When my Apollo abandoned this world,
quit his golden chariot and went rapt,
beyond his sphere's luminous mist into
that real light, his great merit summoned to
the Empyrean, he left his earthly
splendor to you, a man still whole, long since
made beautiful by your own acts; you bear
the torch now, which flaming, he lit, you a
charioteer, as upright, with as strong
and skillful a hand to scatter the clouds,
in life's uncertain choices my bright guide.
He meant more to me than any other--
he was the day's beauty, having grown used
to him how can anything be the same.
From B E4:205; MS F1; see AB, "Three New Poems by VC," Italian Studies 21 (1969), 56. To Alfonso d'Avalos, Marchese del Vasto, on the death of Pescara. Key