Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Italy: Vols. XI–XIII. 1876–79.



By 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

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

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,

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,—

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

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,

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?

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!

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,

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,

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,

Lion-hearts of young Italy!