Oh, well I love thee, Florence! All thy towers
As seen from Colli's height are nought to me
But bright minarets of enchanted bowers,
Truly love and beauty reign over thee.
Thy gentle people, whose mild, dark eyes beam
Every kindly on the stranger within
Thy gates, are lovers of beauty, and such
Sweet, child-like ways possess, fear not the truth
To speak. Thy love of innocent sport well
We know. Have we not seen thy flow'ry day
Of carnival, when the perfumed missiles fly,
Until, from St. Mineato's height, sounds
The curfew that warns of approaching night.
Whatever of evil thy dukes have wrought
Is mended somewhat by their love of art;
For where they saw true genius struggling forth
They gave a helping hand, and so have left
Within thy walls treasures of ancient lore;
Along thy streets, on pedestal, in niche,
Or beneath the fountain's fast-falling spray,
Monuments sublime. But the most I prize
Thy long-arched corridors, where Angelo
And Raphael do speak to us by saints
And angels, and Mary, mother of God,
Upon whose brow purity sits enthroned.
So did those delineators old seek
True inspiration from the Holy Book.