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Samuel Rogers: What tho’ the iron school of War erase each milder virtue…

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

British writers on peace and war

Samuel Rogers: War and the Great in War let others sing

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Samuel Rogers

From The Pleasures of Memory

What tho’ the iron school of War erase
Each milder virtue, and each softer grace;
What tho’ the fiend’s torpedo-touch arrest
Each gentler, finer impulse of the breast;
Still shall this active principle preside,
And wake the tear to Pity’s self denied.

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From Ode to Superstition

Lo, steel-clad War his gorgeous standard rears!
The red-cross squadrons madly rage,
And mow thro’ infancy and age:
Then kiss the sacred dust and melt in tears.

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Thy triumphs cease! thro’ every land,
Hark! Truth proclaims, thy triumphs cease:
Her heavenly form, with glowing hand,
Benignly points to piety and peace.
Flush’d with youth her looks impart
Each fine feeling as it flows;
Her voice the echo of her heart,
Pure as the mountain-snows:
Celestial transports round her play,
And softly, sweetly die away.
She smiles! and where is now the cloud
That blacken’d o’er thy baleful reign?
Grim darkness furls his leaden shroud,
Shrinking from her glance in vain.
Her touch unlocks the day-spring from above,
And lo! it visits man with beams of light and love.

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