Flesh and Spirit

Ben posson gli occhi


Well may these eyes of mine both near and far

Behold the beams that from thy beauty flow;

But, lady, feet must halt where sight may go:

We see, but cannot climb to catch a star.

The pure ethereal bar surmounts that bar

Of flesh, and soars to where thy splendours glow,

Free through the eyes; while prisoned here below,

Though fired with fervent love, our bodies are.

Clogged with mortality and wingless, we

Cannot pursue an angel in her flight:

Only to gaze exhausts our utmost might.

Yet, if but heaven like earth incline to thee,

Let my whole body be one eye to see,

That not one part of  me may miss thy sight!

(Translated by John Addington Symons)

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