Janet Hamilton

(1795-1873 / Scotland)

Garibaldi: A Captive - Poem by Janet Hamilton

Ye minist'ring spirits of grace,
That wait on the good and the true,
To comfort, support, and solace-
Earth fails us-we call upon you;
Bright 'tears, such as angels may weep,'
As ye gaze on the captive, bestow,
And lull his worn senses to sleep,
With airs that from Paradise flow.

Oh! soul of high honour-Oh! heart
Strong, chivalrous, truthful, and warm,
Diffusing o'er every part
Of his being and presence a charm!
At the altar of Freedom he stood,
And vowed his fair country to save
From tyranny, priestcraft, and blood,
Or sleep on the bed of the brave.

His deeds they are known to the world,
And history will blazon his fame;
On Liberty's standard unfurled
Italia has written his name.
Oh! dark be the eye that took aim,
And powerless the arm that could wound
The patriot;-for ever may shame
The recreant's movements surround.

Thee captive, as rebel, they hold,
And why?-'tis thy Sovereign can tell:
Like Esau, his birthright he sold,
And the buyer still wants him to sell.
O come! when escaped from the thrall,
For thou from thy country must part-
We wait thee, we welcome, we call-
We offer thee home and the heart.

Then come with the child of thy heart-
Menotti, the brave, the beloved;
Such a sire from a son must not part,
Who with blood his devotion has proved.
As martyrs, your wounds we embalm,
And pray that from pitying Heaven,
A soothing, a heart-healing balm,
To your suffering spirits be given.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010

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