Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VII. Descriptive: Narrative
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VII. Descriptive: Narrative.  1904.
 
Descriptive Poems: I. Personal: Rulers; Statesmen; Warriors
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 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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