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William Blake: To peaceful arts shall envy bow


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

British writers on peace and war

William Blake: Selections on war and peace


William Blake


From Augeries of Innocence

The soldier, arm’d with sword and gun,
Palsied strikes the summer’s sun.

The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar’s laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour’s iron brace.
When gold and gems adorn the plow,
To peaceful arts shall envy bow.

From London

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear.

How the Chimney-sweeper’s cry
Every black’ning Church appalls;
And the hapless Soldier’s sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 20, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    They said this mystery never shall cease:
    The priest promotes war, and the soldier peace.
    (From: “To God”)


    • richardrozoff
      October 21, 2012 at 3:19 am

      Thank you.
      Blake, of course, was spied on and persecuted by the British government as being a “traitor” for not supporting the war against France in the 1790s and early 1800s.


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