(Giordano Bruno burned at the stake, February 17, 1600)
Since I have spread my wings to sweet delight,
The more I feel the warm updraft of faith --
My pinions proudly borne upon the bright
And world-contemning wind that blows to God.
The fall of Icarus is like a sign
And not a roadblock in my rising flight --
Knowing that I shall comet to the earth,
What plummet can compare to such pure heights?
I hear my heart's voice in the diving wind:
"This is no place for men of flesh and blood;
Resign yourself, for daring has its dangers."
But I say, why be timid or beware?
Let me burst boldly through the clouds, and when
My death comes, we will kiss, but not as strangers.
-- adapted from Bruno's Heroic Frenzies, 1585
Copyright 2009 Matthew J Wells