The Death of Margaret Fuller Ossoli. By Mary C. Ames.

From: At Home and Abroad, or Things and Thoughts in Europe (1856)
Author: Margaret Fuller Ossoli
Published: and Company 1856 Boston


O ITALY! amid thy scenes of blood,
She acted long a woman’s noble part!
Soothing the dying of thy sons, proud Rome l
Till thou wert bowed, O city of her heart l
When thou hadst fallen, joy no longer flowed
In the rich sunlight of thy heaven;
And from thy glorious domes and shrines of art,
No quickening impulse to her life was given.

From the deep shadow of thy cypress hills,
From the soft beauty of thy classic plains,
The noble-hearted, with her treasures, turned
To the far land where Freedom proudly reigns.
After the rocking of long years of storms,
Her weary spirit looked and longed for rest;
Pictures of home, of loved and kindred forms,
Rose warm and life-like in her aching breast.

But the wild ocean rolled before her home;
And, listening long unto its fearful moan,
She thought of myriads who had found their rest
Down in its caverns, silent, deep, and lone.
Then rose the prayer within her heart of hearts,
With the dark phantoms of a coming grief,
That “Nino, Ossoli, and I may go
Together,—that the anguish may be brief.”

The bark spread out her pennons proud and free,
The sunbeams frolicked with the wanton waves;
Smiled through the long, long days the summer sea,
And sung sweet requiems o’er her sunken graves.
E’en then the shadow of the fearful King
Hung deep and darkening o’er the fated bark;
Suffering and death and anguish reigned, ere came
Hope’s weary dove back to the longing ark.

This was the morning to the night of woe;
When the grim Ocean, in his fiercest wrath,
Held fearful contest with the god of storms,
Who lashed the waves with death upon his path.
O night of agony! O awful morn,
That oped on such a scene thy sullen eyes!
The shattered ship,—those wrecked and broken hearts,
Who only prayed, “Together let us die.”

Was this thy erecting longed for, Margaret,
In the high noontide of thy lofty pride?
The welcome sighed for, in thine hours of grief,
When pride had fled and hope in thee had died?
Twelve hours’ communion with the Terror-King!
No wandering hope to give the heart relief!
.And yet thy prayer was heard,—the cold waves wrapt
Those forms “together,” and the woe was “brief.”

Thus closed thy day in darkness and in tears;
Thus waned a life, alas! too full of pain;
But O thou noble woman! thy brief life,
Though full of sorrows, was not lived in vain.
No more n pilgrim o’er a weary waste,
With light ineffable thy mind is crowned;
Heaven’s richest lore is thine own heritage;
All height is gained, thy “kingdom” now is found.

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