Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
In Will’s Despite
By Lodovico Ariosto (1474–1533)
Translated by James Glassford, of Dougalston

HOW shall my cold and lifeless prayer ascend,
  Father of mercies, to thy seat on high,
  If, while my lips for thy deliverance cry,
  My heart against that liberty contend?
Do Thou, who knowest all, thy rescue send,        5
  Though every power of mine the help deny;
  And, oh, make haste before the hour draws nigh
  When to the gates of death I shall descend.
Eternal God, oh, pardon that I went
  Erring so long, whence have my eyes been smit        10
  With darkness, nor the good from evil known.
To spare offenders, being penitent,
  Is even ours;—to drag them from the pit,
  Themselves resisting, Lord, is thine alone.

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