Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Italy
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Italy: Vols. XI–XIII.  1876–79.
Francis Turner Palgrave (1824–1897)
LION-HEARTS of young Italy!
  Field where none died in vain!
Beardless boys and famine-gaunt
  Corpses along the plain,—
Did not enough of ye die        5
  On the field where none died in vain,
      Lion-hearts of young Italy!
Fields where death was victory,
  Blood that gushed not in vain
When the deadly rifle of France        10
  Crashed with its iron rain;
’Neath the pine-dotted slopes of Tivoli
  The triumph is with the slain,
    Lion-hearts of young Italy!
Noble error, if error,        15
  To make their fatherland one!—
Through her five-and-twenty centuries
  Rome counts no worthier son
Than he who led them to die
  Where death and triumph were one,—        20
      Lion-hearts of young Italy!
For the blood of Mentana
  To the blood of Thermopylæ calls,
And the blood of Marathon answers,
  Not in vain, not in vain he falls        25
Who stakes his life on the die
  When the voice of freedom calls,
      Lion-hearts of young Italy!
Passionate instinct for truth,
  Children and heroes in one,        30
Reason higher than reason,
  Light from beyond the sun;—
Did not enough of ye die
  To knit your country in one,
      Lion-hearts of young Italy?        35
Pity not them as they lie
  Crowned with the fortunate dead,—
Pity not them, but the foe,
  For the precious drops that they shed
Sow but the seed of victory!        40
  Pity the foe, not the dead,
      Lion-hearts of young Italy!
Yours to be gallant and true,
  Yours for your country to die,
Yours to be men of Mentana,        45
  Highly esteemed ’mong the high:
Theirs to look on at your victory!
  For did not enough of ye die,
      Lion-hearts of young Italy?
Brief the day of November,        50
  Long to the remnant that fought;
Boys too young for the battle
  Naked and hunger-distraught;
No, not too young to die,
  Falling where each one fought,        55
      Lion-hearts of young Italy!

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