Our Welcome to Garibaldi
Welcome, because the glory of thy wreath Had never shade nor stain; Because thy sword sprang never from its sheath Except to cleave a chain; Because thy hands, outstretched to all who live, Armed, not for thine own sake, So strong to save, opened so wide to give, Do not know how to take; Because the crown thy brows have put away Shall for thy name endure; Because the life thou scornest every day As a child's hope is pure; Because thy foes can reckon to thy charge, Only the noble crime Of faith too liberal and love too large For this unworthy time. And when a land made feeble by despair Could only writhe and groan, Thou, making war beneficent as prayer, Didst succour her alone. What others dreamed, thou didst. Oppression fled, The hope of years was wrought; Thou only unamazed, whose daily bread Had been heroic thought. And when thy dark hour came, which comes to all, Thou didst not lose thy crown, Nor stain it, seeming greater in thy fall Than those who cast thee down. Out of the deep still speaking to the heights In accents of a king; With conscience which through thirty sleepless nights Could find no place to sting. Therefore the heart of England welcomes thee As to thy proper throne; Therefore the light and life of Italy Seem almost like our own; Nay, by these modern watchfires, as they burn On heights of hope or fear, Our old familiar Freedom may discern How great she is, how dear. And, taught by men who, suffering, win the same, She, suffering, won of yore, She, counting years for hours, may take some shame That she has done no more; That any poor or vile are in her lands, Shaming the great and free; That any soil yet lingers on the hands Stretched forth to welcome thee!
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