E.B.B.

James Thomson 1700 (Port Glasgow) – 1748 (London)

THE WHITE-ROSE garland at her feet,
  The crown of laurel at her head,
Her noble life on earth complete,
  Lay her in the last low bed
For the slumber calm and deep:
“He giveth His belovèd sleep.”

Soldiers find their fittest grave
  In the field whereon they died;
So her spirit pure and brave
  Leaves the clay it glorified
To the land for which she fought
With such grand impassioned thought.

Keats and Shelley sleep at Rome,
  She in well-loved Tuscan earth;
Finding all their death’s long home
  Far from their old home of birth.
Italy, you hold in trust
Very sacred English dust.

Therefore this one prayer I breathe,—
  That you yet may worthy prove
Of the heirlooms they bequeath
  Who have loved you with such love:
Fairest land while land of slaves
Yields their free souls no fit graves.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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James Thomson

James Thomson, who wrote under the pseudonym Bysshe Vanolis, was a Scottish Victorian-era poet famous primarily for the long poem The City of Dreadful Night, an expression of bleak pessimism in a dehumanized, uncaring urban environment. more…

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