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

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

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

British writers on peace and war

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

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

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William Shenstone
From Elegy XIV

Tell not of realms by ruthless war dismay’d;
Ah, hapless realms! that war’s oppression feel;
In vain may Austria boast her Noric blade,
If Austria bleed beneath her boasted steel.

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From Elegy XV

‘Twas there, in happier times, this virtuous race,
Of milder merit, fix’d their calm retreat:
War’s deadly crimson had forsook the place,
And freedom fondly loved the chosen seat.

No wild ambition fired their tranquil breast,
To swell with empty sounds a spotless name;
If fostering skies, the sun, the shower, were blest,
Their bounty spread; their fieds’ extent the same.

Those fields, profuse of raiment, food, and fire,
They scorn’d to lessen, careless to extend;
Bade Luxury to lavish courts aspire,
And Avarice to city breasts descend.

For these the sounds that chase unholy strife!
Solve Envy’s charm, Ambition’s wretch release!
Raise him to spurn the radiant ills of life,
To pity pomp, to be content with peace.

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From The Ruined Abbey, Or, The Affects Of Superstition

At length fair Peace, with olive crown’d, regains
Her lawful throne, and to the sacred haunts
Of wood or fount the frighted Muse returns.

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