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Jane Bowdler: War’s deadly futility


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

British writers on peace and war

Women writers on peace and war


Jane Bowdler
From Ode to Hope

The trumpet sounds to war:
Load shouts re-echo from the mountain’s side,
The din of battle thunders from afar,
The foaming torrent rolls a crimson tide;
The youthful warrior’s breast with ardour glows,
In thought he triumphs o’er ten thousand foes:
Elate with HOPE, he rushes on,
The battle seems already won,
The vanquish’d host before him fly,
His heart exults in fancied victory.
Nor heeds the flying shaft, nor thinks of danger nigh,
Methinks I see him now –
Fall’n his crest – his glory gone –
The opening laurel faded on his brow –
Silent the trump of his aspiring fame!
No future age shall hear his name,
But darkness spread around her sable gloom,
And deep oblivion rest upon his tomb.


From On the Death of Mr. Garrick

With mournful awe I trod the sacred stones,
Where kings and heroes slept in long repose,
And trophies, mould’ring o’er the warrior’s bones,
Proclaim how frail the life which fame bestows.

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