Three passions have governed my life: The longings for love, the search for knowledge, And unbearable pity for the suffering of humankind. Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness. In the union of love I have seen In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined. With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of people. Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens,
But always pity brought me back to earth.