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Women writers on peace and war

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

Women writers on peace and war

Maria Abdy: May the gentle Dove of Peace extend her snowy pinions o’er us

Lucy Aikin: Gentle Peace with healing hand returns

Lucy Aikin: Sickening I turn on yonder plain to mourn the widows and the slain

Joanna Baillie: And shall we think of war? 

Joanna Baillie: Do children return from rude jarring war?

Joanna Baillie: Thy native land, freed from the ills of war, a land of peace!

Isabella Banks: Absolve our souls from blood shed in our country’s cause

Isabella Banks: The bugle of war, the bugle of peace

Isabella Banks: “Glory, glory, glory!” As if murder were not sin!

Isabella Banks: Lay down weapons, war should cease

Anna Laetitia Barbauld: Peace and Shepherd

Anna Laetitia Barbauld: The storm of horrid war rolls dreadful on

Anna Laetitia Barbauld: War’s least horror is th’ ensanguined field

Charlotte Alington Barnard: Peace Hovers

Aphra Behn: No rough sound of war’s alarms

Aphra Behn: The pen triumphs over the sword

Elizabeth Bentley: On the return of celestial peace

Elizabeth Bentley: Terror-striking War shalt be banish’d far

Matilda Betham: All the horrid charms of war

Susanna Blamire: When the eye sees the grief that from one battle flows, small cause of triumph can the bravest feel

Mathilde Blind: All vile things that batten on disaster follow feasting in the wake of war

Mathilde Blind: Reaping War’s harvest grim and gory

Mathilde Blind: Widowing the world of men to win the world

Jane Bowdler: War’s deadly futility

Vera Mary Brittain: August, 1914

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Exalt the name of Peace and leave those rusty wars that eat the soul

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: War’s human harvest

Caroline Clive: The bloody words of ruffian war

Elizabeth Cobbold: Earth’s bosom drenching with her children’s blood

Eliza Cook: Selections on peace and war

Eliza Cook: Crimson battlefield. When the world shall be spread with tombless dead.

Eliza Cook: I felt a shuddering horror lurk, to think I’d mingled in such work

Eliza Cook: No bloodstain lingers there. The plough and the spear.

Eliza Cook: Not where bullet, sword, and shield lie strown with the gory slain

Eliza Cook: Who can love the laurel wreath, plucked from the gory field of death?

Isabella Valancy Crawford: The Forging of the Sword

Charlotte Dacre: Peace

Charlotte Dacre: War

Emily Dickinson: I many times thought Peace had come

Augusta Theodosia Drane: It needs must be that gentle Peace prevail!

Marguerite Duras: The civilizing mission

Eleanor Farjeon: Now that you too join the vanishing armies

Eleanor Farjeon: Peace Poem

Margaret Fuller: America, with no prouder emblem than the Dove

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Flag of Peace

Ellen Glasgow: Selections on war

Ellen Glasgow: The Altar of the War God

Ellen Glasgow: His vision of the future only an endless warfare and a wasted land

Ellen Glasgow: The Reign of the Brute

Ellen Glasgow: “That killed how many? how many?”

Ellen Glasgow: Then the rows of dead men stared at him through the falling rain in the deserted field

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Do Not Cheer, Men Are Dying

Felicia Hemans: Selections on peace and war

Felicia Hemans: Say to the hurricane of war, – “Be still”

Felicia Hemans: Speak not of death, till thou hast looked on such

Felicia Hemans: A thousand voices echo “Peace!”

Felicia Hemans: Thousands doomed to moan, condemned by war to hopeless grief unknown

Felicia Hemans: War and Peace

Felicia Hemans: War has still ravaged o’er the blasted plain

Martha Lavinia Hoffman: The Song of Peace

Julia Ward Howe: Mother’s Day Proclamation 1870

Jean Ingelow: And the dove said, “Give us peace!”

Jean Ingelow: Methought the men of war were even as gods

Ellen Key: Overcoming the madness of a world at war

Harriet King: Life is Peace

Zofia Kossak: Every creature has its day. War and crocodiles.

Selma Lagerlöf: The Fifth Commandment. The Great Beast is War.

Selma Lagerlöf: The mark of death was on them all

Vernon Lee: Satan’s rules of war

Marie Lenéru: War is not human fate

Amy Lowell: A pattern called a war. Christ! What are patterns for?

Alice Meynell: The true slayers are those who sire soldiers

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Conscientious Objector

Mary Russell Mitford: Sheath thy gory blade in peace

Marianne Moore: I must fight till I have conquered in myself what causes war

Hannah More: War

Lilika Nakos: Selections on war

Lilika Nakos: The dead man, the living, the house; all were smashed to bits

Lilika Nakos: Do I know what makes men kill each other?

Lilika Nakos: Do you think the war will ever end?

Lilika Nakos: The grandmother’s sin

Lilika Nakos: “Surely God didn’t intend this butchery”

Lilika Nakos: “What’s the war got to do with God?”

Adela Florence Nicolson: Doubtless feasted the jackal and the kite

Zoé Oldenbourg: War provides a feast for the vultures

Amelia Opie: Grant, Heaven, those tears may be the last that war, detested war, shall cause!

Adelaide A. Procter: Let carnage cease and give us peace!

Charlotte Richardson: Once more let war and discord cease

Mary Robinson: Selections on war

Mary Robinson: Anticipate the day when ruthless war shall cease to desolate

Mary Robinson: Dread-destructive power of war

Mary Robinson: Impetuous War, the lord of slaughter

Mary Robinson: The soldier sheds, for gold, a brother’s blood

Mary Robinson: Spread once more the fostering rays of Peace

Mary Robinson: The wise shall bid, too late, the sacred olive rise

Christina Rossetti: They reap a red crop from the field. O Man, put up thy sword.

Gabrielle Roy: This was the hope that was uplifting mankind once again: to do away with war

George Sand: Trader in uniformed flesh and the religion of self

Olive Schreiner: Give me back my dead!

Olive Schreiner: The bestiality and insanity of war

Anna Seghers: War enthusiasm, brewed from equal parts of age-old memories and total oblivion

Anna Seward: Fierce War has wing’d the arrow that wounds my soul’s repose

Mary Shelley: The fate of the world bound up with the death of a single man

Edith Sitwell: Dirge for the New Sunrise

M. B. Smedley: Where is the ministry of peace?

Charlotte Turner Smith: The lawless soldiers’ victims

Charlotte Turner Smith: Statesmen! ne’er dreading a scar, let loose the demons of war

Charlotte Turner Smith: Thus man spoils Heaven’s glorious works with blood!

Charlotte Turner Smith: To bathe his savage hands in human blood

Edith Matilda Thomas: Air war: They are not humans.

Edith Matilda Thomas: The Altar of Moloch

Lesya Ukrainka: Do you understand that word called war?

Rebecca West: The dreams of Englishwomen during war

Phillis Wheatley: From every tongue celestial Peace resounds

Ellen Wheeler Wilcox: The Paean of Peace

Ella Wheeler Wilcox: A Plea To Peace

Helen Maria Williams: Heaven-born peace

Helen Maria Williams: Now burns the savage soul of war

Sarah Williams: Groaning for him they slew

Margaret L. Woods: The forgotten slain

Ann Yearsley: The anarchy of war

Marguerite Yourcenar: Fruits of war are food for new wars

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