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Alma Mater by Amy Levy 13/09/2011

Posted by florencecapital in Uncategorized.
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‘Alma Mater’ appeared in A London Plane-Tree And Other Verse in 1889 the year of her suicide. Her Alma Mater is Cambridge where she studied at Newnham College.

Today in Florence all the air

Is soft with spring, with sunlight fair;

In the tall street gay folks are met;

Duomo and Tower gleam overhead,

Like jewels in the city set,

Fair-hued and many-faceted.

Against the old grey stones are piled

February violets, pale and sweet,

Whose scent of earth in woodland wild

Is wafted up and down the street.

The city’s heart is glad; my own

Sits lightly on its bosom’s throne.

Why is it that I see to-day,

Imaged as clear as in a dream,

A little city far away,

A churlish sky, a sluggish stream,

Tall clustering trees and gardens fair,

Dark birds that circle in the air,

Grey towers and fanes; on either hand,

Stretches of wind-swept meadow-land?

Oh, who can sound the human breast?

And this strange truth must be confessed;

That city do I love the best

Wherein my heart was heaviest.

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