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Thomas Love Peacock: Frenzied war’s ensanguined reign


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

British writers on peace and war

Thomas Love Peacock: Selections on war and peace


Thomas Love Peacock
From The Genius of the Thames

There peace her vestal lamps displays,
Undimmed by mad ambition’s blaze,
And shuns, in the sequestered glen,
The storms that shake the haunts of men,
Where mean intrigue, and sordid gain,
And frenzied war’s ensanguined reign,
And narrow cares, and wrathful strife,
Dry up the sweetest springs of life.

Oh! might my steps that darkly roam,
Attain at last thy mountain home,
And rest, from earthly trammels free,
With peace, and liberty, and thee!
Around while faction’s tempest sweeps,
Like whirlwinds o’er the wintry deep,
And, down the headlong vortex torn,
The vain, misjudging crowd is borne;
‘Twere sweet to mark, re-echoing far,
The rage of the eternal war,
That dimly heard, at distance swelling,
Endears, but not disturbs, thy dwelling.


Where are the states of ancient fame?
Athens, and Sparta’s victor-name,
And all that propped, in war and peace,
The arms, and nobler arts, of Greece?
All-grasping Rome, that proudly hurled
Her mandates o’er the prostrate world,
Long heard mankind her chains deplore,
And fell, as Carthage fell before.


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