Home > Uncategorized > Adela Florence Nicolson: Doubtless feasted the jackal and the kite

Adela Florence Nicolson: Doubtless feasted the jackal and the kite

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

British writers on peace and war

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Adela Florence Nicolson (Laurence Hope)
From Yasmini

“Doubtless, upon that western shore
With ripe fruit falling to the ground,
There dwells the Peace he hungered for,
The lovely Peace we never found.

“Then there came one with eager eyes
And keen sword, ready for the fray.
He missed the storms of Northern skies,
The reckless raid and skirmish gay!

“He rose from dreams of war’s alarms,
To make his daggers keen and bright,
Desiring, in my very arms,
The fiercer rapture of the fight!

“He left me soon; too soon, and sought
The stronger, earlier love again.
News reached me from the Cabul Court,
Afterwards nothing; doubtless slain.

“Doubtless his brilliant, haggard eyes,
Long since took leave of life and light,
And those lithe limbs I used to prize
Feasted the jackal and the kite.”

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From Song of the Colours

Scarlet

Colour of War and Rage, of Pomp and Show,
Banners that flash, red flags that flaunt and glow,
Colour of Carnage, Glory, also Shame,
Raiment of women women may not name.

Strong am I, over strong, to eyes that tire,
In the hot hue of Rapine, Riot, Flame.
Death and Despair are black, War and Desire,
The two red cards in Life’s unequal game.

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