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Thomas Pringle: After the slaughter, the feast

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

British writers on peace and war

Thomas Pringle: Resistless swept the ranks of war, the murder-glutted scythe of death

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Thomas Pringle
From African Sketches

For England hath spoken in her tyrannous mood,
And the edict is writing in African blood!

And the tiger-wolf laughs in his bone-strewed brake,
As he calls on his mate and her cubs to awake;
And the panther and leopard come leaping along;
All hymning to Hecate a festival song:
For the tumult is over, the slaughter hath ceased –
And the vulture hath bidden them all to the feast!

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From Paraphrase of the Twenty-Third Psalm

And when amid the stumbling mountains
Through frowardness I blindly stray,
Or wander near forbidden fountains
Where the Destroyer lurks for prey,
My wayward feet again he guideth
To paths where holy Peace resideth.

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From The Emigrants

Upon the upland height a mouldering Tower,
By time and outrage marked with many a scar,
Told of past days of feudal pomp and power
When its proud chieftains ruled the dales afar.
But that was long gone by: and waste and war,
And civil strife more ruthless still than they,
Had quenched the lustre of Glen-Lynden’s star –
Which glimmered now, with dim declining ray,
O’er this secluded spot, – sole remnant of their sway.

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