Works in the Herald 1935

Despite all lessons of the great war, it now seems inevitable that Italy will make war on Abyssinia in the hope of reaping some advantage from victory.

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.

Herald, 28 August 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005