Home > Uncategorized > Edwin Arnold: Heaven’s love descending in that loveliest word, PEACE!

Edwin Arnold: Heaven’s love descending in that loveliest word, PEACE!


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

British writers on peace and war

Edwin Arnold: My chariot shall not roll with bloody wheels till earth wears the red record of my name


Edwin Arnold
From The Light of the World (1891)


Heaven a-glow!

And the mild burden of its minstrelsy:

Peace beginning to be.
Deep as the sleep of the sea
When the stars their faces glass
In its blue tranquillity:
Hearts of men upon earth
From the first to the second birth,
To rest as the wild waters rest
With the colors of Heaven on their breast.
Love, which is sunlight of peace,
Age by age to increase,
Till Anger and Hatred are dead
And Sorrow and Death shall cease:
“Peace on Earth and Good-will!”
Souls that are gentle and still
Hear the first music of this
Far-off, infinite, Bliss! 

So — or in such wise — those rude shepherds heard
The Angels singing clear; when not one word
Wiser ones caught that night — solemn and still —
Of their high errand: “Peace! Good-will! Good-will!

Ah! think we listened there,
With opened heart and ear,
And heard, in truth, as these men say they heard,
On flock, and rock, and tree,
Raining such melody;
Heaven’s love descending in that loveliest word,

“PEACE!” Not at first! not yet!
Our Earth had to forget
Burden of birth, and travail of slow years;
But now the dark time done!
Daylight at length begun!
First gold of Sun in sight, dispelling fears!

PEACE, pledged, at last, to Man!
Oh! if there only ran
Thrill of such surety through one human soul,
Would not the swift joy start
From beating heart to heart,
Lighting all lands; leaping from pole to pole?

PEACE, PEACE — to come! to be!
If such were certainty
Far-off, at length, at latest, any while,
What woe were hard to bear?
What sorrow worth one tear?
Murder would soften, black Despair would smile.

But, heralded on high,
From midnight’s purple sky
Dropped like the sudden rain which brings the flowers;
PEACE! Aye to dwell with men
No strife, no wars! and, then,
The coupled comfort of those golden hours.

“Ah! the dream!
Full fair, could it but last in waking hours!
Could men but hear the Angel’s song anew
And learn to sing it, making ‘Peace on Earth!'”

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. January 5, 2013 at 7:34 pm


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