To Vittoria Colonna

TO VITTORIA COLONNA

Lady, how can it chance — yet this we see
In long experience — that will longer last
A living image carved from quarries vast
Than its own maker, who dies presently?
Cause yieldeth to effect if this so be,
And even Nature is by Art surpassed;
This know I, who to Art have given the past,
But see that Time is breaking faith with me.
Perhaps on both of us long life can I
Either in color or in stone bestow,
By now portraying each in look and mien;
So that a thousand years after we die,
How fair thou wast, and I how full of woe,
And wherefore I so loved thee, may be seen.
Author of original: 
Michelangelo Buonarroti
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