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British writers on peace and war

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

British writers on peace and war

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

Joseph Addison: Already have our quarrels fill’d the world with widows and with orphans

Joseph Addison and Richard Steele: It is a stupid and barbarous way to extend dominion by arms

Lucy Aikin: Gentle Peace with healing hand returns

Lucy Aikin: Freedom and Peace with radiant smile now carol o’er the dungeon vile

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

Mark Akenside: The hidden plan whence every treaty, every war began

Mark Akenside: Statesmanship versus war

Richard Aldington: Selections on war

Richard Aldington: All the decay and dead of battlefields entered his blood and seemed to poison him

Richard Aldington: The Blood of the Young Men

Richard Aldington: The criminal cant and rant of war

Richard Aldington: How can we atone for the lost millions and millions of years of life, how atone for those lakes and seas of blood?

Richard Aldington: How well the premeditated mass murder of war is organized

Richard Aldington: It is so important to know how to kill

Richard Aldington: It was a war of missiles, murderous and soul-shaking explosives, like living in the graveyard of the world

Richard Aldington: Pools and ponds of blood, the huge black dogs of hell

Richard Aldington: Why so sentimental? Why all this fuss over a few million men killed and maimed?

Grant Allen: How can he be good if he hires himself out indiscriminately to kill or maim whoever he’s told to?

Grant Allen: I cannot contribute to making peaceable Canadian citizens throw themselves into the devouring whirlpool of militarism

Grant Allen: War and blood money

James Allen: A Prayer for Peace

Eric Ambler: It is not good for those who fight to know too much. Speeches, yes. The truth, no!

Eric Ambler: The Law did not think killing for money was insane

Edwin Arnold: Heaven’s love descending in that loveliest word, PEACE!

Edwin Arnold: My chariot shall not roll with bloody wheels till earth wears the red record of my name

Matthew Arnold: Man shall live in peace, as now in war

Matthew Arnold: New Age. Uphung the spear, unbent the bow.

Matthew Arnold: Tolstoy’s commandments of peace

W.H. Auden: A land laid waste, its towns in terror and all its young men slain

W. H. Auden: O What Is That Sound

W. H. Auden: The shield of Achilles

Alfred Austin: The White Pall of Peace

Francis Bacon: Arts benefit man more than arms

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!

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

Maurice Baring: August, 1918

Maurice Baring: The greater fools are you who seek the wars

Maurice Baring: Unalterable horror, misery, pain and suffering which is caused by modern war

Maurice Baring: The Wounded

Charlotte Alington Barnard: Peace Hovers

James Beattie: Ode to Peace

Thomas Lovell Beddoes: War’s harvest

Aphra Behn: No rough sound of war’s alarms

Aphra Behn: The pen triumphs over the sword

Hilaire Belloc: After the tempest and destruction of universal war, permanence

Hilaire Belloc: War, propaganda and lies

Arnold Bennett: The miraculous lunacy of war

Arnold Bennett: The Primary Object of War

Arnold Bennett: The Slaughterer

Arnold Bennett: War casualties and war profiteers

Arthur Christopher Benson: No carnal triumph of the empurpled sword

Robert Hugh Benson: The whole human race will be at war

Jeremy Bentham: A Plan for an Universal and Perpetual Peace

Jeremy Bentham: War is mischief upon the largest scale

Elizabeth Bentley: On the return of celestial peace

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

George Berkeley: Continuing dishonorable war is committing murder, rapine, sacrilege and violence

Walter Besant: War and the destruction of London, a city lone and widowed

Walter Besant: Wisdom and war

Matilda Betham: All the horrid charms of war

Augustine Birrell: Richard Cobden, visionary of world peace

William Black: Better small farms, thriving and prosperous, than splendid ruins that tell of the fierceness of war

William Black: Military glory, the most mean, the most cruel and contemptible thing under the sun!

William Black: When Caesar’s legions turn on him

Robert Blair: Where are the mighty thunderbolts of war?

William Blake: Selections on war and peace

William Blake: Be withdrawn cloudy war, troops of warriors depart, nor around our peaceable city breathe

William Blake: Groaning among the happier dead

William Blake: O for a voice like thunder, and a tongue to drown the throat of war!

William Blake: O go not forth in Martyrdoms & Wars

William Blake: To peaceful arts shall envy bow

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

Edmund Blunden: Writings on war

Edmund Blunden: The black fiend leaps brick-red as life’s last picture goes

Edmund Blunden: The bondservice of destruction

Edmund Blunden: Death could not kneel

Edmund Blunden: Harsher screamed the condor war

Edmund Blunden: How silver clear against war’s hue and cry each syllable of peace the gods allowed

Edmund Blunden: Initiation into war

Edmund Blunden: One needed no occult gift to notice the shadow of death

Edmund Blunden: War tableaux

Edmund Blunden: War’s harvest

Edmund Blunden: War’s undormant cemetery

Edmund Blunden: We stood estranged with the ghosts of war between

Edmund Blunden: A whole sweet countryside amuck with murder

Wilfrid Scawen Blunt: “How I am wounded for thee in these wars”

George Borrow: Prisoners of war: misery on one side, disgrace on the other

James Boswell: On War

James Boswell: Samuel Johnson – war is worst type of all violence

James Boswell: Who profits by war?

Jane Bowdler: War’s deadly futility

William Lisle Bowles: Selections on war and peace

William Lisle Bowles: As War’s black trump pealed its terrific blast

William Lisle Bowles: The dread name of the hideous war-fiend shall perish

William Lisle Bowles: The Fiend of War, sated with slaughter

William Lisle Bowles: Grim-visaged War drowns with his trumpet’s blast a brother’s cries

William Lisle Bowles: Oh, when will the long tempestuous night of warfare and of woe be rolled away!

William Lisle Bowles: When her war-song Victory doth sing, Destruction flaps aloft her iron-hurtling wing

Henry Noel Brailsford: Waiting for the horrors of a war that was coming

Henry Noel Brailsford: Who is the happy warrior?

F. V. Branford: Over the Dead

Robert Bridges: And this is War!

Vera Mary Brittain: August, 1914

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

Robert Browning: Selections on peace and war

Robert Browning: The devil’s doctrine, the paraded shame of war

Robert Browning: Far and wide the victims of our warfare strew the plain

Robert Browning: Peace, in whom depths of wealth lie

Robert Browning: Peace rises within them ever more and more

Robert Browning: They sent a million fighters forth South and North

John Buchan: That night I realized the crazy folly of war

Robert Buchanan: The moon gleamed on the dreadful drifts of dead

Edward Bulwer Lytton: Selections on peace and war

Edward Bulwer Lytton: Ghouls on the field of slaughter

Edward Bulwer Lytton: The heartless and miserable vanity from which arose wars neither useful nor honourable

Edward Bulwer Lytton: The sword, consecrating homicide and massacre with a hollow name

Edward Bulwer Lytton: War and wrath and rapine cease, O Messenger of Peace!

