Florence Travel Blog› entry 35 of 36 › view all entries
This was my second trip to Florence and I had seen much of it on my previous visit nearly a decade earlier. Nevertheless, it felt good to be back. It was a bit of a bittersweet return because my mother had died only a little over a month before and it was the first time I could not share my adventures with her. Needless to say, I didn't do a great deal of touring. I had come for a scientific meeting, but kept to myself mostly. I walked around only at night when the streets of Florence seem like a ghost town. On the final day of the meeting I met a friend and co-worker by chance and he suggested we have a walkabout in Florence. The well worn streets were still familiar to me and with a trusty map in hand I offered to lead the way.
How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;
Labour and rest, that equal periods keep;
"Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;"
Desires compos'd, affections ever ev'n,
Tears that delight, and sighs that waft to Heav'n.
Grace shines around her with serenest beams,
And whisp'ring angels prompt her golden dreams.
For her th' unfading rose of Eden blooms,
And wings of seraphs shed divine perfumes,
For her the Spouse prepares the bridal ring,
For her white virgins hymeneals sing,
To sounds of heav'nly harps she dies away,
And melts in visions of eternal day.
~ Alexander Pope (Eloise to Abelard)