Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
A Prayer for Purification
By Michelangelo (1475–1564)
Translated by John Addington Symonds

PERCHANCE that I might learn what pity is,
  That I might laugh at erring men no more,
  Secure in my own strength as heretofore,
  My soul hath fallen from her state of bliss:
Now know I under any flag but this        5
  How fighting I may ’scape those perils sore,
  Or how survive the rout and horrid roar
  Of adverse hosts, if I thy succour miss.
O flesh! O blood! O cross! O pain extreme!
  By you may those foul sins be purified,        10
  Wherein my fathers were, and I was born!
Lo, Thou alone art good: let Thy supreme
  Pity my state of evil cleanse and hide—
  So near to death, so far from God, forlorn.

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