Home > Uncategorized > William Lisle Bowles: The dread name of the hideous war-fiend shall perish

William Lisle Bowles: The dread name of the hideous war-fiend shall perish

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

British writers on peace and war

William Lisle Bowles: Selections on war and peace

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William Lisle Bowles
From Mr. Howard’s Account of Lazarettos

I view those deeds, and think how vain
The triumphs of weak man, the feeble strain
That Flattery brings to Conquest’s crimson car,
Amid the bannered host, and the proud tents of war!
From realm to realm the hideous War-fiend hies
Wide o’er the wasted earth; before him flies
Affright, on pinions fleeter than the wind;
Whilst Death and Desolation fast behind
The havoc of his echoing march pursue:
Meantime his steps are bathed in the warm dew
Of bloodshed, and of tears; – but his dread name
Shall perish – the loud clarion of his fame
One day shall cease, and, wrapt in hideous gloom,
Forgetfulness bestride his shapeless tomb!

 

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From The Grave of Howard

Relentless Time, that steals with silent tread,
Shall tear away the trophies of the dead.
Fame, on the pyramid’s aspiring top,
With sighs shall her recording trumpet drop;
The feeble characters of Glory’s hand
Shall perish, like the tracks upon the sand;
But not with these expire the sacred flame
Of Virtue, or the good man’s honoured name.

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