Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
Sonnets. IX.–X.
By Emily Pfeiffer (1841–1890)
          It will be remembered that Pisa, associated as it is with Shelley, was the scene of the life and labours of Galileo.

THERE lies betwixt dead Pisa and the sea
  A haunted forest, with a heart so deep,
  That none could sit beneath its pines to weep,
But it would throb for them mysteriously.
Here, in this place I dreamed there met with me        5
  The spirit who his part in it doth keep,
  Albeit his starry orbit now hath sweep
As vast as Galileo’s, if more free.
He drew me on to where the hollow beat
  Of waves upon a shore seemed to my mind        10
The moan of a remorseful soul, to meet
  The homicidal Sea, whose passion blind
Had slain him; as it writhed about my feet
  Methought his spirit past me on the wind.
Wild sea, that drank his life to quench the thirst
  Thou had’st of him; and all devouring Fire,
  Who made his body thine with love as dire;
Air pregnate with his breath, and thou accurst,
Mother of Sorrows, Earth, whose claim is first
  Upon thy children dead, who from the pyre        20
  Received his dust,—what did his soul require—
Wring from ye—ere your Protean bonds he burst?
Perchance ye failed to reach him, and he hath
  O’er-leapt the rounds of change the earthlier dead
May weary through, nor needing Lethean bath        25
  To speed anew his soul’s etherial tread,
Hath left the elements, spurned from his path,
  To challenge grosser spirits in his stead.

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