At night I see a pillar of fire

At night I see a pillar of fire,
by day a bright cloud, a vision from God
when the armed hand of worldly power strikes
at my family from within and without,

and I'm removed from the heart's affections,
its ties, claims, and guilt, turn away for a
long space of time to seek fair quiet and
innocence. My soul needs this solitude,

cherishes it all the more for what's out
there. Maybe it's not good for me, but then
again maybe it's God being kind, to

keep me all to Himself. He's made this time
cold, shadowy so in us He flares hot,
as the too rare unfoldings of lightning.

An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition
From V CXXXIX:299. See B S1:156:163; no MSs; Valgrisi 157. Translations: Roscoe 346; Lawley 41-2. Reference: Exodus 13:21. The occasion: Pope Paul II's destruction of the Colonna's military power in 1541. Key

Amaro Lagrimar
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