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James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

July 16

On the Death of M. D’Ossoli and His Wife, Margaret Fuller

By Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)

  • A noted American writer, a member of the Transcendental school. She perished by shipwreck off Fire Island on July 16, 1850, as she was returning to America from Italy with her husband, the Marquis Ossoli and their child.

  • OVER his millions Death has lawful power,

    But over thee, brave D’Ossoli! none, none.

    After a longer struggle, in a fight

    Worthy of Italy, to youth restored,

    Thou, far from home, art sunk beneath the surge

    Of the Atlantic; on its shore; in reach

    Of help; in trust of refuge; sunk with all

    Precious on earth to thee—a child, a wife!

    Proud as thou wert of her, America

    Is prouder, showing to her sons how high

    Swells woman’s courage in a virtuous breast.

    She would not leave behind her those she loved;

    Such solitary safety might become

    Others; not her; not her who stood beside

    The pallet of the wounded, when the worst

    Of France and Perfidy assailed the walls

    Of unsuspicious Rome. Rest, glorious soul,

    Renowned for the strength of genius, Margaret!

    Rest with the twain too dear! My words are few,

    And shortly none will hear my failing voice,

    But the same language with more full appeal

    Shall hail thee. Many are the sons of song

    Whom thou hast heard upon thy native plains

    Worthy to sing of thee: the hour is come;

    Take we our seats and let the dirge begin.