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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

A Prayer for Strength

By Michaelangelo (1475–1564)

Translation of John Addington Symonds

BURDENED with years and full of sinfulness,

With evil custom grown inveterate,

Both deaths I dread that close before me wait,

Yet feed my heart on poisonous thoughts no less.

No strength I find in my own feebleness

To change or life, or love, or use, or fate,

Unless Thy heavenly guidance come, though late,

Which only helps and stays our nothingness.

’Tis not enough, dear Lord, to make me yearn

For that celestial home where yet my soul

May be new-made, and not, as erst, of naught:

Nay, ere thou strip her mortal vestment, turn

My steps toward the steep ascent, that whole

And pure before thy face she may be brought.