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

March 11


By Craven Langstroth Betts (1853–1941)

(Born March 11, 1544)

LOVE gilds thy laurel,—love was found thy blame;

Yet, brightest in the dungeon shone thy Muse.

Not Este, no, nor Italy, might refuse

Thy due—the poet’s wreath, the deathless name.

Thine honor lustres in thy tyrant’s shame;

The cold cell’s damps were Inspiration’s dews;

The world hath won through what thy hope did lose,

Oh, Tasso, king of hearts, and heir of fame!

Ferrara’s court, by that impassioned dream

Honored and blest, grew envious and ingrate;

O, knightliest bard! Rinaldo’s hero-gleam

Is thine, thrice glorified; thy proud estate,

The Lyre, the Sword, and Love—in each supreme;

Life’s splendid offering at the throne of Fate!