Home > Uncategorized > Langston Hughes: A mighty army serving human kind, not an army geared to kill

Langston Hughes: A mighty army serving human kind, not an army geared to kill

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

American writers on peace and against war

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Langston Hughes

langston

Peace

We passed their graves:
The dead men there,
Winners or losers,
Did not care.
In the dark
They could not see
Who had gained
The victory.

Give Us Our Peace (1945)

Give us a peace equal to the war
Or else our souls will be unsatisfied,
And we will wonder what we have fought for
And why the many died.

Give us a peace of accepting every challenge –
The challenge of the poor, the black, of all denied,
The challenge of the vast colonial world
That long has had so little justice by its side.

Give us a peace that dares us to be wise.
Give us a peace that dares us to be strong.
Give us a peace that dares us still uphold
Throughout the peace our battle against wrong.

Give us a peace that is not cheaply used,
A peace that is no clever scheme,
A people’s peace for which men can enthuse,
A peace that brings reality to our dream.

Give us a peace that will produce great schools –
As the war produced great armament,
A peace that will wipe out our slums –
As war wiped out our foes on evil bent.

Give us a peace that will enlist
A mighty army serving human kind,
Not just an army geared to kill,
But trained to help the living mind.

An army trained to shape our common good
And bring about a world of brotherhood

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