Home > Uncategorized > Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson: All labor’s dread of war’s mad waste and murder

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson: All labor’s dread of war’s mad waste and murder

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

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson: I saw a dove fear-daunted

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Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
For the Wounded (1871)
Translated by Arthur Hubbell Palmer

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A still procession goes
Amid the battle’s booming,
Its arm the red cross shows;
It prays in many forms of speech,
And, bending o’er the fallen,
Brings peace and home to each.

Not only is it found
Where bleed the wounds of battle,
But all the world around.
It is the love the whole world feels
In noble hearts and tender,
While gentle pity kneels; –

It is all labor’s dread
Of war’s mad waste and murder,
Praying that peace may spread;
It is all sufferers who heed
The sighing of a brother,
And know his sorrow’s need; –

It is each groan of pain
Heard from the sick and wounded,
‘T is Christian prayer humane;
It is their cry who lonely grope,
‘T is the oppressed man’s moaning,
The dying breath of hope; –

This rainbow-bridge of prayers
Up through the world’s wild tempest
In light of Christ’s faith bears:
That love and loving deeds
May conquer strife and passion;
For thus His promise reads.

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