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Robert Herrick: The Olive Branch


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

British writers on peace and war

Robert Herrick: The olive branch, the arch of peace


Robert Herrick

The Rainbow

Look how the rainbow doth appear
But in one only hemisphere;
So likewise after our decease
No more is seen the arch of peace.
That cov’nant’s here, the under-bow,
That nothing shoots but war and woe.


Hope Heartens

None goes to warfare but with this intent –
The gains must dead the fears of detriment.


The Hand and Tongue

Two parts of us successively command:
The tongue in peace; but then in war the hand.


The Olive Branch

Sadly I walk’d within the field,
To see what comfort it would yield;
And as I went my private way
An olive branch before me lay,
And seeing it I made a stay,
And took it up and view’d it; then
Kissing the omen, said Amen;
Be, be it so, and let this be
A divination unto me;
That in short time my woes shall cease
And Love shall crown my end with peace.

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