Home > Uncategorized > Alice Meynell: The true slayers are those who sire soldiers

Alice Meynell: The true slayers are those who sire soldiers

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

British writers on peace and war

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Alice Meynell
Parentage

“When Augustus Caesar legislated against the unmarried
citizens of Rome, he declared them to be, in some sort, slayers
of the people.”

Ah! no, not these!
These, who were childless, are not they who gave
So many dead unto the journeying wave,
The helpless nurslings of the cradling seas;
Not they who doomed by infallible decrees
Unnumbered man to the innumerable grave.

But those who slay
Are fathers. Theirs are armies. Death is theirs –
The death of innocences and despairs;
The dying of the golden and the grey.
The sentence, when these speak it, has no Nay.
And she who slays is she who bears, who bears.

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