To a Picture of Eleonora Duse with the Greek Fire in "Francesca da Rimini"

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by Sara Teasdale

To a Picture of Eleonora Duse with the Greek Fire, in "Francesca da Rimini"

Francesca's life that was a limpid flame
Agleam against the shimmer of a sword,
Which falling, quenched the flame in blood outpoured
To free the house of Rimino from shame—
Francesca's death that blazed aloft her name
In guilty fadeless glory, hurling toward
The windy darkness where the tempest roared,
Her spirit burdened by the weight of blame—
Francesca's life and death are mirrored here
Forever, on the face of her who stands
Illumined and intent beside the blaze,
Grown one with it, and reading without fear
That they shall fare upon the selfsame ways,
Plucked forth and cast away by bloody hands.

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