Edward Bulwer Lytton: “We poor men have no passion for war”

Robert Burns: I hate murder by flood or field

Robert Burns: Peace, thy olive wand extend and bid wild War his ravage end

Robert Burns: Wars, the plagues of human life

Robert Burton: Hypocrites who make the trumpet of the gospel the trumpet of war

Robert Burton: War’s nuptials, war’s justice

Robert Burton: We hate the hawk because it is always at war

Robert Burton: What fury first brought so devilish, so brutish a thing as war into men’s minds?

Samuel Butler: Religion of war

Samuel Butler: Valor in modern warfare

Byron: Selections on war

Byron: The age of beauty will succeed the sport of war

Byron: All ills past, present and to come yield to the true portrait of one battle-field

Byron: Blasted below the hot breath of war

Byron: The drying up a single tear has more of honest fame than shedding seas of gore.

Byron: Gore and glory seen in hell alone

Byron: The Grave shall bear the chiefest prize away

Byron: I loathe all war and warriors

Byron: I made no wars

Byron: Just ponder what a pious pastime war is

Byron: Such is the absorbing hate when warring nations meet

Byron: The time is past when swords subdued

Byron: War, banquet for wolf and worm

Byron: War cuts up not only branch, but root

Byron: War did glut himself again, all earth was but one thought – and that was death

Byron: War feeds the vultures, wolves and worms

Byron: War returns on its perpetrator

Byron: War’s a brain-spattering, windpipe-slitting art

Thomas Campbell: Selections on peace and war

Thomas Campbell: Maddening strife and blood-stain’d fields to come

Thomas Campbell: Men will weep for him when many a guilty martial fame is dim

Thomas Campbell: Sending whirlwind warrants forth to rouse the slumbering fiends of war

Thomas Campbell: Shall War’s polluted banner ne’er be furl’d?

Thomas Campbell: The snow shall be their winding-sheet, every turf a soldier’s sepulchre

Thomas Campbell: That first spoke peace to man

Thomas Campion: Raving war wastes our empty fields

Thomas Campion: Then bloody swords and armour should not be

Thomas Campion: Upright man needs neither towers nor armour

Thomas Carew: Lust for gold fills the world with tumult, blood, and war

Thomas Carew: They’ll hang their arms upon the olive bough

Thomas Carlyle: Selections on war

Thomas Carlyle: Fighting with steel murder-tools

Thomas Carlyle: Inept government’s sole achievement, getting together men to kill other men

Thomas Carlyle: War is a quarrel between two thieves

Thomas Carlyle: What blood-filled trenches, and contentious centuries, may still divide us!

Thomas Carlyle: The works of peace versus battles and war-tumults

Mary Chandler: The noise of war is hushed

George Chapman: Men’s want of peace, which was from want of love

George Chapman: Peace with all her heavenly seed

Thomas Chatterton: Peace, gentlest, softest of the virtues

Geoffrey Chaucer: The city to the soldier’s rage resigned; successless wars and poverty behind

G.K. Chesterton: In modern war defeat is complete defeat

G. K. Chesterton: War’s regressive tendency

Charles Churchill: Thousands bleed for some vile spot where fifty cannot feed

Caroline Clive: The bloody words of ruffian war

Arthur Hugh Clough: For an impalpable odour of honour armies shall bleed

Arthur Hugh Clough: Ye vulgar dreamers about peace

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

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Selections on peace and war

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: All our dainty terms for fratricide

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: And war still violates the unfinished works of peace

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The demon War and its attendants, maniac Suicide and giant Murder

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Fire, Famine, And Slaughter: A War Eclogue

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: From all sides rush the thirsty brood of War!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: War and all its dread vicissitudes pleasingly agitate their stagnant hearts

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: War is a murderous fiend, by fiends adored

William Collins: Ode to Peace

William Congreve: Cursed ambition wakes the world to war and ruin

William Congreve: No more do youth leave the sacred arts for stubborn arms

Joseph Conrad: Selections on war

Joseph Conrad: Democratic, commercial wars more ferocious than those of kings

Joseph Conrad: Firing into a continent, a touch of insanity in the proceeding

Joseph Conrad: From the frozen ground of battlefields a chorus of groans calls for vengeance from Heaven

Joseph Conrad: Humanity’s inhuman toleration of war

Joseph Conrad: In modern war mankind cannot resist the temptation to use any stealthy, murderous contrivance

Joseph Conrad: Men go mad in protest against “peculiar sanity” of war

Joseph Conrad: Moral cannibals feeding on each other’s misfortunes: ‘It’s a damned bad war, but it’s better than no war at all.’

Joseph Conrad: Never before has war received so much homage at the lips of men

Joseph Conrad: War makes earth a pagan planet

Joseph Conrad: With earth soaked in blood, all men seek some formula of peace

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?

Joseph Cottle: Selections on war

Joseph Cottle: If on the slaughter’d field some mind humane…

Joseph Cottle: Know you their crimes on whom you warfare wage?

Joseph Cottle: Plant the seeds of universal peace

Joseph Cottle: Torn from their cots to wield the murderer’s blade

Joseph Cottle: Warn mankind to shun the hostile spear

Joseph Cottle: War’s noxious breath fills earth with discord, dread, and death

Peter L. Courtier: Ode to Peace

Francis Coutts: Why was no better gift by thee bequeathed than a sword unsheathed?

Abraham Cowley: Like the peace, but think it comes too late

Abraham Cowley: Only peace breeds scarcity in Hell

Abraham Cowley: To give peace and then the rules of peace

William Cowper: Selections on peace and war

William Cowper on war and man’s inhumanity to man: Homo homini lupus

William Cowper: In every heart are sown the sparks that kindle fiery war

William Cowper: Never shall you hear the voice of war again

William Cowper: O place me in some heaven-protected isle where no crested warrior dips his plume in blood

William Cowper: Peace, both the duty and the prize

William Cowper: They trust in navies and armies

William Cowper: Universal soldiership has stabbed the heart of man

Richard Crashaw: In Hell’s palaces

William Crowe: On poets who sing of war

Ann Batten Cristall: Pity, Liberty, and Peace

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

William Cunningham: A thousand gifts are thine, Sweet Peace! – which War can never know

Charlotte Dacre: Peace

Charlotte Dacre: War

William Davenant: War, the sport of kings, increases the number of dead

John Davidson: Blood in torrents pour in vain, for war breeds war again

John Davidson: The blood of men poured out in endless wars

W.H. Davies: The blind hatred engendered by war

Thomas Day: Wages abhorred war with humankind

Cecil Day-Lewis: Newsreel

Daniel Defoe: Mammon and Mars, twin deities

Thomas Dekker: Lands ravaged by soldiers and war

Charles Dickens: Waging war to perpetuate slavery

Sydney Dobell: The Army Surgeon

Austin Dobson: Before Sedan

Alfred Dommett: A Christmas hymn. The peaceful Prince of earth and heaven.

John Donne: The horror and ghastliness of war

John Donne: War and misery are one thing

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

Michael Drayton: All your banks with peace preserved be

John Drinkwater: I sing of peace while nations market in death

John Drinkwater: We Mothers Know

John Dryden: All your care is to provide the horrid pomp of war

John Dryden: In peace the thoughts of war he could remove

John Dryden and Horace: Happy is he who trumpets summon not to war

John Dryden and Lucretius: Venus and Mars: Lull the world in universal peace

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

George Eliot: Tart rebuke of crude war propaganda

Havelock Ellis: War, a relapse from civilisation into barbarism, if not savagery

William Norman Ewer: Five Souls

Eleanor Farjeon: Now that you too join the vanishing armies

Eleanor Farjeon: Peace Poem

George Farquhar: What induced you to turn soldier?

