It's an old old habit, this loathing of
death, this blindness of ours--we who die,
born of not having that fixed noble hope
angels shoulder in those great beating wings,
nor do we build on that rock all say is
adamantine; no, we ground ourselves in
shifting sands; there, exposed to every harm,
we build our house; say, here is our space.
Still, from faith, or God's grace, the soul hopes on,
finds strong if costly signs the arrogant
see as wrong, evil, their worst enemy.
It's not that I want to own, hug, entice
death into my arms--no, I exhaust my
flesh for a splendor sense can't imagine.
From B S2:19:186; MSs L and V2 (or Ve2). First printed Tordi 2:37. Tordi think this is another poem to Francesco in answer to his sonnet, "Dunque se 'l cielo invividioso ed empio," Key