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


The Old Bridge at Florence

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

TADDEO GADDI built me. I am old,

Five centuries old. I plant my foot of stone

Upon the Arno, as St. 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.