Joseph Fawcett: Selections against war

Joseph Fawcett: Broken hearts to broken limbs reply. War expands in space and time.

Joseph Fawcett: Civilized war! The cool carnage of the cultured world.

Joseph Fawcett: The contemptible wagers of civilized war

Joseph Fawcett: The deep scarlet shame of unceasing war

Joseph Fawcett: The distempered dream of war

Joseph Fawcett: Law prosecutes single murder, ignores mass murder

Joseph Fawcett: Uncurs’d the ornamented murderers move

Joseph Fawcett: War and music. Perversion most perverse! Misapplication monstrous!

Joseph Fawcett: War Elegy

Joseph Fawcett: War mocks and degrades nature, God, mind, commerce, agriculture

Padraic Fiacc: Credo Credo

Padraic Fiacc: Der Bomben Poet

Henry Fielding: An alternative to heaps of mangled and murdered human bodies

Henry Fielding: On the condign fate of Great Men and conquerors

Henry Fielding: War creates the professors of human blood-shedding

Anne Finch: Enquiry After Peace

Ford Maddox Ford: Millions massacred for picturesque phrases in politicians’ speeches

Ford Maddox Ford: Preparing men likes bullocks for the slaughterhouse

E.M. Forster: The Imperialist is not what he thinks or seems. He is a destroyer.

E.M. Forster: Wars spurred on by persistent talk of war, amplified by the gutter press

James George Frazer: Purifying the defilement of war

James George Frazer: Saturn’s reign of peace

Thomas Fuller: As though there were not enough men-murdering engines

Thomas Fuller: When all the world might smile in perfect peace

Richard Furness: Selections on war

Richard Furness: Death and demons laugh’d in horrid joy

Richard Furness: The plough and the sword

Richard Furness: War and Love

Richard Furness: Whatever monster rose to mar the happiness of earth by war

Richard Furness: Who wasted earth with sword and flame and murdered millions for a name

John Galsworthy: Selections on war

John Galsworthy, 1911: Air war last and worst hideous development of the black arts of warfare

John Galsworthy: Achieving perpetual peace by securing the annihilation of our common enemies

John Galsworthy: Air war leads to reverse evolution

John Galsworthy: Friend becomes foe with war psychosis

John Galsworthy: Grandiloquent phrases are the very munitions of war

John Galsworthy: History, made up of wars and intrigues which have originated in the brains of public men

John Galsworthy: The monstrous injustice of conflating chauvinism with common drunkenness

John Galsworthy: No one who disagrees with me must say anything if we are to save the cause of freedom and humanity

John Galsworthy: On the drawbacks of uttering pro-war cant

John Galsworthy: On the embarrassing consequences of bellicose pontification

John Galsworthy: Only a helpless or wicked God would allow the slaughter of millions

John Galsworthy: The procreative demands of war

John Galsworthy: The pure essence of humanitarian warfare sentiments

John Galsworthy: Rivers of blood and tears. When would killing go out of fashion?

John Galsworthy: Trading in fanatical idiocy at expense of others’ blood and sweat

John Galsworthy: Valley of the Shadow

John Galsworthy: War and the microbe of fatalism

John Galsworthy: The war brought in ugliness

John Galsworthy: The war made us all into barbarians

John Galsworthy: War moves mankind towards the manly and unforgiving vigour of the tiger and the rat

John Galsworthy: “The war! The cursed war!”

John Galsworthy: War, where Christ is daily crucified a million times over

John Galsworthy: Would they never tire of making mincemeat of the world?

David Garnett: Criminal to welcome war

David Garnett: War is the worst of the epidemic diseases which afflict mankind

John Gay: Parallel lives. Highwaymen and soldiers.

Thomas Gent: Sonnet to Peace

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson: Selections on war

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson: The Bayonet

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson: Between The Lines

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson: The Conscript

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson: Dance of death

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson: He who killed men in foreign lands bore my name

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson: Nine O’Clock News

George Gissing: Selections on war

George Gissing: “Civilisation rests upon a military basis”

George Gissing: Culpable fatalism: war is assured by perpetual prophecies of statesmen and journalists

George Gissing: Games and war

George Gissing: The imposition of military servitude

George Gissing: Large-scale murder as fair sport

George Gissing: Letter to a son killed in war: War is a horrible thing that ought to be left to savages

George Gissing: Lord of Slaughter commands curse of universal soldiering

George Gissing: The morbid love of war

George Gissing: Next stage in civilization: peace made a religion

George Gissing: A parable on war, industry and the press

George Gissing: Peace, no word more beautiful

George Gissing: War turns science into enemy of man

George Gissing: When the next great war comes, newspapers will be the chief cause of it

William Godwin: Inventions of a barbarous age, deluging provinces with blood

Oliver Goldsmith: Selections on war

Oliver Goldsmith: A thousand hecatombs for mere trumperies. Imperial contest that no honest man can wish either side wins.

Oliver Goldsmith on war: Hundreds of thousands killed without consequence

Oliver Goldsmith: I am an enemy to nothing in this good world but war

Oliver Goldsmith: To make one man happy is more truly great than having ten thousand captives groaning at the wheels of his chariot

Oliver Goldsmith: War and its servile press

Edmund Gosse: War and the brutalities of the real thing

John Gower: Peace is chief of all world’s wealth, war is mother of all wrongs

Robert Graves: Selections on war

Robert Graves: Accommodations for a million men killed in war

Robert Graves: A certain cure for lust of blood

Robert Graves: Even its opponents don’t survive war

Robert Graves: The grim arithmetic of war

Robert Graves: Men at arms and men of letters, the birth of English pacifism in the First World War

Robert Graves: Military madness degenerating into savagery

Robert Graves: Peace

Robert Graves: Recalling the last war, preparing for the next

Robert Graves: War follows its victims back home

Robert Graves: War should be a sport for men above forty-five only

Robert Graves: War’s path of death, decay and decomposition

Robert Graves: War’s ultimate victors, the rats

Robert Graves: When even war’s gallows humor fails

Thomas Gray: Clouds of carnage blot the sun; weave the crimson web of war

Thomas Gray: Poetry subdues war

Graham Greene: He carried the war in his heart, infecting everything

Graham Greene: A hundred English Guernicas

Graham Greene: Letter On NATO Threat To Cuba

Graham Greene: None of us can hate any more – or love. You have to feel something to stop a war.

Robert Greene: Then the stormy threats of wars shall cease

Fulke Greville: The shames of peace are the pride of war

Thomas Hardy: Selections on war

Thomas Hardy: All-Earth-gladdening Law of Peace, war’s apology wholly stultified

Thomas Hardy: As war-waste classed

Thomas Hardy: The battle-god is god no more

Thomas Hardy: Channel Firing

Thomas Hardy: Ever consign all Lords of War to sleep

Thomas Hardy: How long must your wroth reasonings trade on lives like these?

