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Alfred Noyes: The Dawn of Peace

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

Alfred Noyes: Selections on war

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Alfred Noyes
From The Dawn Of Peace

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Yes – “on our brows we feel the breath
Of dawn,” though in the night we wait!
An arrow is in the heart of Death,
A God is at the doors of Fate!
The spirit that moved upon the Deep
Is moving through the minds of men:
The nations feel it in their sleep,
A change has touched their dreams again.

Voices, confused, and faint, arise,
Troubling their hearts from East and West.
A doubtful light is in their skies,
A gleam that will not let them rest:
The dawn, the dawn is on the wing,
The stir of change on every side,
Unsignalled as the approach of Spring,
Invincible as the hawthorn-tide.

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Dreams are they? But ye cannot stay them,
Or thrust the dawn back for one hour!
Truth, Love, and Justice, if ye slay them,
Return with more than earthly power:
Strive, if ye will, to seal the fountains
That send the Spring thro’ leaf and spray:
Drive back the sun from the Eastern mountains,
Then – bid this mightier movement stay.

It is the Dawn of Peace! The nations
From East to West have heard a cry, –
“Through all earth’s blood-red generations
By hate and slaughter climbed thus high,
Here – on this height – still to aspire,
One only path remains untrod,
One path of love and peace climbs higher!
Make straight that highway for our God.”

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