S. Maria Degli Angeli

Giosuè Carducci

O brother Francis, how much airy space
Vignola's noble dome doth close restrain!
Where naked on the bare earth thou didst place
Thyself, arms crossed, wrestling with life's last pain,

'Tis hot July. Over the labouring plain
Rises love's canticle. O that some trace
The Umbrian song may give me of thy strain,
The Umbrian sky some brightness from thy face.

On the horizon of that hill-girt land,
Its splendour softened by the mountain haze,
As of thy Paradise it were the portal,

With outstretched arms may I behold thee stand,
Singing to God: "O Lord, to Thee be praise
For Death, sweet sister of our body mortal!


The Church of Santa Maria Degli Angeli sits at the foot of the hill of Assisi. It is built over the place where St Francis of Assisi renounced the world and began his life of poverty, leading to the forder of the Franciscan friars.