Thomas Hardy: The Man He Killed

Thomas Hardy: Vaster battalions press for further strands to argue in the self-same bloody mode

Thomas Hardy: War’s annals will fade into night

Frank Harris: Soulless selfishness of war; Anglo-Saxon domineering combativeness greatest danger to Humanity

Frank Harris: Henri Barbusse and the war against war

William Hazlitt: Selections on war

William Hazlitt: And this is patriotism. Practitioners of eternal war.

William Hazlitt: Difference between a war-expenditure and what ought to be a peace-establishment

William Hazlitt: Effects of war and taxes

William Hazlitt: Harpies of the press. Juggling fiends. Systematic opponents of peace. Ceaseless partisans of interminable hostilities.

William Hazlitt: High-priests of Moloch foam at the mouth at the name of peace

William Hazlitt: Keystone of indestructible war-system: Closing up the avenues to peace, shutting the gates of mercy on mankind

William Hazlitt: Poets outlive conquerors

William Hazlitt: Systematic patrons of eternal war

William Hazlitt: Ultima ratio regum: liberals and conservatives united by leaden bullets and steel bayonets

William Hazlitt: War is in itself is a thriving, sensible traffic only to cannibals

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

George Herbert: Make war to cease

Mary Heron: Bid brazen-throated war and discord cease

Mary Heron: Ode on the General Peace

Robert Herrick: The Olive Branch

Robert Herrick: The olive branch, the arch of peace

Maurice Hewlett: In the Trenches

Maurice Hewlett: O, this war, what a glorious game!

Maurice Hewlett: Who prayeth peace?

Thomas Hobbes: Divine law is the fulfilling of peace

Thomas Hobbes: There was never such a time of war all over the world

Thomas Hobbes: War, where every man is enemy to every man

James Hogg: Few such monsters can mankind endure: The fields are heaped with dead and dying.

James Hogg: Millions have bled that sycophants may rule

Thomas Holcroft: In wars and wretchedness I cannot say that I delight

Thomas Holcroft: Reaping vast crops of famine, sword, and fire

Thomas Hood: As gentle as sweet heaven’s dew beside the red and horrid drops of war

Thomas Hood: Freelance soldiering

Thomas Hood: When war has ceased with all its Ills, Captains should come like sucking Doves, With Olive Branches in their Bills

Gerard Manley Hopkins: What pure peace allows alarms of wars?

W. H. Hudson: A mother’s plea

David Hume: War’s double standards

Leigh Hunt: Captain Sword and Captain Pen

Leigh Hunt: The devilish drouth of the cannon’s ever-gaping mouth

Leigh Hunt: Some Remarks On War And Military Statesmen

Francis Hutcheson: To poets, war is impetuous, cruel, undistinguishing monster

Aldous Huxley: Selections on war

Aldous Huxley: Absurdity of talking about the defence of democracy by war

Aldous Huxley: All devote themselves methodically and scientifically to general massacre and wholesale destruction

Aldous Huxley: The first of the political causes of war is war itself

Aldous Huxley: How are we to get rid of war when we celebrate militarists?

Aldous Huxley: Imposition of permanent military servitude upon the masses

Aldous Huxley: Manufacturing of arms, an intrinsically abominable practice

Aldous Huxley: Nuclear weapons, establishing world domination for one’s gang

Aldous Huxley: One cannot be ruler of militaristic society without being militarist oneself

Aldous Huxley: Peace of the world frequently endangered in order that oil magnates might grow a little richer

Aldous Huxley: Rhetorical devices used to conceal fundamental absurdity and monstrosity of war

Aldous Huxley: Science, technology harnessed to the chariot of war

Aldous Huxley: Scientific workers must take action against war

Aldous Huxley: Shifting people’s attention in world where war-making remains an almost sacred habit

Aldous Huxley: War is mass murder organized in cold blood

Aldous Huxley: War is not a law of nature, nor even of human nature

Aldous Huxley: War is now the affair of every man, woman and child in the community

Aldous Huxley: War shatters precarious crust of civilization, precipitates vast numbers of human beings into abyss of misery and frenzied diabolism

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

Richard Jefferies: The raven, a fable

James Jennings: Reign goddess, Peace, throughout eternal years

Soame Jenyns: One good-natured act more praises gain than armies overthrown, and thousands slain

Soame Jenyns: The soldier’s scarlet glowing from afar shows his bloody occupation’s war

Jerome K. Jerome: Go for a soldier

Samuel Johnson: Selections on war

Samuel Johnson: I to nobler themes aspire

Samuel Johnson: Reason frowns on War’s unequal game

Samuel Johnson: The violence of war admits no distinction

Samuel Johnson: War is heaviest of national evils, a calamity in which every species of misery is involved

Samuel Johnson: War is the extremity of evil

Henry Jones: Bid discord cease, and open wide the gates of peace

John Keats: Days innocent of scathing war

John Keats: The fierce intoxicating tones of trumpets, drums and cannon

John Keats: Sonnet on Peace

Harriet King: Life is Peace

Charles Kingsley: Empire, a system of world-wide robbery, and church

Charles Kingsley: Tyrannising it luxuriously over all nations, she had sat upon the mystic beast

Henry Kirke White: Far better music inspire peace than war

Henry Kirke White: The red-eyeballed warrior doomed to ruin

Charles Lamb: More-wasting War, insatiable of blood

Walter Savage Landor: Some stopped revenge athirst for slaughter

D. H. Lawrence: Selections on war

D.H. Lawrence: All modern militarism is foul

D.H. Lawrence: Future War, Murderous Weapons, Refinements of Evil

D. H. Lawrence: If they do not kill him in this war

D.H. Lawrence: In 1915 the world ended with the slaughter-machine of human devilishness

D. H. Lawrence: No romance of war. The soul did not heal.

D.H. Lawrence: The price to pay at home for terrible, terrible war

D.H. Lawrence: War adds horror to horror, becomes horrible piratic affair, dirty sort of freebooting

Richard Le Gallienne: Selections on war

Richard Le Gallienne: Christ at Notre Dame: abhorred be they who ever draw again the sword

Richard Le Gallienne: The Illusion of War

Richard Le Gallienne: Is this to be strong, ye nations, your vulgar battles to fight?

Richard Le Gallienne: A nation is merely a big fool with an army

Richard Le Gallienne: Poetry and war

Richard Le Gallienne: The Rainbow

Joseph Lee: German Prisoners

Vernon Lee: Satan’s rules of war

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

Charles Lever: The self-serving drunken oblivion of war

C. S. Lewis: The folly and danger of noble and humanitarian war

Isabella Lickbarrow: Invocation To Peace

John Locke: State of war and state of nature are opposites

William J. Locke: Following war

William J. Locke: I’m good at killing things, I ought to have been a soldier

William J. Locke: Life in its fullness and glory, war’s orgies of horror

Samuel Lover: The demon of war casts his shadows before

Samuel Lover: The trumpet and the sword

Thomas Macaulay: Drive for transatlantic dominion leads to endless wars, empty treasuries

Thomas Macaulay: Loving war for its own sake

Thomas Macaulay: The self-perpetuating role of the army

Hugh MacDiarmid: A war to save civilization, you say?

