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Ellen Wheeler Wilcox: The Paean of Peace

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

American writers on peace and against war

Ella Wheeler Wilcox: A Plea To Peace

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Ellen Wheeler Wilcox
The Paean of Peace

With ever some wrong to be righting,
With self ever seeking for place,
The world has been striving and fighting
Since man was evolved out of space.
Bold history into dark regions,
His torchlight has fearlessly cast,
He shows us tribes warring in legions,
In jungles of ages long passed.

Religion, forgetting her station,
Forgetting her birthright from God,
Set nation to warring with nation
And scattered dissension abroad.
Dear creeds have made men kill each other.
Fair faith has bred hate and despair,
And brother has battled with brother
Because of a difference in prayer.

But earth has grown wiser and kinder,
For man is evolving a soul:
From wars of an age that was blinder,
We rise to a peace-girdled goal.
Where once men would murder in treason
And slaughter each other in hordes,
They now meet together and reason,
With thoughts for their weapons, not swords.

The brute in humanity dwindles,
And lessens as time speeds along,
And the spark of Divinity kindles
And blazes up brightly and strong.
The seer can behold in the distance
The race that shall people the world;
Strong men of a godlike existence
Unarmed, and with war banners furled.

No longer the bloodthirsty savage
Man’s vast spirit strength shall unfold;
And tales of red warfare and ravage
Shall seem like ghost stories of old.
For the booming of guns and the rattle
Of carnage and conflict shall cease,
And the bugle call, leading to battle,
Shall change to a pæan of peace.

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