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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

Emily Gilmore Alden: The world should write more victories, the victories of love

Ellen P. Allerton: Peace After War

Joanna Baillie: And shall we think of war? 

Joanna Baillie: Do children return from rude jarring war?

Joanna Baillie: Making his simple audience to shrink with tales of war and blood

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

H. Lavinia Baily: By the Sea. An Argument for Peace.

H. Lavinia Baily: A Lost Song?

H. Lavinia Baily: A New Earth

H. Lavinia Baily: Recall

Josephine Turck Baker: To the Mothers of the Martyred Dead upon the Field of Battle

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

Mary Barber: The officer’s widow

Charlotte Alington Barnard: Peace Hovers

Katharine Lee Bates: Selections on war and peace

Katharine Lee Bates: Carnage! Bayonet, bomb and shell! Merry reading for hell!

Katharine Lee Bates: Children of the War

Katharine Lee Bates: The doomful, mad torpedo, the colossal slaughter-guns

Katharine Lee Bates: Fodder for Cannon

Katharine Lee Bates: Marching Feet

Katharine Lee Bates: Mother

Katharine Lee Bates: When the Millennium Comes

Aphra Behn: No rough sound of war’s alarms

Aphra Behn: The pen triumphs over the sword

Ida Whipple Benham: The Friend of Peace

Ida Whipple Benham: War’s weeding

Ida Whipple Benham: The White Prince of peace

Adelaide George Bennett: The Peace-Pipe Quarry

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

Jean Blewett: Above the din of martial clamor, a crying in the dark

Jean Blewett: The doves are nesting in the cannons grim

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

Laura Helena Brower: Heritage. The blighted fruit of war.

Frances Brown: An avenger mightier than war

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

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: War’s human harvest

Amelia Josephine Burr: Two Viewpoints

Alice Cary: Better dwell the lowliest shepherd of Arcadia’s bowers

Mary Chandler: The noise of war is hushed

Anne Cleveland Cheney: All Ye Who Pass By

Caroline Clive: The bloody words of ruffian war

Florence Earle Coates: The New Mars

Florence Earle Coates: War

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

Margaret Postgate Cole: They fell, like snowflakes wiping out the noon

Mary Elizabeth Coleridge: Lilies and Doves

Elizabeth Connor: This World War

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

Isabella Valancy Crawford: Peace

Isabella Valancy Crawford: War

Ann Batten Cristall: Pity, Liberty, and Peace

Ann Batten Cristall: Relief for nature, man at war with themselves

Maria Briscoe Croker: War and Peace

Martha Foote Crow: There is no Christ left in all those carnage-loving lands

Mary L. Cummins: The News of War

Mary L. Cummins: The Women Who Wait

Charlotte Dacre: Peace

Charlotte Dacre: War

Olive Tilford Dargan: Beyond War

Cecelia De Vere: The American flag. Peacemakers, called the children of Great God.

Emily Dickinson: I many times thought Peace had come

Marion Doyle: Mars and Kings have silenced all their singing

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

Louise Driscoll: The Metal Checks

Marguerite Duras: The civilizing mission

George Eliot: Tart rebuke of crude war propaganda

Emma Catherine Embury: Proud soldier turns from scenes of war

Maria Louise Eve: Disarm!

Laura Bell Everett: The Skein of Grievous War

Eleanor Farjeon: Now that you too join the vanishing armies

Eleanor Farjeon: Peace Poem

Marianne Farningham: Give Peace

Anne Finch: Enquiry After Peace

Mary Weston Fordham: Ode to Peace

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

Maya Ganina: Peace and homeland

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: Selections from the Peace Sonnets

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: The blessed salve of peace for the whole bleeding world

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: Crown him with many crowns, the Prince of Peace

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: I sing the soldiers of the coming wars, those that save and heal

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: Speak peace, that thou and all the lands may live, ere thou and they all perish by the sword!

