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Thomas Pringle: After the slaughter, the feast


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


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!


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.


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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