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Philip Freneau: The Prospect of Peace

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

American writers on peace and against war

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Philip Freneau
The Prospect of Peace

Though clad in winter’s gloomy dress
All nature’s works appear,
Yet other prospects rise to bless
The new returning year:
The active sail again is seen
To greet our western shore,
Gay plenty smiles, with brow serene,
And wars distract no more.

No more the vales, no more the plains
An iron harvest yields;
Peace guards our doors, impels our swains
To till the grateful field:
From distant climes, no longer foes,
(Their years of misery past,)
Nations arrive, to find repose
In these domains at last.

And, if a more delightful scene
Attracts the mortal eye,
Where clouds nor darkness intervene,
Behold, aspiring high,
On freedom’s soil those fabrics plann’d,
On virtue’s basis laid,
That make secure our native land,
And prove our toils repaid.

Ambitious aims and pride severe,
Would you at distance keep,
What wanderer would not tarry here,
Here charm his cares to sleep?
O, still may health her balmy wings
O’er these fair fields expand,
While commerce from all climates brings
The products of each land.

Through toiling care and lengthen’d views,
That share alike our span,
Gay, smiling hope her heaven pursues,
The eternal friend of man:
The darkness of the days to come
She brightens with her ray,
And smile’s o’er Nature’s gaping tomb,
When sickening to decay!

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