If only to be born were being invented Merely, or, better still, to concoct oneself From an antique alembic, a receipt. How splendid To take the phial cleanly from its shelf; Powders and liquids, all one's favourite hues Making the being one would be, the looker at stars Or storks on the spires of Denmark, drinker of dews, Or an eye simply.
A demon holds a book, in which are written the sins of a particular man; an Angel drops on it from a phial, a tear which the sinner had shed in doing a good action, and his sins are washed out.Manuscript of Alberic, Monk of Monte-Cassino. Found in an article on Dante. Selections from Edinburgh Review, Volume I, p. 67.
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