Peter, look, your net's choked with mud and weeds,
if a great wave from some tempest beyond
this world assaulted, soaked it through and through,
it would tear to pieces. Your ship's at risk--
and this isn't business as usual.
Once upon a time it sailed easily,
had no burden, sped through troubled waters,
now at your back, to the front, on each shore
perils await you. Your well-meaning heir,
chosen for good reasons, omits nothing,
applies heart, hand to pilot the ship home.
But against him the malice of others
gathers strength to oppose him, everyone
sees without you the attempt is hopeless.
|An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition|
From V CXXXVII:297. See also B S1:116:143; MSs Ve2, V2; Valgrisi 117. A sonnet addressed to Peter; a meditation on the papacy to the legendary founder of the Christian church. This may also be read as an allegorical address to a Pope and thus the Catholic Church itself. Key