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Keats: Days innocent of scathing war


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

John Keats: The fierce intoxicating tones of trumpets, drums and cannon


John Keats
From Hyperion (1818-1819)

“At war, at peace, or inter-quarreling
One against one, or two, or three, or all
Each several one against the other three,
As fire with air loud warring when rain-floods
Drown both, and press them both against earth’s face,
Where, finding sulphur, a quadruple wrath
Unhinges the poor world…”


“The days of peace and slumberous calm are fled;
Those days, all innocent of scathing war,
When all the fair Existences of heaven
Came open-eyed to guess what we would speak: –
That was before our brows were taught to frown,
Before our lips knew else but solemn sounds;
That was before we knew the winged thing,
Victory, might be lost, or might be won.”

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