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(Except perhaps i' the Chambers) day and night. We proved the poor should be employed,... that's fair,
And yet the rich not worked for anywise, -
Full work secured, yet liabilities
Of all our holidays, that still, at twice
We proved that Austria was dislodged, or would Or should be, and that Tuscany in arms
Should, would dislodge her, ending the old feud; And yet, to leave our piazzas, shops, and farms,
For the simple sake of fighting, was not goodWe proved that also. “Did we carry charms
Against being killed ourselves, that we should rush On killing others ? what, desert herewith
Our wives and mothers ?—was that duty ? tush!' At which we shook the sword within the sheath
Like heroes-only louder; and the flush Ran up the cheek to meet the future wreath.
Nay, what we proved, we shouted—how we shouted, (Especially the boys did) boldly planting
That tree of liberty, whose fruit is doubted, Because the roots are not of nature's granting !
A tree of good and evil: none, without it, Grow gods; alas and, with it, men are wanting!
O holy knowledge, holy liberty,
These bitter things against the jugglery Of days that in your names proved blind and weak,
It is that tears are bitter. When we see The brown skulls grin at death in churchyards bleak,
We do not cry, 'This Yorick is too light,' For death grows deathlier with that mouth he makes.
So with my mocking: bitter things I write Because my soul is bitter for your sakes,
O freedom! O my Florence !
Men who might Do greatly in a universe that breaks
And burns, must ever know before they do.
And sacrifice is offered for and to
For what himself counts precious, whether true
But here,—no knowledge, no conception, nought ! Desire was absent, that provides great deeds
From out the greatness of prevenient thought: And action, action, like a flame that needs
A steady breath and fuel, being caught Up, like a burning reed from other reeds,
Flashed in the empty and uncertain air, Then wavered, then went out. Behold, who blames
A crooked course, when not a goal is there
An ignorance of means may minister
To greatness, but an ignorance of aims
Makes it impossible to be great at all.
'Here virtue never can be national; Here fortitude can never cut a way
Between the Austrian muskets, out of thrall: I tell you rather that, whoever may
Discern true ends here, shall grow pure enough To love them, brave enough to strive for them,
Andstrong to reach them though the roads be rough: That having learnt—by no mere apophthegm
Not just the draping of a graceful stuff About a statue, broidered at the hem,
Not just the trilling on an opera-stage
Yet too allied to inarticulate rage
Were deeper than they struck it) but the gauge
The serious sacred meaning and full use Of freedom for a nation,—then, indeed,
Our Tuscans, underneath the bloody dews Of some new morning, rising up agreed
And bold, will want no Saxon souls or thews To sweep their piazzas clear of Austria's breed.
Alas, alas ! it was not so this time. Conviction was not, courage failed, and truth
Was something to be doubted of. The mime
Changed masks, because a mime. The tide as smooth
In running in as out, no sense of crime Because no sense of virtue,-sudden ruth
Seized on the people : they would have again Their good Grand-duke and leave Guerazzi, though
He took that tax from Florence. “Much in vain He takes it from the market-carts, we trow,
While urgent that no market-men remain,
To die among the Lombards. Was it thus
At which the joy-bells multitudinous, Swept by an opposite wind, as loudly shook.
Call back the mild archbishop to his house, To bless the people with his frightened look,
He shall not yet be hanged, you comprehend ! Seize on Guerazzi ; guard him in full view,
Or else we stab him in the back, to end ! Rub out those chalked devices, set up new The Duke's arms, doff your Phrygian caps, and
mend The pavement of the piazzas broke into
By barren poles of freedom: smooth the way For the ducal carriage, lest bis highness sigh
Here trees of liberty grew yesterday!' · Long live the Duke!'-how roared the cannonry, How rocked the bell-towers, and through thickening
spray Of nosegays, wreaths, and kerchiefs tossed on bigh,
How marched the civic guard, the people still Being good at shouts, especially the boys!
Alas, poor people, of an unfledged will
Alas, still poorer Duke, incapable
You think he came back instantly, with thanks And tears in his faint eyes, and hands extended
To stretch the franchise through their utmost ranks ? That having, like a father, apprehended,
He came to pardon fatherly those pranks Played out and now in filial service ended ? —
That some love-token, like a prince, he threw To meet the people's love-call, in return ?
Well, how he came I will relate to you ; And if your hearts should burn, why, hearts must burn,
To make the ashes which things old and new Shall be washed clean in-as this Duke will learn.
From Casa Guidi windows gazing, then,
The regular tramp of horse and tread of men
And sparkless. With her wide eyes at full strain, Our Tuscan nurse exclaimed, ' Alack, alack,
Signora! these shall be the Austrians.' 'Nay, Be still,' I answered, “ do not wake the child!'
-For so, my two-months' baby sleeping lay