Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ITALIA REDENTA; ON HEARING ITALIAN FLAG FLYING OVER TRENT & TRIESTE, by ROBERT UNDERWOOD JOHNSON



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ITALIA REDENTA; ON HEARING ITALIAN FLAG FLYING OVER TRENT & TRIESTE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Till yesterday 'twas 'italy unredeemed.'
Last Line: "italia redenta."
Subject(s): Italy; World War I; Italians; First World War


TILL yesterday 'twas "Italy Unredeemed."
At Freedom's altar, by that sacred phrase,
Striplings, now grandsires, made their faithful vow.
Henceforth those words are History's, to be kept
Like some torn battleflag of Savoia's line,
While the new songs and music trumpet forth
"Italia Redenta."

The day of victory be the martyr's day! --
Not the grim morning when Battisti's soul
Into the Darkness marched -- to find it Light;
But this glad moment that his faith foresaw
When Alps to Adriatic should resound
With rapture, and the hills proclaim in fire
"Italia Redenta."

Now, when against the mother-heart there beats.
Incredibly, the heart of each lost child,
The Adriatic to the Alps replies
With one brave name, Sauro. Could the foe,
Learned in torture only, have divined
How soon that name would blend in the new cry,
"Italia Redenta"?

O Italy, thy martyrs are our own,
And the whole world's redeemed again by Love.
Nothing more sacred is than life except
The joy of its surrender. Mother of grief,
Help us forget not what it cost to write
In blood across thy borderland the words
"Italia Redenta."





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