On this noble eternally whirling

On this noble eternally whirling
wheel, this moving firmament of sun, moon,
and stars, you placed your faith, with your feet tied
to the rack, you dared chance and torturers

joyfully yet among enemies--so
strong were you in your journey. Iron spikes
opened your heart, when flattery, threats failed
to make you flinch or bend--scorn and anger

were your means, and you found peace in fierce wild
argument, in opposing. Now you sit
on that mountain where God gave us His laws,

and nourishes His children. Catherine,
if your passion made so many believe,
pray for me to God for your strength, your faith.

An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition
From V CXVII:277. See also B S1:122:146; MS's V2 (Ve2); Valgrisi 123. A sonnet meditating St. Catherine of Alexandria. See JCJMetford, The Dictionary of Christian Lore and Legend and Jacobus Voragine, Golden Legend. Key

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