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Benvenuto Cellini (1500–1571). Autobiography.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Introductory Sonnet

THIS tale of my sore-troubled life I write,

To thank the God of nature, who conveyed

My soul to me, and with such care hath stayed

That divers noble deeds I’ve brought to light.

’Twas He subdued my cruel fortune’s spite:

Life glory virtue measureless hath made

Such grace worth beauty be through me displayed

That few can rival, none surpass me quite.

Only it grieves me when I understand

What precious time in vanity I’ve spent—

The wind it beareth man’s frail thoughts away.

Yet, since remorse avails not, I’m content,

As erst I came, WELCOME to go one day,

Here in the Flower of this fair Tuscan land.