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Charles Richardson: The Dawn of Peace

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

American writers on peace and against war

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Charles Richardson
The Dawn of Peace

Have you felt the mighty moving of the spirit of our Lord,
Piercing through our moral darkness, to again condemn the sword?
Have you heard the voices calling from the nations far and near,
Voices of our brothers crying, Peace and Love shall vanquish Fear?

From the days of Cain and Abel, through the ages that have passed,
One long tale of needless slaughter runs unbroken to the last;
But at length our eyes are opened, and our spirits groan with pain,
As we read the ghastly record of the war fiend’s awful reign.

Men have listened to false teachers praising war in song and story,
Spreading lies about their brethren, urging strife for wealth or glory;
They have led in proud applauding for the crowns by victors worn,
As the savage lauds his chieftain for the scalps from foemen torn.

They have taught a monstrous doctrine, fitting creed for Satan’s priest,
That if man would be more noble, he must be more like the beast.
Men, they said, would lose their manhood, sink beneath the coward’s rule,
If they failed to train their ablest to waste their lives in murder’s school.

Even now if they could lead us as they fain would have us led,
Tools of death would be our products, guns and swords instead of bread.
Every man would be a soldier, every country filled with forts,
Only women for the plowing, only warships in our ports.

But the ruled are now the rulers; they command who once obeyed;
And the edicts that they issue can no longer be gainsaid.
We will have no more of carnage, thus the people’s mandate runs;
Right shall rule instead of powder, courts of law instead of guns.

For at last the dawn is breaking, dreams of ages coming true;
Clouds of war are growing rarer, lights of truth are shining through;
Solemn treaties shall unite us, and in all the time to be
We shall nevermore have battles on the land or on the sea.

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