"I am the beginning, and I speak to

'I am the beginning, and I speak to
you, mortals. I am the light of the world,
the true vine the faithful cling to, hang there,
said God, "and I will make you immortal.

I am the Shepherd whose shoulders are hard
pressed, burdened by my dear flock's wretchedness--
who grieves all alone seeing them wander
aimlessly everywhere, and typically

far from Me on weak easily hurt feet'.
If He made us, is our Shepherd, Light, Life
itself, what guide, end, light, or safety can

we have without becoming part of His peace?
Let His words knife your mind, don't be afraid,
and you'll live on and through His immense strength.

From B S2:6:180; 1550 Arrivabene, p 190. Translation: McAuliffe 202. See ABullock, "Veronica o Vittoria? Problemi di attribuzione per alcuni sonetti del Cinquecento," Studi e problemi di critica testuale 6 (1973), 115-31. Key

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