Home > Uncategorized > Felicia Hemans: Say to the hurricane of war – “Be still”

Felicia Hemans: Say to the hurricane of war – “Be still”

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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

Felicia Hemans: Selections on peace and war

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Felicia Hemans
From War and Peace

Now, while the sounds of martial wrath assail,
While the red banner floats upon the gale;
While dark destruction, with his legion-bands
Waves the bright sabre o’er devoted lands;
While War’s dread comet flashes through the air
And fainting nations tremble at the glare;
To thee Futurity from scenes like these
Pale fancy turns, for heaven-imparted ease;
Turns to behold, in thy unclouded skies
The orb of peace in bright perspective rise;
And pour around, with joy-diffusing ray.
Life, light, and glory, in a flood of day.

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Compose each passion to th’ eternal will.
Say to the hurricane of war, – “Be still,”
” Vengeance, expire; thy reign, ambition, cease;
Beam, light of heaven, triumphant star of peace.”
Is this the muse’s wild, illusive dream,
An airy picture, an ideal theme?
Shall death still ride victorious o’er the slain,
And his “pale charger” desolate the plain?
Ne’er shall revenge her vulture-pinion fold,
Close her dark eye, her lightning-arm withhold?
Still must oppression cause th’ eternal strife.
And breathe dire mildew o’er the blooms of life?
Must war still ravage with his car of fire,
And victim myriads in the blaze expire?

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