JOY MAY KILL
by: Michelangelo Buonarroti
- OO much
good luck no less than misery
- May kill a man condemned to mortal pain,
- If, lost to hope and chilled in every vein,
- A sudden pardon comes to set him free.
- Thus thy unwonted kindness shown to me
- Amid the gloom where only sad thoughts reign,
- With too much rapture bringing light again,
- Threatens my life more than that agony.
- Good news and bad may bear the self-same knife;
- And death may follow both upon their flight;
- For hearts that shrink or swell, alike will break.
- Let then thy beauty, to preserve my life,
- Temper the source of this supreme delight,
- Lest joy so poignant slay a soul so weak.
MORE POEMS BY MICHELANGELO
This English translation of "Joy
May Kill" was composed by John Addington Symonds (1840-1893).