Poem of the day

The Momument of Giordano Bruno
by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)


Not from without us, only from within,
      Comes or can ever come upon us light
      Whereby the soul keeps ever truth in sight.
No truth, no strength, no comfort man may win,
No grace for guidance, no release from sin,
      Save of his own soul’s giving. Deep and bright
      As fire enkindled in the core of night
Burns in the soul where once its fire has been
The light that leads and quickens thought, inspired
      To doubt and trust and conquer. So he said
      Whom Sidney, flower of England, lordliest head
Of all we love, loved: but the fates required
   A sacrifice to hate and hell, ere fame
   Should set with his in heaven Giordano’s name.


Cover thine eyes and weep, O child of hell,
      Grey spouse of Satan, Church of name abhorred.
      Weep, withered harlot, with thy weeping lord,
Now none will buy the heaven thou hast to sell
At price of prostituted souls, and swell
      Thy loveless list of lovers. Fire and sword
      No more are thine: the steel, the wheel, the cord,
The flames that rose round living limbs, and fell
In lifeless ash and ember, now no more
Approve thee godlike. Rome, redeemed at last
From all the red pollution of thy past,
Acclaims the grave bright face that smiled of yore
      Even on the fire that caught it round and clomb
      To cast its ashes on the face of Rome.

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