Guerzo di Montecanti (13th century)

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He Is out of Heart with His Time

If any man would know the very cause
Which makes me to forget my speech in rhyme,
All the sweet songs I sang in other time,--
I'll tell it in a sonnet's simple clause.
I hourly have beheld how good withdraws
To nothing, and how evil mounts the while:
Until my heart is gnawed as with a file,
Nor aught of this world's worth is what it was.
At last there is no other remedy
But to behold the universal end;
And so upon this hope my thoughts are urged:
To whom, since truth is sunk and dead at sea,
There has no other part or prayer remain'd
Except of seeing the world's self submerged.

Translated by D. G. Rossetti.