Page:A Voice from the Nile, and Other Poems. (Thomson, Dobell).djvu/37

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xxvi
Memoir

descriptive of Mazzini and Garibaldi may be quoted as fairly representative of the spirit of the poem :—

        "She[1] has two noble sons; by these she is.
           The Thinker; who inspired from earliest youth,
         In want and pain, in exile's miseries,
           'Mid alien scorn, 'mid foes that knew not ruth,
           Has ever preached his spirit's inmost truth;
         Though friends waxed cold, or turned their love to hate.
         Though even now his country is ingrate.

         The Doer, whose high fame as purely shines
           As his,[2] who heretofore Sicilia won
         With victories flowing free as Homer's lines,
           Sublime in action when the strife is on.
           Sublime in pity when the strife is done;
         A pure and lofty spirit, blessed from sight
         Of meaner natures' selfishness and spite."

In 1863 the beautiful poem "To our Ladies of Death" appeared in the National Reformer and after that date his contributions to it, both in prose and verse, became more frequent. It is unnecessary to enumerate his various writings in it; but it may be stated that most of the poems included in the two volumes already issued, and a large proportion of the prose writings contained in "Essays and Phantasies," first appeared in the Reformer, It is hardly necessary to say that their appearance in such a quarter scarcely tended to advance his reputation. But in it he could publish without restraint his most heterodox productions, and his writings, it must be recollected, were often as heterodox from the Secularist as from the Christian standpoint. I do not know of any

  1. Italy.
  2. Timoleon's. See Plutarch's Lives; whence the simile in the following line.