Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Italy: Vols. XI–XIII. 1876–79.



By Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375)

Translated by Francis C. Gray

DANTE am I,—Minerva’s son, who knew

With skill and genius (though in style obscure)

And elegance maternal to mature

My toil, a miracle to mortal view.

Through realms tartarean and celestial flew

My lofty fancy, swift-winged and secure;

And ever shall my noble work endure,

Fit to be read of men, and angels too.

Florence my earthly mother’s glorious name;

Step-dame to me,—whom from her side she thrust,

Her duteous son: bear slanderous tongues the blame;

Ravenna housed my exile, holds my dust;

My spirit is with Him from whom it came,—

A Parent envy cannot make unjust.