Home > Uncategorized > Francis Coutts: Why was no better gift by thee bequeathed than a sword unsheathed?

Francis Coutts: Why was no better gift by thee bequeathed than a sword unsheathed?

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

British writers on peace and war

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Francis Coutts
From Egypt

What was thy day of forty centuries worth,
What thy magnificence and conquests, all
The marvel of thy glory, to the Earth,
If night returning followed on thy fall?

To us proud dwellers o’er the northern tide
Why was no better gift by thee bequeathed, –
By thee, whose kings ere death were deified,
Than festal goblets and a sword unsheathed?

At Memphis and at Thebes the full delight
Of all the senses, and that deeper draught,
The vintage of the falchion in the fight,
The wine of red dominion, oft were quaffed;

The lust to conquer…
And all our fame and all our follies fade,
As thine have faded, like a wreath of snow.

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From Peace

Fold, fold thy wings, thou earth-avoiding dove,
Obey our luring, like a hawk of love,
And when, at last alighting, thou has brought
The close of seeking that so long we sought,
Long as thy sojourn may thy solace be,
Not for Time only, but for Eternity.

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