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Il Ponte Vecchio Di Firenze
(27 February 1807 – 24 March 1882 / Portland, Maine)

Il Ponte Vecchio Di Firenze

Gaddi mi fece; il Ponte Vecchio sono;
Cinquecent' anni giá sull' Arno pianto
Il piede, come il suo Michele Santo
Piantó sul draco. Mentre ch' io ragiono
Lo vedo torcere con flebil suono
Le rilucenti scaglie. Ha questi affranto
Due volte i miei maggior. Me solo intanto
Neppure muove, ed io non l' abbandono.
Io mi rammento quando fur cacciati
I Medici; pur quando Ghibellino
E Guelfo fecer pace mi rammento.
Fiorenza i suoi giojelli m' ha prestati;
E quando penso ch' Agnolo il divino
Su me posava, insuperbir mi sento.

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Comments (1)

Longfellow's own Italian translation of a sonnet about the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. Self-translation was, he told an American admirer in Florence, one way of visiting Florence, and I fear the only one for me (to Arabella Duffy,25 January 1875) . Here is the English original: Taddeo Gaddi built me. I am old, Five centuries old. I plant my foot of stone Upon the Arno, as Saint Michael's own Was planted on the dragon. Fold by fold Beneath me as it struggles, I behold Its glistening scales. Twice hath it overthrown My kindred and companions. Me alone It moveth not, but is by me controlled I can remember when the Medici Were driven from Florence; longer still ago The final wars of Ghibelline and Guelf. Florence adorns me with her jewelry; And when I think that Michael Angelo Hath leaned on me, I glory in myself.