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: They say they are of Christ and do the works of Cain

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: War is the mailèd hand of criminal states

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: We feed bread of our children to the war-god’s greed

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Flag of Peace

Mary Putnam Gilmore: Sweet Peace is Here

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

Louise Imogen Guiney: The voice of Peace

Hala Jean Hammond: War’s black hatred

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Selections on peace and war

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

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Furl the banners stained with blood, ’till war shall be no more

Frances Ellen Harper Watkins: Grant that peace and joy and gladness may like holy angels tread

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Home from war

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Music to soothe all sorrow till war and crime shall cease

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Peace till war and crime shall cease

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

Mary Heron: Bid brazen-throated war and discord cease

Mary Heron: Ode on the General Peace

Amanda M. Hicks: A Truce for the Toilers

Martha Lavinia Hoffman: The Song of Peace

Julia Ward Howe: The Development of the Peace Ideal

Julia Ward Howe: Mother’s Day Proclamation 1870

Elizabeth Inchbald: War, a choice of words

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

Ruth Le Prade: Out of Chaos

Vernon Lee: Satan’s rules of war

Lily Alice Lefevre: The Bridge of Peace

Marie Lenéru: War is not human fate

Doris Lessing: With war every event has the quality of war, nothing of peace remains

Isabella Lickbarrow: Invocation To Peace

Martha Shepard Lippincott: Nations now for mammon fight

Martha Shepard Lippincott: Peace on Earth

Martha Shepard Lippincott: Shame will fall upon us for barbarous deeds of war

Amy Lowell: Misericordia

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

Caroline Atherton Mason: Enemy, oh, let our warfare cease!

Lillian Rozell Messenger: Seeking a new world of peace

Lillian Rozell Messenger: Why this feast of shells each day, the fury, blood and wail of war?

Alice Meynell: The true slayers are those who sire soldiers

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Conscientious Objector

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Lament

Emily Huntington Miller: Hymn of Peace

Gabriela Mistral: Dance of Peace

Ruth Comfort Mitchell: He Went for a Soldier

Mary Russell Mitford: Sheath thy gory blade in peace

Harriet Monroe: Over me wash the seas of war

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

Hannah More: War

Angela Morgan: Selections on war and peace

Angela Morgan: Beauty thy call must wait (while world is furrowed by graves of precious youth who died in vain)

Angela Morgan: For the moment’s red renown. Battle Cry of the Mothers.

Angela Morgan: God prays for peace

Angela Morgan: In Spite of War

Angela Morgan: Mothers “Go, fashion the Future’s laws that war shall be no more”

Angela Morgan: The Summons

Angela Morgan: Tell us the battlefields have lied, that men are still immaculate

Angela Morgan: War! Shall you be our lover? War! Shall you be our mate?

Angela Morgan: Whether to yield in meekness to War’s devouring curse

Jean Lewis Morris: A Patriot I!

Luise Mühlbach: Battle-field writes names of its heroes in blood

Iris Murdoch: The soldiers should all just throw down their arms

Iris Murdoch: You don’t have to kill people fighting for social justice

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

Grace Fallow Norton: O I have heard the drums beat for war!

Sara Louisa Oberholtzer: The dawn of peace is breaking!

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!

Frances Sargent Osgood: Peace and the olive branch

Josephine Preston Peabody: Harvest Moon

Lori Petri: Battleships

Jessie Pope: Black, solemn peace is brooding low; peace, still unbroken

George Preedy: One gigantic symbol of war, a cloudy impersonal cohort of Mars

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

Beatrice Witte Ravenel: Missing. How many women in how many lands wait beside the desolate hearthstone!

Charlotte Richardson: Once more let war and discord cease

Marilynne Robinson: The sign was ignored and since then we have had war continuously

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

Margaret Sackville: Selections on peace and war

Margaret Sackville: How is it that men slaughter men even here upon the earth?

Margaret Sackville: Nostra Culpa

Margaret Sackville: The Pageant of War

Margaret Sackville: The Peacemakers

Margaret Sackville: Reconciliation over our mutual dead

Margaret Sackville: Quo Vaditis?

Margaret Sackville: Sacrament

Margaret Sackville: So quietly and evenly they walked these million gentle dead

Margaret Sackville: To One Who Denies the Possibility of a Permanent Peace

Margaret Sackville: We are the mothers, and each has lost a son

Margaret Sackville: Who shall deliver us from the memory of these dead?

