Page:The Life of Benvenuto Cellini Vol 2.djvu/111

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LIFE OF BENVENUTO CELLINI

LIFE OF BENVENUTO CELLINI

THIS CAPITOLO I WRITE TO LUCA MARTINI, ADDRESSING HIM IN IT AS WILL APPEAR.[1]

Whoso would know the power of God's dominion,
And how a man resembles that high goody
Must lie in prison, is my firm opinion:

On grievous thoughts and cares of home must brood.
Oppressed with car king pains in flesh and bone,
Far from his native land full many a rood.

If you would fain by worthy deeds be known,
Seek to be prisoned without cause, lie long,
And find no friend to listen to your moan.

See that men rob you of your all by wrong;
Add perils to your life; be used with force,
Hopeless of help, by brutal foes and strong.

Be driven at length to some mad desperate course;
Burst from your dungeon, leap the castle wall;
Recaptured, find the prison ten times worse.

Now listen, Luca, to the best of all!
Your leg's been broken; you 've been bought and sold;
Tour dungeon's dripping; you've no cloak or shawl.

Never one friendly word; your vicluals cold
Are brought with sorry news by some base groom
Of Prato—soldier now—druggist of old.

[ 77 ]

  1. Cellini's Capitolo in Praise of the Prison is clearly made up of pieces written, as described above, in the dungeon of S. Angelo, and of passages which he afterwards composed to bring these pieces into a coherent whole. He has not displayed much literary skill in the redaction, and I have been at pains to preserve the roughness of the original.