Treading the Press

Image: Benozzo Gozzoli, The Vintage and Drunkenness of Noah(1468-69). Fresco. Campo Santo, Pisa, Italy. 

Benozzo Gozzoli

The Campo Santo at Pisa
 

FROM the trellis hang the grapes 
Purple-deep ; 
Maidens with white, curving napes 
And coiled hair backward leap, 
As they catch the fruit, mid laughter, 
Cut from every silvan rafter. 

Baskets, over-filled with fruit, 
From their heads 
Down into the press they shoot 
A white-clad peasant treads, 
Firmly crimson circles smashing 
Into must with his feet's thrashing. 

Wild and rich the oozings pour 
From the press ; 
Leaner grows the tangled store 
Of vintage, ever less : 
Wine that kindles and entrances 
Thus is made by one who dances. 

 

 

Benozzo Gozzoli

The Campo Santo at Pisa
 

FROM the trellis hang the grapes 
Purple-deep ; 
Maidens with white, curving napes 
And coiled hair backward leap, 
As they catch the fruit, mid laughter, 
Cut from every silvan rafter. 

Baskets, over-filled with fruit, 
From their heads 
Down into the press they shoot 
A white-clad peasant treads, 
Firmly crimson circles smashing 
Into must with his feet's thrashing. 

Wild and rich the oozings pour 
From the press ; 
Leaner grows the tangled store 
Of vintage, ever less : 
Wine that kindles and entrances 
Thus is made by one who dances.