Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
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Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
 
On the Brink of Death
By Michelangelo (1475–1564)
 
Translated by John Addington Symonds

NOW hath my life across a stormy sea
  Like a frail bark reached that wide port where all
  Are bidden, ere the final reckoning fall
  Of good and evil for eternity.
Now know I well how that fond phantasy        5
  Which made my soul the worshipper and thrall
  Of earthly art, is vain; how criminal
  Is that which all men seek unwillingly.
Those amorous thoughts which were so lightly dressed,
  What are they when the double death is nigh?        10
  The one I know for sure, the other dread.
Painting nor sculpture now can lull to rest
  My soul that turns to His great love on high,
  Whose arms to clasp us on the cross were spread.
 
 
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