The prayers I make will then be sweet indeed,
If Thou the Spirit give by which I pray;
My unassisted heart is barren clay,
Which of its native self can nothing feed;
Of good and pious works Thou art the seed
Which quickens where Thou sayst it may;
Unless Thou show us then Thine own true way,
No man can find it! Father, Thou must lead!
Do Thou, then, breathe those thoughts into my mind
By which such virtue may in me be bred
That in Thy holy footsteps I may tread;
The fetters of my tongue do Thou unbind,
That I may have the power to sing of Thee
and sound Thy praises everlastingly.
translated from the Italian by William Wordsworth