Through my persistent treading in the paths
Where I was trained to go,wearing that yoke
My shoulder was predestined to receive,
Born to the hereditary stoop and crease?
Noble, I recognised my nobler still,
The church, my suzerain; no mock-mistress, she;
The secular owned the spiritual: mates of mine (130)
Have thrown their careless hoofs up at her call
Forsake the clover and come drag my wain!
There they go cropping: I protruded nose
To halter, bent my back of docile beast,
And now am whealed, one wide wound all of me,
For being found at the eleventh hour o the day
Padding the mill-track, not neck-deep in grass:
My one fault, I am stiffened by my work,
My one reward, I help the Court to smile!
One of the first of the old families
In Arezzo, ancientest of Tuscan towns.
When my worst foe is fain to challenge this,
His worst exception runsnot first in rank
But second, noble in the next degree
Only; not malice self maligns me more.
So, my lord opposite has composed, we know,
A marvel of a book, sustains the point
That Francis boasts the primacy mid saints;
Yet not inaptly hath his argument (150)
Obtained response from yon my other lord
In thesis published with the worlds applause
Rather tis Dominic such post befits:
Why, at the worst, Francis stays Francis still,
Second in rank to Dominic it may be,
Still, very saintly, very like our Lord;
And I at least descend from a Guido once
Homager to the Empire, nought below
Of which account as proof that, none o the line
Having a single gift beyond brave blood, (160)
Or able to do aught but give, give, give
In blood and brain, in house and land and cash,
Not get and garner as the vulgar may,
We become poor as Francis or our Lord.
Be that as it likes you, Sirs,whenever it chanced
Myself grew capable anyway of remark,
(Which was soonpenury makes wit premature)
This struck me, I was poor who should be rich
Or pay that fault to the world which trifles not
When lineage lacks the flag yet lifts the pole: (170)
Therefore I must make more forthwith, transfer
My stranded self, born fish with gill and fin
Fit for the deep sea, now left bare-backed
In slush and sand, a show to crawlers vile
Reared of the low-tide and aright therein.
The enviable youth with the old name,
Wide chest, stout arms, sound brow and pricking veins,
A heartful of desire, mans natural load,
A brainful of belief, the nobles lot,
All this life, cramped and gasping, high and dry (180)
I the waves retreat,the misery, good my lords,
Which made you merriment at Rome of late,
It made me reason, rathermuse, demand
Why our bare dropping palace, in the street
Where such-an-one whose grandfather sold tripe
Was adding to his purchased pile a fourth
Tall tower, could hardly show a turret sound?
Why Beatrice Countess, whose son I am,
Cowered in the winter-time as she spun flax,
Blew on the earthen basket of live ash. (190)
Instead of jaunting forth in coach and six
Like such-another widow who neer was wed?
I asked my fellows, how came this about?
Why, Jack, the suttlers child, perhaps the camps,
Went to the wars, fought sturdily, took a town
And got rewarded as was natural.
She of the coach and sixexcuse me there!
Why, dont you know the story of her friend?
A clown dressed vines on somebodys estate,
His boy recoiled from muck, liked Latin more, (200)
Stuck to his pen, and got to be a priest,
Till one day dont you mind that telling tract
Against Molinos, the old Cardinal wrote?
He penned and dropped it in the patrons desk
Who, deep in thought and absent much of mind,
Licensed the thing, allowed it for his own;
Quick came promotion,suum cuique, Count!
Oh, he can pay for coach and six, be sure!
Well, let me go, do likewise: wars the word
That way the Franceschini worked at first, (210)
Ill take my turn, try soldiership.What, you?
The eldest son and heir and prop o the house,
So do you see your duty? Heres your post,
Hard by the hearth and altar. (Roam from roof,
This youngster, play the gypsy out of doors,
And who keeps kith and kin that fall on us?)
Stand fast, stick tight, conserve your gods at home!
Well then, the quiet course, the contrary trade!
We had a cousin amongst us once was Pope,
And minor glories manifold. Try the Church, (220)
The tonsure, and,since heresys but half-slain
Even by the Cardinals tract he thought he wrote,
Have at Molinos!Have at a fools head!
You a priest? How were marriage possible?
There must be Franceschini till time ends
Thats your vocation. Make your brothers priests,
Paul shall be porporate, and Girolamo step
Red- stockinged in the presence when you choose,
But save one Franceschini for the age!
Be not the vine but dig and dung its root, (230)
Be not a priest but gird up priesthoods loins,
With one foot in Arezzo stride to Rome,
Spend yourself there and bring the purchase back!
Go hence to Rome, be guided!
I turned alike from the hill-side zig-zag thread
Of way to the table-land a soldier takes,
Alike from the low-lying pasture-place
Where churchmen graze, recline, and ruminate,
Ventured to mount no platform like my lords (240)
Who judge the world, bear brain I dare not brag
But stationed me, might thus the expression serve,
As who should fetch and carry, come and go,
Meddle and make i the cause
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