James Thomson: Peace is the natural state of man; war his corruption, his disgrace
From Coriolanus (1745)
To own myself an advocate for peace.
Peace is the natural state of man;
War his corruption, his disgrace.
Why should we purchase with the blood of thousands,
What may be gained by mutual, just concession?
Why give up peace, the best of human blessings,
For the vain cruel pride of useless conquest?
O Peace! the fairest child of heaven,
To whom the sylvan reign was given,
The vale, the fountain, and the grove,
With every softer scene of love:
Return, sweet Peace! and cheer the weeping swain!
Return, with Ease and Pleasure in thy train.