George MacDonald: War-cry of every opinion. Battle of the dead.

Charles Mackay: Awake the song of peace!

Charles Mackay: Hung the sword in the hall, the spear on the wall

Charles Mackay: War in all men’s eyes shall be a monster of iniquity

Bernard Mandeville: How to induce men to kill and die

Frederic Manning: War poems

Frederic Manning: Blow, wind! Drown the senseless thunder of the guns.

Frederic Manning: Grotesque

Frederic Manning: Shells hounding through air athirst for blood

Frederic Manning: The Trenches

Frederic Manning: The very mask of God, broken

Christopher Marlowe: Accurs’d be he that first invented war!

Christopher Marlowe: Parricide and filicide. While lions war, poor lambs perish.

Andrew Marvell: War all this doth overgrow

Andrew Marvell: When roses only arms might bear

William Mason: Il Pacifico: Joys that peace inspires

Gerald Massey: Curst, curst be war, the World’s most fatal glory!

Gerald Massey: Sweet peace comes treading down war’s cruel spears

Philip Massinger: Famine, blood, and death, Bellona’s pages

Philip Massinger: Mustn’t change ploughshares into swords

George Meredith: Selections on peace and war

George Meredith: All your gains from War resign

George Meredith: Bellona’s mad halloo

George Meredith: Nations at war are wild beasts

George Meredith: The Olive Branch

George Meredith: On the Danger of War

George Meredith: Think war the finest subject for poets?

George Meredith: War wife, as good as widowed

George Meredith: War’s rivers of blood no crown for future generations

George Meredith: Women and war

Leonard Merrick: Strange there weren’t more that didn’t think it a virtue to commit murder if you put on khaki

Alice Meynell: The true slayers are those who sire soldiers

Thomas Middleton: Selections on peace and war

Thomas Middleton: All made to make a peace, and not a war

Thomas Middleton: Blood-quaffing Mars, who wash’d himself in gore

Thomas Middleton: Let them that seek Peace, find Peace and enjoy Peace

Thomas Middleton: O thrice-peaceful souls, whom neither threats nor strife nor wars controls!

Thomas Middleton: The Peacemaker

Thomas Middleton: The soldier’s fate

John Milton: Men levy cruel wars, wasting the earth, each other to destroy

John Milton: No war or battle’s sound was heard the world around

John Milton: What can war but endless war still breed?

John Milton: Without ambition, war, or violence

Mary Russell Mitford: Sheath thy gory blade in peace

Charles Edward Montague: Selections on war and its aftermath

Charles Edward Montague; Aloof, detached officers lead to thousands of little brown bundles

Charles Edward Montague: The disconcerting bombs of Christian pacifism

Charles Edward Montague: Post-war prescription for peace

Charles Edward Montague: Soldier politician, recruiter of other men for battles that he avoided himself

Charles Edward Montague: War must first slay natural sentiment of brotherhood

Charles Edward Montague: War propaganda leaves bill to be settled in peacetime

Charles Edward Montague: War’s demoralization

James Montgomery: Selections on war and peace

James Montgomery: Farewell to War

James Montgomery: Fratricidal war speeds on inexorability of Death

James Montgomery: The poet tracks not the warrior’s fiery road

James Montgomery: ‘Twas but a dream. But one word found utterance – “Peace, peace! peace!”

James Montgomery: War, that self-inflicted scourge of man

Robert Montgomery: Field of Death

Robert Montgomery: War

George Moore: Murder pure and simple, impossible to revive the methods of Tamburlaine

George Moore: War and disillusionment

Thomas Moore: Famine comes to glean all that the sword had left unreap’d. A banquet, yet alive, for ravening vultures.

Thomas Moore: No trophies but of Love

Hannah More: War

Thomas More: Battles result from lust for fame and glory

Lewis Morris: Selections on war and peace

Lewis Morris: The blight of war surges in waves of blood

Lewis Morris: The evil blight of war torments the race from age to age

Lewis Morris: Filled with love of peace

Lewis Morris: Put off the curse of war

Lewis Morris: Red war, the dungeon, and the stake

Lewis Morris: When the cannons roar and the trumpets blare no longer

Lewis Morris: White-winged Peace triumphs over War’s red rapine

Lewis Morris: Who will free us from the dreadful past of war and hatred?

Lewis Morris: The world rang with the fierce shouts of war and cries of pain

William Morris: No man knew the sight of blood

William Morris: Protecting the strong from the weak, selling each other weapons to kill their own countrymen

William Morris: The role of soldiers and how they will disappear

William Morris: War abroad but no peace at home

John Middleton Murry: Selections on peace and war

John Middleton Murry: The choice, democracy or modern warfare

John Middleton Murry: For England, peace or destruction

John Middleton Murry: The machine of war

John Middleton Murry: Modern warfare is the deliberate massacre of the innocents

John Middleton Murry: The morality of bombing civilians is not arithmetic

John Middleton Murry: Non-intervention versus the universal peace of universal destruction

John Middleton Murry: The pacifism of luxury and the pacifism of sacrifice

John Middleton Murry: Pacifist movement to bear witness against total dehumanization of humanity necessitated by modern war

John Middleton Murry: Weapons of modern war involve bestialization of humanity

Thomas Nashe: Swords may not fight with fate

Adela Florence Nicolson: Doubtless feasted the jackal and the kite

Alfred Noyes: Selections on war

Alfred Noyes: And the cost of war, they reckoned it In little disks of gold

Alfred Noyes: The Dawn of Peace

Alfred Noyes: Mars and Urania

Alfred Noyes: Medicine driven back in defeat by the nightmare chaos of war

Alfred Noyes: The men he must kill for a little pay. And once he had sickened to watch them slaughter an ox.

Alfred Noyes: Out of the obscene seas of slaughter

Alfred Noyes: Scarecrows that once were men

Alfred Noyes: A shuddering lump of tattered wounds lifted up a mangled head and whined

Alfred Noyes: Slaughter! Slaughter! Slaughter!

Alfred Noyes: They say that war’s a noble thing!

Alfred Noyes: Turning wasteful strength of war to accomplish large and fruitful tasks of peace

Alfred Noyes: The Victory Ball

Alfred Noyes: War, hypocritical word for universal murder

Alfred Noyes: War they tell me is a noble thing

Alfred Noyes: When they talked of war, they thought of sawdust, not of blood

Alfred Noyes: The Wine Press

Sean O’Casey: Battles of war changed for battles of peace

Sean O’Casey: The dead of wars past clasp their colder arms around the newer dead

Sean O’Casey: The Prince of Peace transformed into the god of war

Liam O’Flaherty: The foul horror of war

Liam O’Flaherty: Sounds from a dead world. Nothing but worms and rats feeding on death.

