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Thomas Warton: Not seek in fields of blood his warrior bays


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

British writers on peace and war


Thomas Warton
From On the Birth of the Prince of Wales

And O, young Prince, be thine his moral praise;
Nor seek in fields of blood his warrior bays.
War has its charms terrific. Far and wide
When stands th’ embattled host in banner’d pride;
0’er the vext plain when the shrill clangors run.
And the long phalanx flashes in the sun;
When now no dangers of the deathful day
Mar the bright scene, nor break the firm array;
Full oft, too rashly glows with fond delight
The youthful breast, and asks the future fight;
Nor knows that Horror’s form, a spectre wan.
Stalks, yet unseen, along the gleamy van.

May no such rage be thine: no dazzling ray
Of specious fame thy steadfast feet betray.
Be thine domestic glory’s radiant calm,
Be thine the sceptre wreath’d with many a palm:
Be thine the throne with peaceful emblems hung,
The silver lyre to milder conquest strung!

Instead of glorious feats achiev’d in arms,
Bid rising arts display their mimic charms!


Sees Civil Prowess mightier acts achieve,
Sees meek Humanity distress relieve;
Adopts the Worth that bids the conflict cease.
And claims its honours from the Chiefs of Peace.

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