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Thomas Hood: Freelance soldiering


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

British writers on peace and war

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


Thomas Hood
From A Waterloo Ballad

“With kicks and cuts, and balls and blows,
I throb and ache all over;
I’m quite convinc’d the field of Mars
Is not a field of clover!

“O why did I a soldier turn
For any royal Guelph?
I might have been a Butcher, and
In business for myself!”


From Ode to Richard Martin

How many sing of wars,
Of Greek and Trojan jars –
The butcheries of men!
The Muse hath a “Perpetual Ruby Pen!”
Dabbling with heroes and the blood they spill;
But no one sings the man
That, like a pelican,
Nourishes Pity with his tender Bill!

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