Francesca Alexander, whose pen and pencil have so reverently transcribed the simple faith and life of the Italian peasantry, wrote the narrative published with John Ruskin’s introduction under the title, The Story of Ida.
Weary of jangling noises never stilled,
The skeptic’s sneer, the bigot’s hate, the din
Of clashing texts, the webs of creed men spin
Round simple truth, the children grown who build
With gilded cards their new Jerusalem,
Busy, with sacerdotal tailorings
And tinsel gauds, bedizening holy things,
I turn, with glad and grateful heart, from them
To the sweet story of the Florentine
Immortal in her blameless maidenhood,
Beautiful as God’s angels and as good;
Feeling that life, even now, may be divine
With love no wrong can ever change to hate,
No sin make less than all-compassionate!