Charles Harpur

On the Easter Illumination of St. Peter's at Rome

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Four thousand lamps of gold and silver light
Suspended round the mighty dome, and o er
Those rows of statues at their awful height,
And thence even to the ground, together pour
A blaze that might seem reft from Etna’s core!
Bringing at once—lit suddenly—on the sight
The whole vast structure out of the black night—
Towers, columns, windows, with their carven lore!
The spectacle is grand! But can it call
Deliverance unto those that pine and bleed
Under the Austrian’s vandalic thrall?
Never! One thought of fire—one luminous deed
Evoked by Garibaldi’s patriot creed,
O sundered Italy! Transcends it all!

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Charles Harpur