Vita Sackville-West: Man’s war on his fellow creatures

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

Mary McDermott Santley: The serene light of peace to all mankind

Ethel Talbot Scheffauer: The sun shall rise upon a newer world that has forgot to kill

Olive Schreiner: Give me back my dead!

Olive Schreiner: The bestiality and insanity of war

Olive Schreiner: I have never met a human creature who hates war as I hate it

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: On peace and war

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

Mary Shelley: I do not sympathize in their dreams of massacre and glory

Mary Shelley: I turned to the corpse-strewn earth and felt ashamed of my species

Mary Shelley: If my first introduction to humanity had been a young soldier, burning for glory and slaughter

Mary Shelley: Men have slain each other by thousands, now man is a creature of price

Kate Brownlee Sherwood: This one soft whisper – Peace

Lydia Sigourney: Peace was the song the angels sang

Louise Morgan Sill: I am the Hell-god, War!

Ina Duvall Singleton: The Women’s Litany

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

Fanny Bixby Spencer: The shame of the cannonade

Fanny Bixby Spencer: Will your son kill mine or will mine kill yours?

Madame de Staël: Voting for war, pronouncing their own death sentence

Marguerite Steen: The sheer destructiveness of war made him angry

Marguerite Steen: The wreckage of the wars

G. B. Stern: Conventions of war? War itself is the outrage.

Margaret Stineback: The Unknown Soldier

Bertha von Suttner: Selections on peace and war

Bertha von Suttner: All Souls’ Day. Field of honor gives way to wasteland of broken hearts

Bertha von Suttner: Among these ills the most dreadful of all – War

Bertha von Suttner: Armaments, without fighting each other the nations would all come to ruin in making preparations for war

Bertha von Suttner: Education hardens children against natural horror which terrors of war awaken

Bertha von Suttner: Higher unity in which every war will appear impious fratricide

Bertha von Suttner: Mounting doubts about war

Bertha von Suttner: Outgrowing the old idolatry for war

Bertha von Suttner: The Protocol of Peace

Bertha von Suttner: Vengeance! War breeds more war.

Bertha von Suttner: War’s sophistry. At last the monster creeps out.

Sara Teasdale: Dusk in War Time

Sara Teasdale: Spring in War-Time

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

Edith Matilda Thomas: The Altar of Moloch

Edith Matilda Thomas: The Flag

Mabel Thomson: A child’s ideal of soldiering

Eunice Tietjens: Children of War

Edythe C. Toner: The Wraiths

Katrina Trask: Selections on war and peace

Katrina Trask: After the Battle

Katrina Trask: Civilized warfare

Katrina Trask: A dialogue on God and war

Katrina Trask: The Logic of War

Katrina Trask: The Statue of Peace

Katrina Trask: “Wars shall cease. Peace shall knit the world together in a bond of common Brotherhood.”

Lucia Trent: Breed, little mothers, breed for the war lords who slaughter your sons

Lucia Trent: Women of War

Nancy Byrd Turner: Let Us Have Peace

Lesya Ukrainka: Do you understand that word called war?

Louise B. Waite: Let There Be Peace

Gretchen Warren: Dying Peace

Rebecca West: The dreams of Englishwomen during war

Phillis Wheatley: From every tongue celestial Peace resounds

Anna M. Whitney: The Call for Peace

Margaret Widdemer: After War

Margaret Widdemer: Men have to wage world-wars, children are left to die

Margaret Widdemer: A Mother to the War-Makers

Margaret Widdemer: War-March

Ella Wheeler Wilcox: Selections on peace and war

Ella Wheeler Wilcox: The Paean of Peace

Ella Wheeler Wilcox: A Plea To Peace

Ella Wheeler Wilcox: What We Need

Ella Wheeler Wilcox: When the Regiment Came Back

Ella Wheeler Wilcox: Women and War

Jane Wilde: Peace with the Olive, and Mercy with the Palm

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

Elinor Wylie: Peace falls unheeded on the dead

Ann Yearsley: The anarchy of war

Barbara Young: Peace is not bought with dead men slain

Marguerite Yourcenar: Fruits of war are food for new wars

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