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‘Ah, lovely Florence!’ 15/02/2011

Posted by florencecapital in Uncategorized.
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Bayard Taylor (obit 1878)

Ah, lovely Florence! Never city wore

So shining robes as I on thee bestowed:

For all the rapture of my being flowed

Around thy beauty, filling, flooding o’er

The banks of Arno and the circling hills

With light no wind of sunset ever spills

From out its saffron seas! Once, and no more.

Life’s voyage touches the enchanted shore!

From the warm bodies Titian loved to paint.

Where life still palpitates in languid glow;

From Raphael’s heads of Virgin and of Saint,

Bright with divinest message; from the slow

And patient grandeur Leonardo wrought;

From soft, effeminate Carlo Dolce, faint

With vapid sweetness, to the Titan thought

That shaped the dreams of Michael Angelo.

From each and all, through varied speech, I drew

One sole, immortal revelation. They

No longer mocked me with the hopeless view

Of power that with them died, but gave anew

The hope of power that cannot pass away

While Beauty lives: the passion of the brain

Demands possession, nor shall yearn in vain:

Its nymph, though coy, did never yet betray.

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