In Santa Croce’s holy precincts lie 33
Ashes which make it holier, dust which is
Even in itself an immortality,
Though there were nothing save the past, and this,
The particle of those sublimities
Which have relapsed to chaos : here repose
Angelo's, Alfieri's bones, and his,34
The starry Galileo, with his woes ;
Here Machiavelli's earth return'd to whence it rose 36
These are four minds, which,.like the elements,
Might furnish forth creation - Italy !
Time, which hath wrong'd thee with ten thousand rents
Of thine imperial garment, shall deny,
And hath denied, to every other sky,
Spirits which soar from ruin: thy decay
Is still impregnate with divinity,
Which gilds it with revivifying ray ;
Such as the great of yore, Canova is today.
But where repose the all Etruscan three
Dante, and Petrarch, and, scarce less than they,
The Bard of Prose, creative spirit ! he
Of the Hundred Tales of love-where did they lay
Their bones, distinguish'd from our common clay
In death as life? Are they resolved to dust,
And have their country's marbles nought to say ?
Could not her quarries furnish forth one bust ? Did they not to her breast their filial earth entrust ?