John Oldham: The cup and the sword

E. Philips Oppenheim: Black tragedy leaned over the land

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

Wildred Owen: Selections on war

Wilfred Owen: Arms and the Boy and Disabled

Wilfred Owen: For torture of lying machinally shelled at the pleasure of this world’s Powers who’d run amok

Wilfred Owen: From gloom’s last dregs these long-strung creatures crept

Wilfred Owen: Multitudinous murders they once witnessed

Wilfred Owen: 1914

Wilfred Owen: The Parable of the Old Man and the Young

Wilfred Owen: Pawing us who dealt them war and madness

Wildred Owen: Rushed in the body to enter hell and there out-fiending all its fiends and flames

Wilfred Owen: Soldier’s Dream

Wilfred Owen: The sons we offered might regret they died if we got nothing lasting in their stead

Wildred Owen: Strange meeting: I am the enemy you killed, my friend

John Oxenham: The Stars’ Accusal

John Oxenham: Thank God For Peace!

Thomas Parnell: Lovely, lasting peace, appear!

Walter Pater: What are they all now, and the dust of their battles? Deity of Slaughter.

Coventry Patmore: Peace in life and art

Thomas Love Peacock: Selections on war and peace

Thomas Love Peacock: Frenzied war’s ensanguined reign

Thomas Love Peacock: The god of battle, the last deep groan of agony

Thomas Love Peacock: I’ll make my verses rattle with the din of war and battle

Thomas Love Peacock: Ne’er thy sweet echoes swell again with war’s demoniac yell!

Thomas Love Peacock: We spilt blood enough to swim in, we orphaned many children and widowed many women

Stephen Phillips: Appalled at bloody trophies

Harold Pinter: Art, Truth and Politics

Max Plowman: The dead soldiers. Killing men is always killing God.

Max Plowman: The God of War

Max Plowman: The Goddess of War

Joseph Mary Plunkett: Till blooms the bud on olive branch, borne by the bird of peace

Alexander Pope: Peace o’er the world her olive wand extend

Alexander Pope: War, horrid war, your thoughtful walks invades

Alexander Pope: Where Peace scatters blessings from her dovelike wing

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

John Cowper Powys: To Eugene Debs, in prison for opposing war

Winthrop Mackworth Praed: Take the sword away

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

J.B. Priestley: Insane regress of ultimate weapons leads to radioactive cemetery

Thomas Pringle: After the slaughter, the feast

Thomas Pringle: Resistless swept the ranks of war, the murder-glutted scythe of death

Matthew Prior: A new golden age free from fierce Bellona’s rage

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

Arthur Quiller-Couch: Man shall outlast his battles

Herbert Read: Bombing Casualties

Herbert Read: The Happy Warrior

Charles Reade: To God? Rather to war and his sister and to the god of lies

Charles Reade: War is sweet to those who have never experienced it

Thomas Reid: State of nature versus state of war

Ernest Rhys: Enough of war, enough of death

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

Samuel Rogers: War and the Great in War let others sing

Samuel Rogers: What tho’ the iron school of War erase each milder virtue…

Isaac Rosenberg: Poems on war

Isaac Rosenberg: Break of Day in the Trenches

Isaac Rosenberg: Dead Man’s Dump

Isaac Rosenberg: In War

Isaac Rosenberg: O! ancient crimson curse! On receiving news of the war

Isaac Rosenberg: Soldier: Twentieth Century

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

Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Shall Peace be still a sunk stream long unmet?

John Ruskin: Peace Song

George William Russell: Gods of 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: Quo Vaditis?

Margaret Sackville: Reconciliation over our mutual dead

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 Saintsbury: The odious profession

Edgar Saltus: Soldiers and no farmers; imperial sterility…and demise

Siegfried Sassoon: Selections on war

Siegfried Sassoon: Aftermath

Siegfried Sassoon: Arms and the Man

Siegfried Sassoon: At the Cenotaph

Siegfried Sassoon: Atrocities

Siegfried Sassoon: Enemies

Siegfried Sassoon: The foul beast of war that bludgeons life

Siegfried Sassoon: Murdering the livid hours that grope for peace

Siegfried Sassoon: No doubt he loathed the war and longed for peace

Siegfried Sassoon: Our deeds with lies were lauded, our bones with wrongs rewarded

Siegfried Sassoon: Repression of War Experience

Siegfried Sassoon: Their dreams that drip with murder, of glorious war that shatter’d all their pride

Siegfried Sassoon: To Any Dead Officer

Siegfried Sassoon: The Tombstone-Maker

Siegfried Sassoon: The unheroic dead who fed the guns, those doomed, conscripted, unvictorious ones

Siegfried Sassoon: War, remorse and reconciliation

Siegfried Sassoon: We left our holes and looked above the wreckage of the earth

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

John Scott: I hate that drum’s discordant sound

Walter Scott: The diffusion of knowledge, not the effusion of blood

Walter Scott: Fighting

Walter Scott: War’s cannibal priest, druid red from his human sacrifice

Walter Scott: The worst sort of frenzy, military frenzy, hath possessed man, woman and child

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

Shaftesbury: Improvement of arts and scholarship requires rest from war

William Shakespeare: Selections on war and peace

William Shakespeare: Blessed is the peacemaker

William Shakespeare: Contumelious, beastly, mad-brained war

William Shakespeare: Death of twenty thousand men for fantasy and fame

William Shakespeare: Enrich the time to come with smooth-faced peace

William Shakespeare: Naked, poor, mangled peace, dear nurse of arts, plenties, joyful births

William Shakespeare: Never a war did cease…with such a peace

William Shakespeare: Nor more shall trenching war channel her fields, bruise her flowerets

William Shakespeare: O bloody times. When lions war, sons kill fathers, fathers sons

William Shakespeare: O war, thou son of hell

Shakespeare: On driving a husband to none-sparing war

William Shakespeare: Out of speech of peace into harsh tongue of war

Shakespeare: So inured to war that mothers smile as their children are slain

William Shakespeare: Soldier, a creature that I teach to fight

William Shakespeare: Take heed how you awake our sleeping sword of war

William Shakespeare: Tame the savage spirit of wild war

William Shakespeare: War’s exactions

William Shakespeare: Works of poetry outlast the works of war

George Bernard Shaw: Selections on war

George Bernard Shaw: The earth is still bursting with the dead bodies of the victors

George Bernard Shaw: Gadarene swine running violently into a hell of high explosives

George Bernard Shaw: Little Minds and Big Battles

George Bernard Shaw: The Long Arm of War

Militarist myopia: George Bernard Shaw’s Common Sense About the War

George Bernard Shaw: Rabid war maniacs reversed the order of nature

George Bernard Shaw: Religion as antidote to war

George Bernard Shaw: Religion of ruthless competition inevitably leads to war

George Bernard Shaw: The shallowness of the ideals of men ignorant of history is their destruction

George Bernard Shaw: Soldiering is the coward’s art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm’s way when you are weak

George Bernard Shaw: War and frivolous exultation in death for its own sake

George Bernard Shaw: War and the sufferings of the sane

George Bernard Shaw: War Delirium

George Bernard Shaw: War, governments and munitions manufacturers

George Bernard Shaw: War, the Yahoo and the angry ape

George Bernard Shaw: The way of the soldier is the way of death

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

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Selections on war

Juvenilia: Percy Bysshe Shelley on war

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Earth cleansed of quivers, spears and gorgon-headed shields

Percy Bysshe Shelley: The fatal trump of useless war to swell

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Man fabricates the sword which stabs his peace

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Peace, love and concord once shall rule again

Percy Bysshe Shelley: The soldiers dreamed that they were blacksmiths

Percy Bysshe Shelley: Titled idiot kindles flames of war

Percy Bysshe Shelley: The unholy song of war

Percy Bysshe Shelley: War and the decline of poetry

Percy Bysshe Shelley: War with its million horrors shall live but in the memory of time

William Shenstone: Ah, hapless realms! that war’s oppression feel.

