To Garibaldi--With A Book

A poem by George MacDonald

When at Philippi, he who would have freed
Great Rome from tyrants, for the season brief
That lay 'twixt him and battle, sought relief
From painful thoughts, he in a book did read,
That so the death of Portia might not breed
Unmanful thoughts, and cloud his mind with grief:
Brother of Brutus, of high hearts the chief,
When thou at length receiv'st thy heavenly meed,
And I have found my hoping not in vain,
Tell me my book has wiled away one pang
That out of some lone sacred memory sprang,
Or wrought an hour's forgetfulness of pain,
And I shall rise, my heart brimful of gain,
And thank my God amid the golden clang.

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