When the Tuscan Zephyr gently blows
Round vineyards and deep olive groves
From murmuring hillsides is unfurled
A museum in a living world.
What joy that Dante's birthplace stands
Amid the rush of modern man
Near Duomo and old Neptune's fork
Which many an idle hour have bought.
Look where the Sabine women find
Their rape accounted for all time.
And marvel all on Shank's pony
From Vecchio Pont to Tornabuoni.
Who would think in days of yore
This scene was set in blood and gore.
Such was the hated civil strife
That Guelph and Ghibelline lost life.
Speak Florence, for I love thee still
Bathed in sunlight from the hill.
With ageless Arno flowing by -
My thoughts will ever to thee fly.
There's no time now to contemplate
The ripened gold celestial gate
Where in my student days I saw
A vision of what lay in store.
But gentle friend, perhaps this day
You'll tread these self same streets and stay
To feel the memories enshrined
That made that Comedy Divine.
For patience brings its own reward.
Your lonely heart will be restored.
My presence too is in the stone
Believe me, you are not alone.
(c) Poet in the woods 2013