To Pius IX
It may be that the stone which thou art heaving
From off thy people's neck shall fall and crush thee;
It may be that the sudden flood shall push thee
From off the rock, whence, prophet-like, believing
In God's great future, thou dost set it free;
Yet heave it, heave it heaven high, nor fear
To be o'erwhelmed in the first wild career
Of those long-prisoned tides of liberty.
That stone which thou hast lifted from the heart
Of a whole nation shall become to thee
A glorious monument, such as no art
E'er piled above a mortal memory:
Falling beneath it, thou shalt have a tomb
That shall make low the loftiest dome in Rome.
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