Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Freedom For Italy--1867

'He is the freeman whom the Truth makes free;
All else are slaves,' I cry aloud to thee,
O Garibaldi! in the fateful hour.
Think not 'tis in mere human might or power,
Not even the might of such an arm as thine,
To compass freedom, lasting, true, divine-
Not the keen edge of thy all-conquering sword
Can cut the Gordian double-knotted cord
That ignorance and superstition winds
With deadening strain round captive human minds.
Slaves of the Papacy! when will ye know
That, to be free, yourselves must strike the blow?
Your souls are shackled, and your hearts benumbed,
And even majestic Reason has succumbed,
And, stumbling in the gloom of Papal night,
Moves blindfold, still eschewing truth and light.
Awake! ye sleepers in the dust! Awake!
For truth, for freedom, for your country's sake!
Awake from your enchanted sleep! Arise!
Shake off the accursed spell; unclose your eyes.
The Word of Life, the Sun of Truth has risen;
To read, to hear insures not now a prison.
No more Madais in dungeon cells immured
By priests intolerant. Ye are secured
From wrongs like these. To every hearth and home
The Word of God may safely, freely come;
And he who runs may read, if read he can,
How God gives freedom to enslav├Ęd man.
True patriots! say if ye have ever found
That men were free where truth was gagg'd and bound?
Sacred and social liberty must be
Conjoined ere Italy be truly free.
Small glory yours in conflict with the Pope;
'Tis with the Papacy that ye must cope,
And not with flesh and blood; a sterner war,
More dark, more dread, more difficult by far,
The conquest of the erring, human soul,
Subdued, subjected long to its control.
The two-edged sword, the Word of God, to wield,
Be yours in combat on this battle-field;
Diffuse the truth, give all the power to read;
'They whom the truth makes free are free indeed.'
Great chieftain! hero of a hundred fights!
What is the fame that most thy soul delights?-
Italian union, liberty, and Rome
Her capital in all time yet to come?
God grant thy heart's desire, thy wish fulfil,
Perhaps not now, but when and how He will!
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