William Shenstone: Let the gull’d fool the toils of war pursue

William Shenstone: War, where bleed the many to enrich the few

James Shirley: Some men with swords may reap the field and plant fresh laurels where they kill

Edith Sitwell: Dirge for the New Sunrise

Osbert Sitwell: Totally out of place in a war-mad world

Osbert Sitwell: Wilfred Owen, poetry and war

Christopher Smart: Rejoice with the dove. Pray that all guns be nailed up.

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

Horace Smith: Selections on peace and war

Horace Smith: The hero-butchers of the sword

Horace Smith: Manufactured to machines for killing human creatures

Horace Smith: The trade of man-butchery. The soldier and the sailor.

Horace Smith: Weapon gathering dust

Horace Smith: When War’s ensanguined banner shall be furl’d

Sydney Smith: War, hailing official murderers as the greatest and most glorious of human creatures

Tobias Smollett: War contractors fattened on the blood of the nation

Tobias Smollett: The war glories of a demagogue

C.P. Snow: Selections on war

C.P. Snow: As final product of scientific civilization, nuclear bomb is its ultimate indictment

C.P. Snow: Even if moral judgments are left out, it’s unthinkable to drop the bomb

C.P. Snow: Hiroshima, the most horrible single act so far performed

C.P. Snow: Hope it’s never possible to develop superbomb

C. P. Snow: Their day is done

C.P. Snow: Worse than Genghiz Khan. Has there ever been a weapon that someone did not want to let off?

Charles Hamilton Sorley: The blind fight the blind 

Charles Hamilton Sorley: When you see millions of the mouthless dead

Robert Southey: Selections on peace and war

Robert Southey: The Battle of Blenheim

Robert Southey: Preparing the way for peace; militarism versus Christianity

Robert Southey: The Soldier’s Wife

Robert Southey: Wade to glory through a sea of blood

Robert Southey: Year follows year, and still we madly prosecute the war

Herbert Spencer: No patriotism when it comes to wars of aggression

Stephen Spender: Selections on war

Stephen Spender: Automata controlled by the mechanism of war, meaningless struggle between potential ashes to gain a world of ashes

Stephen Spender: Lecture on Hell: battle against totalitarian war

Stephen Spender: Two Armies

Stephen Spender: Ultima Ratio Regum

Stephen Spender: The War God

Stephen Spender: The Woolfs in the 1930s: War the inevitable result of an arms race.

Edmund Spenser: The first to attack the world with sword and fire

Edmund Spenser: Wars can nought but sorrows yield

Marguerite Steen: The sheer destructiveness of war made him angry

Marguerite Steen: The wreckage of the wars

Stendhal and Byron: Military leprosy; fronts of brass and feet of clay

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

Laurence Sterne: Follow Peace

Robert Louis Stevenson: Peace we found where fire and war had been

William Stokes: Selections on peace and war

William Stokes: The Angel of Peace

William Stokes: Can fields of blood redeem mankind from error?

William Stokes: Invocation to the Spirit of Peace

William Stokes: The peace of nations to destroy

William Stokes: The Soldier

Lytton Strachey: After the battle, who shall say that the corpses were the most unfortunate?

Jonathan Swift: Selections on war

Jonathan Swift: Brutes more modest than men in perpetuating war against their own species

Jonathan Swift: Few of this generation can remember anything but war and taxes

Jonathan Swift: How to select commanders, end wars

Jonathan Swift: Lemuel Gulliver on War

Jonathan Swift: We must have peace, let it be a bad or a good one

Algernon Charles Swinburne: Death made drunk with war

Algernon Charles Swinburne : A gospel of war and damnation for the bestial by birth

Algernon Charles Swinburne: There shall be no more wars nor kingdoms won

Frank Swinnerton: Aerial bombardment, the most stupid and futile aspect of war

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

Arthur Symons: A great reaction: people will be tired of wars

Charles Tennant: Nor shall they learn war

William Tennant: Ode to Peace

William Tennant: While some sing of Mars’s bloody game…

Alfred Lord Tennyson: Selections on war and peace

Alfred Lord Tennyson: The brazen bridge of war

Alfred Lord Tennyson: I would the old God of war himself were dead

Alfred Tennyson: Ring out the thousand wars of old, ring in the thousand years of peace

Tennyson: Till the war-drum throbb’d no longer, and the battle-flags were furl’d

Alfred Lord Tennyson: When shall universal peace lie like light across the land?

William Makepeace Thackeray: Selections on war

William Makepeace Thackeray: Millions of innocent hearts wounded horribly

William Makepeace Thackeray: “Pax in bello.” The death of a single soldier.

William Makepeace Thackeray: War taxes men and women alike

William Makepeace Thackeray: War’s slave dealers

William Makepeace Thackeray: What human crime, misery, slavery, go to form that sum-total of glory!

Dylan Thomas: The Hand That Signed the Paper

James Thomson: Despise the insensate barbarous trade of war

James Thomson: Peace is the natural state of man; war his corruption, his disgrace

James Thomson: Philosophy’s plans of policy and peace

Mabel Thomson: A child’s ideal of soldiering

Francis Thompson: Flattering the too-much-pampered Boy of War

Francis Thompson: Kingly crown and warrior’s crest not worth a blade of grass

Thomas Tickell: The Soldier’s late destroying Hand shall rear new Temples in his native Land

W. R. Titterton: The Silent People of No Man’s Land

H. M. Tomlinson: Great offensive. Curse such trite and sounding words

H. M. Tomlinson: Greatest evil is unconscious indifference to war’s obscene blasphemy against life

H. M. Tomlinson: The return of the soldier, of he who was once alive

Anthony Trollope: How wars are arranged

Anthony Trollope: Leader appointed to save the empire – with warships

Anthony Trollope: Sports, reading and war

Henry Vaughan: Let us ‘midst noise and war of peace and mirth discuss

Henry Vaughan: The Men of War

Henry Vaughan: What thunders shall those men arraign who cannot count those they have slain?

W. S. Walker: Furies learn’d to blush at human crimes

W. S. Walker: One last sanguinary conquest

Edgar Wallace: Or wars would be impossible

Edgar Wallace: War

Edmund Waller: Less pleasure take brave minds in battles won

Horace Walpole: Selections on war and peace

Horace Walpole: Deplorable success of destroying any of our species

Horace Walpole: The glory of war and soldiering

Horace Walpole: How end all our victories?

Horace Walpole: I prefer the old hen Peace

Horace Walpole: I wish there were an excuse for not growing military mad

Horace Walpole: Oh! where is the dove with the olive-branch!

