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Charles Lamb: More-wasting War, insatiable of blood

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

British writers on peace and war

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Charles Lamb

From Mille Viae Mortis

Here pallid Fear & dark Despair were seen.
And Fever here with looks forever lean,
Swoln Dropsy, halting Gout, profuse of woes,
And Madness fierce & hopeless of repose,
Wide-wasting Plague; but chief in honour stood
More-wasting War, insatiable of blood;
With starting eye-balls, eager for the word;
Already brandish’d was the glitt’ring sword.

From A Ballad:
Noting the Difference of Rich and Poor, in the Ways of a Rich Noble’s Palace and a Poor Workhouse

In peace, as in war, ’tis our young gallants’ pride,
To walk, each one i’ the streets, with a rapier by his side,
That none to do them injury may have pretence;
Wretched Age, in poverty, must brook offence.

From On An Infant Dying As Soon As Born

Why should kings and nobles have
Pictured trophies to their grave;
And we, churls, to thee deny
Thy pretty toys with thee to lie,
A more harmless vanity?

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