro Lagrimar
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