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James Hogg: Millions have bled that sycophants may rule

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

British writers on peace and war

James Hogg: Few such monsters can mankind endure: The fields are heaped with dead and dying.

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James Hogg
From The Guerrilla

O, Heaven! can life-blood only that abate?
Did’st thou the human frame for slaughter thus create?

Millions have bled that sycophants may rule.
Have fallen to dust and left no trace behind;
And yet we say that Heaven is merciful.
And loves and cares for all the human kind;
And we will spread our hands, and mouthe the wind,
With fulsome thanks for all its tenderness.
Ah me! that man, preposterously blind,
Should feel, hear, see, reflect, yet not the less
Hope in his hopeless state of abject nothingness!

Poor worm! to death, doubt, and despondence born,
How blest art thou entrusting Providence!
Oh, thou hast nought to dread, though all forlorn!
Thou hast a guardian, a sure defence!
There rest, environed in Omnipotence,
In safety rest Alas! and woe is me.
That tyrant should, on any vague pretence,
Drunkard, or madman, do away with thee,
Thou thing of high regard! – of immortality!

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