In the olive groves of Italy
Men minds are all aflame;
For the war-lust spreads thro' Italy,
Where war-lords call the game.
And they dream of Roman legions
And the glory that was Rome's;
Yet reck not of the misery
That stalks Italian homes.

By the vine-clad hills of Italy
Men talk and dream of war;
Of the triumphs that were Caesar's,
And the glories known of yore.
But a mockery of triumph,
And an end to dreaming vain
Comes to victor, as to vanquichsed,
With a counting of the slain.

Oh, the women-folk of Italy,
They give their sons to Mars;
For they would be Spartan mothers,
Dams of splendid avitars.
But the fever shall be ending
In numb grief and shuddering fears,
When the spurious pearls of victory
Dissolve in women's tears.

In the pleasant land of Italy
The fever runs apace,
And the man who would be Caesar
From war's lesson turns his face.
With dreams of olden Empire
Would he set men's minds aflame,
Nor count the cost to Italy
In agony and shame.

More verses by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

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