It was different, his shield: not just diamond
or hard enameled gems. When that vicious
fierce crowd of imperious enemies,
envious, moved on Paradise in that
boasted assault, as the mightiest, first
among angels, bearer of light, leapt up
to fall into dark shadows, and force turned
radiance into no light--his supreme
prize, grace, the rare strength not to sin, was lost.
You were there, my Jesus, my life and light,
in Michael whose daring led the sublime
host to ineluctable victory,
who saw in God's glass the endless battle
He'd defend men from and lead them into.
|An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition|
From V CXIII:273. See also B S1:132:151; R XXXIII:462; MSs V2 (Ve2), L, RA; Valgrisi 133. A sonnet on the Archangel Michael. References includeo Rev 12:7-8, Daniel 10: 13, 21; 12:1; Jacobus Voragine Golden Legend; Ruscelli mentions a legend (p 463) in which the Archangel Michael is shown a numinous mirror in which he could see the past and future as an eternal struggle he would lead. Key