Home > Uncategorized > Horace Smith: When War’s ensanguined banner shall be furl’d

Horace Smith: When War’s ensanguined banner shall be furl’d

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

British writers on peace and war

Horace Smith: The hero-butchers of the sword

Horace Smith: The trade of man-butchery. The soldier and the sailor.

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Horace Smith
Hope’s Yearnings

How sweet it is, when wearied with the jars
Of wrangling sects, each sour’d with bigot leaven,
To let the Spirit burst its prison bars
And soar into the deep repose of Heaven!

How sweet it is, when sick with strife and noise
Of the fell brood that owes to faction birth,
To turn to Nature’s tranquillizing joys,
And taste the soothing harmonies of Earth!

But tho’ the lovely Earth, and Sea, and Air,
Be rich in joys that form a sumless sum,
Fill’d with Nepenthes that can banish care,
And wrap the senses in Elysium,

‘Tis sweeter still from these delights to turn
Back to our kind – to watch the course of Man,
And for that blessed consummation yearn,
When Nature shall complete her noble plan; –

When hate, oppression, vice, and crime, shall cease,
When War’s ensanguined banner shall be furl’d,
And to our moral system shall extend
The perfectness of the material world –

Sweetest of all, when ’tis our happy fate
To drop some tribute, trifling tho’ it prove,
On the thrice-hallow’d altar dedicate
To Man’s improvement, truth, and social love.

Faith in our race’s destined elevation,
And its incessant progress to the goal,
Tends, by exciting hope and emulation,
To realise th’ aspirings of the soul.

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