Horace Walpole: Peace and propagation

Horace Walpole: Peace is the sole event of which I wish to hear

Horace Walpole: Stuffing hospitals with maimed soldiers, besides making thousands of widows!

Horace Walpole: We peaceable folks are now to govern the world

Horace Walpole: Who gives a nation peace, gives tranquility to all

Hugh Walpole: Selections on war

Hugh Walpole: Continual screaming, men without faces

Hugh Walpole: The dark, crippling advent of war

Hugh Walpole: Dream of horror: the false reality of war

Hugh Walpole: It would indeed be a disheartening sight….

Hugh Walpole: War both protracts and strangles youth

Hugh Walpole: War killed Henry James

Rex Warner: These guns were sent to save civilisation

Thomas Warton: Not seek in fields of blood his warrior bays

Gilbert Waterhouse: “This is the last of wars – this is the last!”

William Watson: Curse my country for its military victory

William Watson: Dream of perfect peace

Isaac Watts: Clamor, and wrath, and war, begone

Theodore Watts-Dunton: Seat above the conflict, power to call Peace like a Zephyr

Edwin Waugh: Who strives to make the world a home where peace and justice meet

H.G. Wells: Selections on war

H.G. Wells: The abolition of war will be a new phase in the history of life

H.G. Wells: Armaments: Vile and dangerous industry in the human blood trade

H.G. Wells: Either man will put an end to air war or air war will put an end to mankind

H.G. Wells: For the predetermined losing side, modern wars an unspeakable business

H.G. Wells: Mars will sit like a giant above all human affairs and his speech is blunt and plain

H.G. Wells: Massacres of boys! That indeed is the essence of modern war.

H.G. Wells: Nearly everybody wants peace but nobody thinks out the arrangements needed

H.G. Wells: No more talk of honour and annexations, hegemonies and trade routes, but only Europe lamenting for her dead

H.G. Wells: None so detestable as the god of war

H.G. Wells: A number of devoted men and women ready to give their whole lives to great task of peace

H.G. Wells: The progressive enslavement of the race to military tyranny

H.G. Wells: A time will come when a politician who has wilfully made war will be as sure of the dock and much surer of the noose than a private homicide

H.G. Wells: Universal collapse logically follows world-wide war

H.G. Wells: War is a triumph of the exhausted and dying over the dead

H.G. Wells: War, road to complete extinction or to degradation beyond our present understanding

H.G. Wells: War will leave the world a world of cripples and old men and children

H.G. Wells: When war comes home

H.G. Wells: Why did humanity gape at the guns and do nothing? War as business

H.G. Wells: The world is weary of this bloodshed, weary of all this weeping

H.G. Wells: The young are the food of war

John Werge: Battle in hell if war ye must

Rebecca West: The dreams of Englishwomen during war

John Whitehouse: Ode to War

G. J. Whyte-Melville: Death is gathering his harvest – and the iron voice tolls on

G. J. Whyte-Melville: A soldier who fattens a battlefield, encumbers a trench, has his name misspelled in a gazette

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

Oscar Wilde: Antidote to war

Oscar Wilde: Crimson seas of war, Great Game in Central and South Asia

Oscar Wilde: Who would dare to praise the barren pride of warring nations?

Helen Maria Williams: Heaven-born peace

Helen Maria Williams: Now burns the savage soul of war

Sarah Williams: Groaning for him they slew

John Wilmot: With war I’ve not to do

Margaret L. Woods: The forgotten slain

William Wordsworth: Selections on peace and war

William Wordsworth: All merit centered in the sword; battle’s hecatombs

William Wordsworth: Earth’s groaning field, where ruthless mortals wage incessant wars

William Wordsworth: If men with men in peace abide, all other strength the weakest may withstand

William Wordsworth: Peace in these feverish times is sovereign bliss

William Wordsworth: Proclaimed heroes for strewing meadows with carcasses

William Wordsworth: Prophetic harps were singing, “War shall cease”

William Wordsworth: Spreading peaceful ensigns over war’s favourite playground

Wordsworth: We felt as men should feel at vast carnage

Philip Stanhope Worsley: Not with iron steeped in slaughter

Henry Wotton: Pastorale. No wars are seen.

Thomas Wyatt: Children of the gun

Thomas Wyatt: Wax fat on innocent blood: I cannot leave the state to Caesar

Hedd Wynn: War

Ann Yearsley: The anarchy of war

William Butler Yeats: The Rose of Peace

Edward Young: Selections on peace and war

Edward Young: Draw the murd’ring sword to give mankind a single lord

Edward Young: End of war the herald of wisdom and poetry

Edward Young: No more the rising harvest whets the sword, now peace, though long repuls’d, arrives at last

Edward Young: Reason’s a bloodless conqueror, more glorious than the sword

Edward Young: Such a peace that follows war

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Michael McKernon
    March 19, 2023 at 3:06 am

    Irish poet Padraic Fiacc said ‘War and Famine are crimes. Against humanity’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 19, 2023 at 8:32 am

      Thanks for sharing the quote. Although famine can occur without human agency, war is a crime that only humans wage and only humans can prevent.
      You may be interested in this:

      Irish writers on peace and war


  2. Michael
    March 20, 2023 at 2:35 am

    Thanks for the repost Rick, but I think Fiacc as correct in his assertion that famine is a crime. In a world where food is daily moved on a global scale, logistically no region should be in food crisis. The current famine in Afghanistan, little reported, is the direct result of a savage twenty year conflict induced by rich western armament corporations. Naturally induced famines could be quickly resolved with a fraction of the billions of dollars available to wage an aggressive unnecessary war against Russia, being made available to build infra structures to eradicate people dying for want of daily food. Padraic Fiacc growing up in a partitioned Ireland knew that Famine and its twin child poverty are indeed crimes against people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 20, 2023 at 2:20 pm

      And thank you for the persuasive explanation. Perhaps I should have written that *historically* famine has occurred quite apart from human agency whereas war is by definition an act of human will….Anything by Fiacc I could post on the site?


  3. Michael McKernon, The Padraic Fiacc Archive
    March 25, 2023 at 4:32 am

    Nick, this very powerful poem by Padraic Fiacc written during the 1970’s is a visceral study of the innocents murdered for what ….?


    Dandering home from work at mid
    -night, they tripped Him up on a ramp,
    Asked Him if He were a ‘Catholic’ …

    A wee bit soft in the head He was,
    The last person in the world you’d want to hurt:
    His arms and legs, broken,
    His genitals roasted with a ship-yard
    Worker’s blow lamp.

    In all the stories that the Christian Brothers
    Tell you of Christ He never screamed
    Like this. Surely this is not the way
    To show a ‘manly bearing’
    Screaming for them to PLEASE STOP
    And then, later, like screaming for death!

    When they made Him wash the stab
    Wounds at the sink, they kept on
    Hammering Him with the pick-axe handle;
    Then they pulled
    Christ’s trousers down,
    Threatening to ‘Cut off His balls!’
    Poor boy Christ, for when
    They finally got round to finishing Him off
    By shooting Him in the back of the head

    ‘The poor Fenian fucker was already dead!”


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