Farinata Degli Uberti to Conquered Florence

by Eugene Lee-Hamilton

Eugene Lee-Hamilton

Now shall the ploughshare over thee be passed,

And wiped away each crowded square and street;

And seed shall sprinkle thee, and wholesome wheat

Replace thy crops of human hate at last;

And through the empty valley where thou wast,

Arno shall seek thee wondering, and repeat

To land and sea the news that on the seat

Of stately Florence cornfields ripen fast!

And yet, thou evil city, I was born

Within thee, and I hesitating stand:

Enough that I should scorch thee with my scorn.

Live on, thou nest of scorpions. Not my hand

Shall pull thee down to sow the yellow corn.

Live, and repent thee — spared at my command.

Last updated January 14, 2019