Home > Uncategorized > Edward Young: No more the rising harvest whets the sword, now peace, though long repuls’d, arrives at last

Edward Young: No more the rising harvest whets the sword, now peace, though long repuls’d, arrives at last

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

British writers on peace and war

Edward Young: Selections on peace and war

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Edward Young

From On the Late Queen’s Death, And His Majesty’s Accession to the Throne

Heroes returning from the field we crown,
And deify the haughty victor’s frown.
His splendid wealth too rashly we admire,
Catch the disease, and burn with equal fire:
Wisely to spend, is the great art of gain;
And one reliev’d transcends a million slain.
When time shall ask, where once Ramillia lay,
Or Danube flow’d that swept whole troops away,
One drop of water, that refresh’d the dry,
Shall rise a fountain of eternal joy.

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From An Epistle to the Right Hon. George Lord Lansdowne

Long has the western world reclin’d her head,
Pour’d forth her sorrow, and bewail’d her dead;
Fell discord through her borders fiercely rang’d,
And shook her nations, and her monarchs chang’d;
By land and sea, its utmost rage employ’d;
Nor heaven repair’d so fast as men destroy’d.
In vain kind summers plentuous fields bestow’d,
In vain the vintage liberally flow’d;
Alarms from loaden boards all pleasures chas’d,
And robb’d the rich Burgundian grape of taste;
The smiles of Nature could no blessing bring,
The fruitful autumn, or the flowery spring;
Time was distinguish’d by the sword and spear,
Not by the various aspects of the year;
The trumpet’s sound proclaim’d a milder sky,
And bloodshed told us when the sun was nigh.

Now peace, though long repuls’d, arrives at last,
And bids us smile on all our labours past;
Bids every nation cease her wonted moan,
And every monarch call his crown his own:
To valour gentler virtues now succeed;
No longer is the great man born to bleed;

No more the rising harvest whets the sword,
No longer waves uncertain of its lord;
Who cast the seed, the golden sheaf shall claim,
Nor chance of battle change the master’s name.
Each stream unstain’d with blood more smoothly flows;
The brighter sun a fuller day bestows…

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