Sonnet XVI.

Tommaso Campanella

_Chi pennelli have e colori._
He who hath brush and colours, and chance-wise
Doth daub, befouling walls and canvases,
Is not a painter; but, unhelped by these,
He who in art is masterful and wise.
Cowls and the tonsure do not make a friar;
Nor make a king wide realms and pompous wars;
But he who is all Jesus, Pallas, Mars,
Though he be slave or base-born, wears the tiar.
Man is not born crowned like the natural king
Of beasts, for beasts by this investiture
Have need to know the head they must obey;
Wherefore a commonwealth fits men, I say,
Or else a prince whose worth is tried and sure,
Not proved by sloth or false imagining.

Last updated January 14, 2019