Home > Uncategorized > Eliza Cook: No bloodstain lingers there. The plough and the spear.

Eliza Cook: No bloodstain lingers there. The plough and the spear.

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

British writers on peace and war

Eliza Cook: Selections on peace and war

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Eliza Cook
The Ploughshare of Old England

The sailor boasts his stately ship, the bulwark of the isle;
The soldier loves his sword, and sings of tented plains the while;
But we will hang the ploughshare up within our fathers’ halls,
And guard it as the deity of plenteous festivals.
We’ll pluck the brilliant poppies, and the far-famed barleycorn,
To wreathe with bursting wheat-ears that outshine the saffron morn;
We’ll crown it with a glowing heart, and pledge our fertile land,
The ploughshare of old England, and the sturdy peasant band!

The work it does is good and blest, and may be proudly told;
We see it in the teeming barns, and fields of waving gold:
Its metal is unsullied, no bloodstain lingers there.
God speed it there, and let it thrive unshackled everywhere.
The bark may rest upon the wave, the spear may gather dust;
But never may the prow that cuts the furrow lie and rust.
Fill up, fill up, with glowing heart, and pledge our fertile land,
The ploughshare of old England, and the sturdy peasant band!

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