Written between the inception of Middlemarch and the completion, seven years later, of Daniel Deronda this book is a charming treatment of a subject taken from Boccaccio; a poem interesting by virtue of its graceful form.
23 pages, with a reading time of ~0.5 hours (5,750 words), and first published in 1869. This DRM-Free edition published by epubBooks, 2009.
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Six hundred years ago, in Dante’s time, Before his cheek was furrowed by deep rhyme; When Europe, fed afresh from Eastern story, Was like a garden tangled with the glory Of flowers hand–planted and of flowers air–sown, Climbing and trailing, budding and full–blown, Where purple bells are tossed amid pink stars, And springing blades, green troops in innocent wars, Crowd every shady spot of teeming earth, Making invisible motion visible birth,— Six hundred years ago, Palermo town Kept holiday. A deed of great renown, A high revenge, had freed it from the yoke Of hated Frenchmen; and from Calpe’s rock To where the Bosporus caught the earlier sun, ‘Twas told that Pedro, King of Aragon, Was welcomed master of all Sicily,— A royal knight, supreme as kings should be In strength and gentleness that make high chivalry.