Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
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Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
 
The Philosophic Flight
By Giordano Bruno (1548–1600)
 
Translated by John Addington Symonds

NOW that these wings to speed my wish ascend,
  The more I feel vast air beneath my feet,
  The more toward boundless air on pinions fleet,
  Spurning the earth, soaring to heaven, I tend:
Nor makes them stoop their flight the direful end        5
  Of Dædal’s son; but upward still they beat.
  What life the while with this death could compete,
  If dead to earth at last I must descend?
My own heart’s voice in the void air I hear.
  Where wilt thou bear me, O rash man! Recall        10
  Thy daring will! This boldness waits on fear!
Dread not, I answer, that tremendous fall:
  Strike through the clouds, and smile when death is near,
  If death so glorious be our doom at all!
 
 
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