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Edith Matilda Thomas: The Altar of Moloch

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

American writers on peace and against war

Women writers on peace and war

Edith Matilda Thomas: Air war: They are not humans.

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Edith Matilda Thomas
The Altar of Moloch
(Balkan War)

The latest Year of our Lord hath Moloch an altar ordained,
And fed it with flesh of men and the wine of their lives hath drained!
And we sit afar and secure, and the Beauty of Peace we praise –
I am sick at my heart at the tale of the world in these blood-crimsoned days!

For the eyes of my soul see the altar that smokes to the South and the East,
Its victims the tiller of the field, the maiden, the child, and the priest;
And a savage (called Christian!), a flamen that runs with the torch and the sword,
Scoureth from village to village, serving his altar abhorred!

He hath taken his tithe of Nigrita, and Seres has rendered grim toll;
He hath plucked out the eye that was glazing, and mocked at the fluttering soul;
The cotter he sacked in his dwelling, and mangled the dead on the plain,
And sped with a ribald song the victim dishonored and slain.

Ah, ah! what burnt off’ring was there – the helpless, the aged, the weak!
Their flesh is now fallen in ashes, their spirits indignant yet speak.
Hear them, thou bright one, thou fair one, thou Greece, rearisen and strong,
And raze to the ground that altar abhorred, and avenge their great wrong!

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