Home > Uncategorized > John Addington Symonds: Nation with nation, land with land unarmed shall live as comrades free

John Addington Symonds: Nation with nation, land with land unarmed shall live as comrades free


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

British writers on peace and war


John Addington Symonds
A Vista (1880)


Sad heart, what will the future bring
To happier men when we are gone?
What golden days shall dawn for them,
Transcending all we gaze upon?

Will our long strife be laid at rest,
The warfare of our blind desires
Be merged in a perpetual peace,
And love illume but harmless fires?

Shall faith released from forms that chain
And freeze the spirit while we pray,
Expect with calm and ardent eyes
The morning of death’s brighter day? –

These things shall be! A loftier race
Than e’er the world hath known shall rise
With flame of freedom in their souls
And light of science in their eyes.

They shall be pure from fraud, and know
The names of priest and king no more;
For them no placeman’s hand shall hold
The balances of peace and war.

They shall be gentle, brave, and strong,
To spill no drop of blood, but dare
All that may plant man’s lordship firm
On earth and fire and sea and air.

Nation with nation, land with land,
Unarmed shall live as comrades free;
In every heart and brain shall throb
The pulse of one fraternity.

They shall be simple in their homes,
And splendid in their public ways,
Filling the mansions of the state
With music and with hymns of praise.

In aisles majestic, halls of pride,
Groves, gardens, baths, and galleries,
Manhood and youth and age shall meet
To grow by converse inly wise.

Woman shall be man’s mate and peer
In all things strong and fair and good,
Still wearing on her brows the crown
Of sinless sacred motherhood.

High friendship, hitherto unknown,
Or by great poets half divined,
Shall burn, a steadfast star, within
The calm clear ether of the mind.

Man shall love man with heart as pure
And fervent as the young-eyed joys
Who chaunt their heavenly songs before
God’s face with undiscordant noise.

New arts shall bloom of loftier mould,
And mightier music thrill the skies,
And every life shall be a song,
When all the earth is paradise.

There shall be no more sin, no shame,
Though pain and passion may not die;
For man shall be at one with God
In bonds of firm necessity.

These things – they are no dream – shall be
For happier men when we are gone:
Those golden days for them shall dawn,
Transcending aught we gaze upon.

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