He felt the child breathing, and in his heart
a quickened sense of what life is really
about; and his soul quit its home, fitted
itself into God's body, retreated,
dwelt shut off from the world. Then he prayed with
abandon, yielding to a compelling
tenderness: now may my soul's finite strength
embrace the infinite strength of God's word.
Afterwards he went to good men to tell
he'd adored God in the flesh, held in his
arms a humble, tiny boy swathed in rags,
and when His grace, love, and radiance had
remade the world, He'd free them from nature's
ancient evil tangle--life's ugly snares.
|An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition|
From V XCI:251. See also B S1:115:142; R XXVIII:431; MS RA; Valgrisi 116. The first of two sonnets to Simeon, a "good and devout man". Both occur in same MS. Following Valgrisi, Bullock has reversed the order Visconti followed; Ruscelli puts a sonnet inbetween. Ref: Luke 2:23-35; also a legend (Ruscelli, p. 432) that after death Simeon went to Limbo to comfort and tell those there of Christ's coming. Cf T. S. Eliot, 'A Song for Simeon -- 1928, Collected Poems, 1909-1962 Key