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Poem by Emma Lazarus
Written before visiting Florence. Would I had waked this morn where Florence smiles, A-bloom with beauty, a white rose full-blown, Yet rich in sacred dust, in storied stone, Precious past all the wealth of Indian isles— From olive-hoary Fiesole to feed On Brunelleschi's dome my hungry eye, And see against the lotus-colored sky, Spring the slim belfry graceful as a reed. To kneel upon the ground where Dante trod, To breathe the air of immortality From Angelo and Raphael—TO BE— Each sense new-quickened by a demi-god. To hear the liquid Tuscan speech at whiles, From citizen and peasant, to behold The heaven of Leonardo washed with gold— Would I had waked this morn where Florence smile!
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