Sonnet by Michaelangelo Buonarroti

So friendly to cold rock is the inner fire
That if, drawn out therefrom, it circumscribes,
Burns it and breaks, in some way it survives,
Itself a bond for others, fixed forever.

And if it can outlast winter and summer
In the hard kiln, its earlier worth will rise,
As if a soul returned from Hell, chastised,
To Heaven among the others high and pure.

Me too the fire drawn from me may dissolve,
Whose play has been concealed internally,
And I may have more life, burnt and then cold.

Thus, turned to smoke and dust, I still may live
If I can stand the fire eternally,
For I am beaten not by iron but gold.

**Translated by Creighton Gilbert

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~ by cjt on March 9, 2014.

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