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William Tennant: Ode to Peace

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

British writers on peace and war

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William Tennant
Ode to Peace

Daughter of God! that sitt’st on high
Amid the dances of the sky,
And guidest with thy gentle sway
The planets on their tuneful way;
Sweet Peace! shall ne’er again
The smile of thy most holy face,
From thine ethereal dwelling-place,
Rejoice the wretched, weary race
Of discord-breathing men?
Too long, O gladness-giving Queen!
Thy tarrying in heaven has been;
Too long o’er this fair blooming world
The flag of blood has been unfurled,
Polluting God’s pure day;
Whilst, as each maddening people reels,
War onward drives his scythed wheels,
And at his horses’ bloody heels
Shriek Murder and Dismay.

Oft have I wept to hear the cry
Of widow wailing bitterly;
To see the parent’s silent tear
For children fallen beneath the spear;
And I have felt so sore
The sense of human guilt and woe,
That I, in Virtue’s passioned glow,
Have cursed (my soul was wounded so)
The shape of man I bore!
Then come from thy serene abode,
Thou gladness-giving child of God!
And cease the world’s ensanguined strife,
And reconcile my soul to life;
For much I long to see,
Ere I shall to the grave descend,
Thy hand its blessed branch extend,
And to the world’s remotest end
Wave Love and Harmony!

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