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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
A Prayer for Strength
By Michaelangelo (1475–1564)
 
Translation of John Addington Symonds

BURDENED with years and full of sinfulness,
  With evil custom grown inveterate,
  Both deaths I dread that close before me wait,
Yet feed my heart on poisonous thoughts no less.
No strength I find in my own feebleness        5
  To change or life, or love, or use, or fate,
  Unless Thy heavenly guidance come, though late,
Which only helps and stays our nothingness.
’Tis not enough, dear Lord, to make me yearn
  For that celestial home where yet my soul        10
      May be new-made, and not, as erst, of naught:
Nay, ere thou strip her mortal vestment, turn
  My steps toward the steep ascent, that whole
      And pure before thy face she may be brought.
 
 
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