Home > Uncategorized > Thomas Love Peacock: Ne’er thy sweet echoes swell again with war’s demoniac yell!

Thomas Love Peacock: Ne’er thy sweet echoes swell again with war’s demoniac yell!

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

British writers on peace and war

Thomas Love Peacock: Selections on war and peace

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Thomas Love Peacock
From The Genius of the Thames

Ah! whither are they flown,
Those days of peace and love
So sweetly sung by bards of elder time?
When in the startling grove
The battle-blast was blown,
And misery came, and cruelty and crime,
Far from the desolated hills,
Polluted meads, and blood-stained rills,
Their guardian genii flew;
And through the woodlands, waste and wild,
Where erst perennial summer smiled,
Infuriate passions prowled, and wintry whirlwinds blew.

***

Ah! what avails, that heaven has rolled
A silver stream o’er sands of gold,
And decked the plane, and reared the grove,
Fit dwelling for primeval love;
If man defiles the beauteous scene
And stain with blood the smiling green;
If man’s worst passions there arise,
To counteract the favoring skies;
If rapine there, and murder reign
And human tigers prowl for gain,
And tyrants foul and trembling slaves,
Pollute their shores, and curse their waves?

Far other charms than these possess,
Oh Thames, thy verdant margin bless:
Where peace, with freedom, hand-in-hand,
Walks forth along the sparkling strand,
And cheerful toil and glowing health…

***

O’er states and empires, near and far,
While rolls the fiery surge of war,
The country’s wealth and power increase,
Thy vales and cities smile in peace…

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Oh! ne’er may thy sweet echoes swell
Again with war’s demoniac yell!

 

 

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