Home > Uncategorized > Isabella Banks: The bugle of war, the bugle of peace

Isabella Banks: The bugle of war, the bugle of peace

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

British writers on peace and war

Women writers on peace and war

Isabella Banks: Absolve our souls from blood shed in our country’s cause

Isabella Banks: “Glory, glory, glory!” As if murder were not sin!

Isabella Banks: Lay down weapons, war should cease

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Isabella Banks
The Bugle Call

Hark! ’tis the bugle, the bugle of War!
Banners are flying, and sabres unsheath;
Rifles and bayonets gleam from afar;
Cannon drive lumbering over the heath;
Bustle and stir from the east to the west;
Marching of troops from the north to the south;
Spectacled grandams, and babes at the breast,
Press for the last time the warrior’s mouth;
Wives from mute husbands are torn with a wrench;
Men steel their hearts ‘mid the clangour of arms;
Spades turn from tillage to dig and entrench,
And beauty to glory surrenders its charms,
At the blast of the bugle, the bugle of War!

Hark! ’tis the bugle, the bugle of War!
Sabres are clashing, and banners are rent;
Rifles are cracking and blazing afar;
Skies to the cannon their thunders have lent.
There’s neighing of chargers and trampling of hoofs,
As they beat on the limbs and the faces of men;
There’s shrieking of women, and flaming of roofs,
And crashing of trees that will ne’er rise again.
The God-given harvest beat down and accurst,
Trod with the vintage of blood into mire;
Pillage, and slaughter, and crime of the worst,
Riot and rampant – all passions afire –
At the bray of the bugle, the bugle of War!

Hark! ’tis the bugle, the bugle of Peace!
Sounds o’er the battle-field over the slain,
Hushes the strife, bids artillery cease,
Thrills through the dying stretched out on the plain.
Hark! how the call rings o’er valley and hill! ”
Light bivouac fires weary warriors, rest! ”
Up, tender-eyed Pity, to save, not to kill;
Go forth on thy errand, the blessing and blest!
Softly, white snow wreathes a shroud for the dead,
A mantle to hide the red deed War has done;
Stern foemen shake hands where their fellows have bled,
And mercy can breathe now the battle is done
In the note of the bugle, the bugle of Peace!

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