Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
March 10
On the Monument Erected to Mazzini at Genoa
By Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909)
          Giuseppe Mazzini was an Italian patriot and revolutionist. He was a strong republican and took part in many plots for the establishment of a republic in Italy. He was one of the triumvirate in the short-lived republic in Rome, in 1848, but was driven into exile on the restoration of the Papal power in 1849. Unwilling to take the oath of allegiance to a monarchy, he remained abroad. In 1870 he took part in an insurrection at Palermo, during which he was captured. He was released during the general amnesty published by the Italian government after the occupation of Rome. Much of his time was spent in exile. He died on March 10, 1872.

ITALIA, mother of the souls of men,
      Mother divine,
Of all that served 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-sealed 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 vanished; 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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