Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
On the Monument Erected to Mazzini at Genoa
Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)
ITALIA, mother of the souls of men,
        Mother divine,
Of all that serv’d thee best with sword or pen,
        All sons of thine,
Thou knowest that here the likeness of the best        5
        Before thee stands:
The head most high, the heart found faithfulest,
        The purest hands.
Above the fume and foam of time that flits,
        The soul, we know,        10
Now sits on high where Alighieri sits
        With Angelo.
Nor his own heavenly tongue hath heavenly speech
        Enough to say
What this man was, whose praise no thought may reach,        15
        No words can weigh.
Since man’s first mother brought to mortal birth
        Her first-born son,
Such grace befell not ever man on earth
        As crowns this One.        20
Of God nor man was ever this thing said:
        That he could give
Life back to her who gave him, that his dead
        Mother might live.
But this man found his mother dead and slain,        25
        With fast-seal’d eyes,
And bade the dead rise up and live again,
        And she did rise:
And all the world was bright with her through him:
        But dark with strife,        30
Like heaven’s own sun that storming clouds bedim,
        Was all his life.
Life and the clouds are vanish’d; hate and fear
        Have had their span
Of time to hurt and are not: He is here        35
        The sunlike man.
City superb, that hadst Columbus first
        For sovereign son,
Be prouder that thy breast hath later nurst
        This mightier One.        40
Glory be his forever, while this land
        Lives and is free,
As with controlling breath and sovereign hand
        He bade her be.
Earth shows to heaven the names by thousands told        45
        That crown her fame:
But highest of all that heaven and earth behold
        Mazzini’s name.


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