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John Oldham: The cup and the sword

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

British writers on peace and war

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John Oldham
From An Ode of Anacreon, Paraphrased: The Cup

Make me a bowl, a mighty bowl,
Large, as my capacious soul…
Yet draw no shapes of armour there,
No cask, nor shield, nor sword, nor spear,
Nor wars of Thebes, nor wars of Troy ,
Nor any other martial joy:
For what do I vain armour prize,
Who mind not such rough exercise,
But gentler sieges, softer wars,
Fights, that cause no wounds, or scars?
I’ll have no battles on my plate,
Lest sight of them should brawls create,
Lest that provoke to quarrels too,
Which wine it self enough can do.

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