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Lucy Aikin: Gentle Peace with healing hand returns

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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

Lucy Aikin: Sickening I turn on yonder plain to mourn the widows and the slain

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Lucy Aikin
From Cambria, an Ode

Not always thus, to works of peace
By patriot wisdom planned,
The labourer lent his willing hand,
And reaped the rich increase:
Mark yon tower’s embattled wall,
Proud, yet nodding to its fall;
Proud work of many a wretched thrall!

Edward! on thy parted soul
Heavy sit the murderous guilt
Of Cambrian blood in battle spilt!
Heavier still the unnumbered sighs
Of Cambria’s vanquisht bands,
As slow, beneath their forced reluctant hands,
They saw thy castles rise!

But not the warrior’s blasting breath,
But not the conqueror’s scythed arm,
Can spread eternal death;
Far refuged from the loud alarm,
Gentle Peace with healing hand
Returns: obedient to her whisper bland
Her own attendant Arts are seen,
And Time the furrows smooths of Desolation’s plough.

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