Poem of the Day 18

Take , King, sum of virtue and perfection,

what my hand reaches out to give you:

this carved and colored countenance,

in which my living, real self is represented.

And if such a lowly and imperfect image

is not what your blessed gaze expects,

Consider my motive rather than the result.

A small spark can still kindle a great flame.

And because your undying, celestial valor,

tested by a thousand trials in war and peace,

filled my soul with noble wonder,

So the desire felt in a woman’s heart

to raise you above heaven, beyond this world,

see, expressed and proved, in this likeness of me.

–Veronica Franco, Sonnet 2 on Henri III


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