From: The Bird and the Bell with Other Poems (1875)
Author: Christopher Pearse Cranch
Published: Osgood and Company 1875 Boston

  THE reader will find in this poem allusions to events which have passed in Italy,—fluent when the lines were written, but now crystallized into history,—and prophecies, some of which have come, or are coming true, while others have been fulfilled otherwise than was foreboded. These passages of the poem may therefore lose somewhat of the flavor they might have had if read at that period. The rapid and wonderful scene-shifting, too, that has gone on in the great European theatre of Church and State may have the effect of dimming their freshness somewhat. But the thoughts and principles here embodied can never cease to interest all who care for liberty of thought and speech, and will maintain a supreme importance so long as the Romish Church holds to its assumptions in the face of the nineteenth century.

  If much of the language in these verses apostrophizing this mighty organization seems too unqualified and denunciatory, it will be seen that I have endeavored to give praise also where I felt it to be due. But the poem was written in Catholic Europe, where I was daily impressed with characteristics which stood out more baldly prominent than any which come to our notice in America.

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