University of Virginia Library


Candid eyes in open faces
Clear, not keen, no narrowing line:
Hither turn your favoring graces
Now the cloth is drawn for wine.
In best of worlds if all's not bright,
Allow, the shadow's chased by light,
Though rest for neither yet may be.
And beauty's charm, where Nature reigns,
Nor crimes nor codes may quite subdue,
As witness Naples long in chains
Exposed dishevelled by the sea—
Ah, so much more her beauty drew,
Till Savoy's red-shirt Perseus flew
And cut that fair Andromeda free.
Then Fancy flies. Nor less the trite
Matter-of-fact transcends the flight:
A rail-way train took Naples' town;
But Garibaldi sped thereon:
This movement's rush sufficing there
To rout King Fanny, Bomba's heir,
Already stuffing trunks and hampers,
At news that from Sicilia passed—
The banished Bullock from the Pampas
Trampling the royal levies massed.


And, later: He has swum the Strait,
And in Calabria making head,
Cheered by the peasants garlanded,
Pushes for Naples' nearest gate.
From that red Taurus plunging on
With lowered horns and forehead dun,
Shall matadores save Bomba's son?
He fled. And her Redeemer's banners
Glad Naples greeted with strown flowers
Hurrahs and secular hosannas
That fidgety made all tyrant powers.
Ye halls of history, arched by time,
Founded in fate, enlarged by crime,
Now shines like phosphorus scratched in dark
'Gainst your grimed walls the luminous mark
Of one who in no paladin age
Was knightly—him who lends a page
Now signal in time's recent story
Where scarce in vogue are “Plutarch's Men,”
And jobbers deal in popular glory.—
But he the hero was a sword
Whereto at whiles Cavour was guard.
The point described a fiery arc,
A swerve of wrist ordained the mark.
Wise statemanship, a ruling star
Made peace itself subserve the war.


In forging into fact a dream—
For dream it was, a dream for long—
Italia disenthralled and one,
Above her but the Alps—no thong
High flourished, held by Don or Hun;
Italia, how cut up, divided
Nigh paralysed, by cowls misguided;
Locked as in Chancery's numbing hand,
Fattening the predatory band
Of shyster-princes, whose ill sway
Still kept her a calamitous land;
In ending this, spite cruel delay,
And making, in the People's name,
Of Italy's disunited frame,
A unit and a telling State
Participant in the world's debate;
Few deeds of arms, in fruitful end,
The statecraft of Cavour transcend.
What towns with alien guards that teemed
Attest Art's Holy Land redeemed.
Slipt from the Grand Duke's gouty tread,
Florence, fair flower up-lifts the head.
Ancona, plucked from Peter's Chair,
With all the Papal fiefs in band,
Her Arch Imperial now may wear
For popular triumph and command.
And Venice: there the Croatian horde
Swagger no more with clattering sword
Ruffling the doves that dot the Square.
In Rome no furtive cloaked one now
Scribbles his gibe on Pasquin's brow,


Since wag his tongue at Popes who may
The Popedom needs endure his say.
But (happier) feuds with princelings cease,
The People federate a peace.
Cremona fiddles, blithe to see
Contentious cities comrades free.
Sicilia,—Umbria,—muster in
Their towns in squads, and hail Turin.
One state, one flag, one sword, one crown,
Till time build higher or Cade pull down.
Counts this for much? Well, more is won.
Brave public works are schemed or done.
Swart Tiber, dredged, may rich repay—
The Pontine Marsh, too, drained away.
And, far along the Tuscan shore
The weird Maremma reassume
Her ancient tilth and wheaten plume.
Ay, to reclaim Ansonia's land
The Spirit o' the Age he'll take a hand.
He means to dust each bric-a-brac city,
Pluck the feathers from all banditti;
The Pope he'll hat, and, yea or nay ye,
Rejuvenate e'en poor old Pompeii!
Concede, accomplished aims unite
With many a promise hopeful and as bright.