Home > Uncategorized > Edward Dyer: So that of war the very name may not be heard again

Edward Dyer: So that of war the very name may not be heard again

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

Edward Dyer
From Extracts from Sixe Idillia: The Prayer of Theocritus for Syracuse

sir-edward-dyer-2

Out of our island drive our enemies, our bitter fate,
Along the Sardine sea, that death of friends they may relate
Unto their children and their wives, and that the towns opprest
By enemies, of th’ old inhabitants may be possest:
That they may till the fields, and sheep upon the downs may bleat
By thousands infinite and fat, and that the herd of neat
As to their stalls they go may press the lingering traveller.
Let grounds be broken up for seed, what time the grasshopper
Watching the shepherds by their flocks, in boughs close singing lies,
And let the spiders spread their slender webs in armories,
So that of war the very name may not be heard again.

***

The lowest trees have tops, the ant her gall,
The fly her spleen, the little spark his heat;
And slender hairs cast shadows, though but small,
And bees have stings, although they be not great;
Seas have their source, and so have shallow springs;
And love is love in beggars and in kings.

Where waters smoothest run, deep are the fords;
The dial stirs, yet none perceives it move;
The firmest faith is in the fewest words;
The turtles cannot sing, and yet they love;
True hearts have eyes and ears, no tongues to speak;
They hear, and see, and sigh, and then they break!

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