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William Stokes: The Angel of Peace


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

British writers on peace and war

William Stokes: Selections on peace and war


William Stokes
The Angel of Peace

Ring, ring the sweet bells, and unfurl the gay banners!
Let cold party-feeling and enmity cease;
Arise, ye glad nations, with lofty hosannahs!
And welcome with triumph the angel of peace.

Long, long have the foemen dealt fury around them;
Too long spread the flame of destruction and death;
Too long has the demon of discord spell-bound them,
And blasted the hope of the world with his breath.

Sing, sing the loud chorus! his spell is now broken,
And nations once more breathe the air of the free;
His watchword of “glory” shall henceforth be spoken,
To die with the echo that floats on the sea.

For, dove-like, the angel has passed o’er the waters.
And wept when he saw but a deluge of blood;
His olive-branch waved o’er the scene of the slaughters,
And Peace spread her “bow” on the face of the flood.

Then sing! for the ark safely rests on the mountain.
The crimson-dyed waters haste, blushing, away;
The sun gilds afresh both the stream and the fountain,
And man hails with rapture the the smile of the day.

Then join the loud chorus! unfurl the gay banners!
Let peace be the watchword the universe o’er;
Unite, all ye nations, in lofty hosannahs!
And sing, “Peace our glory!” and “Peace evermore!”

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