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

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

British writers on peace and war

Thomas Campbell: Selections on peace and war

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Thomas Campbell

From To the Rainbow

As fresh in you horizon dark,
As young thy beauties seem,
As when the eagle from the ark
First sported in thy beam.
For, faithful to its sacred page.
Heaven still rebuilds thy span.
Nor lets the type grow pale with age
That first spoke peace to man.

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From The Last Man

Go, let oblivion’s curtain fall
Upon the stage of men,
Nor with the rising beams recall
Life’s tragedy again.
Its piteous pageants bring not back.
Nor waken flesh, upon the rack
Of pain anew to writhe;
Stretch’d in disease’s shapes abhorr’d
Or mown in battle by the sword,
Like grass beneath the scythe.

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From Gertrude of Wyoming

Dismal to her the forge of battle gleams
Portentous light! and music’s voice is dumb;
Save where the fife its shrill reveille screams,
Or midnight streets re-echo to the drum.
That speaks of maddening strife, and blood-stain’d fields
to come.

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