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

Charles Harpur

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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