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

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

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

British writers on peace and war

Thomas Pringle: After the slaughter, the feast

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From The Autumnal Excursion

Far to the westward stretching blue,
That frontier ridge, which erst defied
The invader’s march, or quelled his pride;
The bloody field, for many an age,
Of rival nations’ wasteful rage;
In later times a refuge given
To outlaws in the cause of Heaven.

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From A Dream of Fairyland

Pale History unfolds her page –
Down from man’s primeval age,
Through the lapse of distant times,
Round the wide globe’s many climes.
Blotted with ten thousand crimes.
Still I view, where’er I scan,
Man himself a wolf to man;
Thirsting for his brother’s blood,
From Abel’s murder to the Flood –
From Nimrod’s huntings to the cry
That rent the horror-stricken sky,
When, yesterday, Napoleon’s car
Resistless swept the ranks of war,
And trampled Europe cowered beneath
The murder-glutted scythe of death.

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From Verses on the Restoration of Despotism in Spain, in 1823

‘Tis the old tale! perfidious wars,
And forts and fields for tyrants gain’d;
And kings, and emperors, and czars,
Colleagued to hold mankind enchain’d.

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