by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 - 1564)
Translation © by Carl Johengen

Sonetto XXIV
Language: Italian (Italiano) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE SPA
Spirto ben nato, in cui si specchia e vede
Nelle tuo belle membra oneste e care
Quante natura e 'l ciel tra no' puo' fare,
Quand'a null'altra suo bell'opra cede;
Spirto leggiadro, in cui si spera e crede
Dentro, come di fuor nel viso appare,
Amor, pietà, mercè, cose sì rare
Che mà furn'in beltà con tanta fede;
L'amor mi prende, e la beltà mi lega;
La pietà, la mercè con dolci sguardi
Ferma speranz'al cor par che ne doni.
Qual uso o qual governo al mondo niega,
Qual crudeltà per tempo, o qual più tardi,
C'a sì bel viso morte non perdoni?


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Carl Johengen) , "Sonnet XXIV", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Sonnet XXIV", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Juan Henríquez Concepción) , copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:41
Line count: 14
Word count: 103

Sonnet XXIV
Language: English  after the Italian (Italiano) 
 Noble spirit, in whom is reflected,
 and in whose beautiful limbs, honest and dear, one can see
 all that nature and heaven can achieve within us,
 excelling any other work of beauty;
 graceful spirit, within whom one hopes and believes
 dwell - as they outwardly appear in your face -
 love, pity, mercy, things so rare
 and never found in beauty so truly;
 love takes me captive, and beauty binds me;
 pity and mercy with sweet glances
 fill my heart with strong hope.
 What law or power in the world,
 what cruelty of this time or of a time to come,
 could keep Death from sparing such a lovely face?


  • Translation from Italian (Italiano) to English copyright © by Carl Johengen, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:41
Line count: 14
Word count: 111