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Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Translations

SEVEN SONNETS AND A CANZONE
[The following translations are from the poems of Michael Angelo
as revised by his nephew Michael Angelo the Younger, and were
made before the publication of the original text by Guasti.]

I

THE ARTIST

Nothing the greatest artist can conceive
  That every marble block doth not confine
  Within itself; and only its design
  The hand that follows intellect can achieve.
The ill I flee, the good that I believe,
  In thee, fair lady, lofty and divine,
  Thus hidden lie; and so that death be mine
  Art, of desired success, doth me bereave.
Love is not guilty, then, nor thy fair face,
  Nor fortune, cruelty, nor great disdain,
  Of my disgrace, nor chance, nor destiny,
If in thy heart both death and love find place
  At the same time, and if my humble brain,
  Burning, can nothing draw but death from thee.