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MICHAEL ANGELO. FLED to Viterbo, the old Papal city Where once an Emperor, humbled in his pride, Held the Pope's stirrup, as his Holiness Alighted from his mule! A fugitive From Cardinal Caraffa's hate, who hurls His thunder's at the house of the Colonna, With endless bitterness ! — Among the nuns In Santa Catarina's convent hidden, Herself in soul a nun! And now she chides
" Profoundly I believed that God would grant
you A supernatural faith to paint this Christ; I wished for that which now I see fulfilled So marvellously, exceeding all my wishes. Nor more could be desired, or even so much. And greatly I rejoice that you have made The angel on the right so beautiful; For the Archangel Michael will place you, You, Michael Angelo, on that new day, Upon the Lord's right hand! And waiting
that, How can I better serve you than to pray To this sweet Christ for you, and to beseech
you To hold me altogether yours in all things.”
I hear reverberate the gates of Florence,
not What manner of man was passing by their
doors, Until he passed no more ; but in his vision He saw the torments and beatitudes Of souls condemned or pardoned, and hath
left Behind him this sublime Apocalypse.
I strive in vain to draw here on the margin
Well, I will write less often, or no more,
born And bred a Tuscan and a Florentine, Feel the attraction, and I linger here As if I were a pebble in the pavement Trodden by priestly feet. This I endure, Because I breathe in Rome an atmosphere Heavy with odors of the laurel leaves That crowned great heroes of the sword and
pen, In ages past. I feel myself exalted To walk the streets in which a Virgil walked, Or Trajan rode in triumph; but far more, And most of all, because the great Colonna Breathes the same air I breathe, and is to me An inspiration. Now that she is gone, Rome is no longer Rome till she return. This feeling overmasters me. I know not If it be love, this strong desire to be Forever in her presence; but I know That I, who was the friend of solitude, And ever was best pleased when most alone, Now weary grow of my own company. For the first time old age seems lonely to me.
[Opening the Divina Commedia. I turn for consolation to the leaves Of the great master of our Tuscan tongue, Whose words, like colored garnet-shirls in
lava, Betray the heat in which they were engen
dered. A mendicant, he ate the bitter bread Of others, but repaid their meagre gifts With immortality. In courts of princes He was a by-word, and in streets of towns Was mocked by children, like the Hebrew
prophet, Himself a prophet. I too know the cry, Go up, thou bald head! from a generation That, wanting reverence, wanteth the best
food The soul can feed on. There's not
enough For age and youth upon this little planet. Age must give way. There was not room
enough Even for this great poet. In his song
VITTORIA COLONNA at the convent window.
Parting with friends is temporary death,
greeting, No message of remembrance? It may be The thoughts that visit us, we know not
whence, Sudden as inspiration, are the whispers Of disembodied spirits, speaking to us As friends, who wait outside a prison wall, Through the barred windows speak to those within.
By unseen hands uplifted in the light
Are with me here, and the tumultuous world
MICHAEL ANGELO AND BENVENUTO CEL
MICHAEL ANGELO, BENVENUTO CELLINI in gay attire.
A good day and good year to the divine Maestro Michael Angelo, the sculptor !
MICHAEL ANGELO. Welcome, my Benvenuto.
That is what