John Greenleaf Whittier

INSCRIBED TO ROBERT C. WATERSTON, OF BOSTON. Helen Waterston died at Naples in her eighteenth year, and lies
buried in the Protestant cemetery there. The stone over her grave bears the lines,

               Fold her, O Father, in Thine arms,
               And let her henceforth be
               A messenger of love between
               Our human hearts and Thee.

I give thee joy!--I know to thee
The dearest spot on earth must be
Where sleeps thy loved one by the summer sea;

Where, near her sweetest poet's tomb,
The land of Virgil gave thee room
To lay thy flower with her perpetual bloom.

I know that when the sky shut down
Behind thee on the gleaming town,
On Baiae's baths and Posilippo's crown;

And, through thy tears, the mocking day
Burned Ischia's mountain lines away,
And Capri melted in its sunny bay;

Through thy great farewell sorrow shot
The sharp pang of a bitter thought
That slaves must tread around that holy spot.

Thou knewest not the land was blest
In giving thy beloved rest,
Holding the fond hope closer to her breast,

That every sweet and saintly grave
Was freedom's prophecy, and gave
The pledge of Heaven to sanctify and save.

That pledge is answered. To thy ear
The unchained city sends its cheer,
And, tuned to joy, the muffled bells of fear

Ring Victor in. The land sits free
And happy by the summer sea,
And Bourbon Naples now is Italy!

She smiles above her broken chain
The languid smile that follows pain,
Stretching her cramped limbs to the sun again.

Oh, joy for all, who hear her call
From gray Camaldoli's convent-wall
And Elmo's towers to freedom's carnival!

A new life breathes among her vines
And olives, like the breath of pines
Blown downward from the breezy Apennines.

Lean, O my friend, to meet that breath,
Rejoice as one who witnesseth
Beauty from ashes rise, and life from death!

Thy sorrow shall no more be pain,
Its tears shall fall in sunlit rain,
Writing the grave with flowers: "Arisen again!"


In 1860, Garibaldi conquered Naples, removing it from Bourbon rule and unifying it with the Kingdom of Italy under King Vittorio (Victor) Emmanuele. Despite being a Quaker, and so against violence, John Greenleaf Whittier admired men of action like Garibaldi who fought for the cause of freedom (as he saw it).

Ischia and Capri are beautiful islands lyong just off the coast and have been upscale tourist destinations since antiquity.

Posillipo is now a residential part of Naples on the waterfront. In Ancient Roman times it was a resort of the rich and famous. Roman ruins, including those of the phenomenally extravagant villa of Vedius Pollo, can still be seen.

Camaldoli is a hermitage on a hill overlooking Naples from the north. It was built in the 16th century. The hermitage is still active, but is sometimes open for visitors.

Castel Saint Elmo is a massive fort which dominates Naples. It was built by Robert of Anjou in the 14th century. It now contains the Bruno Malajoli Museum of Art History.