The Monument of Giordano Bruno

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The Monument of Giordano Bruno
by Algernon Charles Swinburne
This poem is from the collection Astrophel and Other Poems, Book I of The Collected Poetical Works of Algernon Charles Swinburne, Vol. VI.

     I

     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.


     II

     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.

June 9, 1889.