Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DAY-DAWN IN ITALY, by ANNE CHARLOTTE LYNCH BOTTA



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DAY-DAWN IN ITALY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Italia! In thy bleeding heart
Last Line: "for god and liberty!"
Subject(s): Italy; Italians


ITALIA! in thy bleeding heart
I thought e'er hope was dead,
That from thy scarr'd and prostrate form
The spark of life had fled.

I thought as memory's sunset glow
Its radiance o'er thee cast,
That all thy glory and thy fame
Were buried in the past.

Twice mistress of the world! I thought
Thy star had set in gloom,
That all thy shrines and monuments
Were but thy spirit tomb;

The mausoleum of the world
Where Art her spoils might keep;
Where pilgrims from all shrines might come
To wander and to weep.

The thunders of the Vatican
Had long since died away,
Saint Peter's chair seem'd tottering,
And crumbling to decay.

Thy ancient line of Pontiff kings
Were to the past allied;
And oft in Freedom's holy ward
They fought not on her side.

The sacred honour of the Cross
Was trailing, soil'd, and torn;
And often had the hostile ranks
That blessed ensign borne.

But from her death-like slumber now,
The seven-hilled city wakes;
Italia! on thy shrouded sky
A gleam of morning breaks.

Along the Alps and Appenines
Runs an electric thrill;
A golden splendour lights once more
The Capitolian hill.

And hopes bright as thy sunny skies
Are o'er thy future cast;
The future that upon thee beams
As glorious as thy past.

The laurels that thy Caesars wore
Were dyed with crimson stains;
Their triumphs glitter'd with the spoil,
Won on the battle plains.

But for thy Pontiff Prince to-day
A laurel mightst thou twine,
Unsullied as the spotless life
He lays upon thy shrine.

For him might the triumphal car
Ascend the hill again;
No slaves bound to the chariot wheels
Should swell the lengthen'd train.

Such trains as in her proudest days
Was never seen in Rome --
Of captives from the dungeon freed --
Of exiles welcomed home.

When gazing on the doubtful strife,
The Hebrew leader pray'd;
The friends of Israel gather'd round,
His drooping hands they stay'd.

And thus around the Patriarch's chair
The friends of Freedom stand --
All eager, tl ough it falters not,
To stay his lifted hand.

And in a clearer, firmer tone,
I heard their rallying cry;
From Etna to the Alps it sounds,
"For God and Liberty!"





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