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Edgar Guest: The Peaceful Warriors

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

American writers on peace and against war

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Edgar Guest
The Peaceful Warriors

Let others sing their songs of war
And chant their hymns of splendid death,
Let others praise the soldiers’ ways
And hail the cannon’s flaming breath.
Let others sing of Glory’s fields
Where blood for Victory is paid,
I choose to sing some simple thing
To those who wield not gun or blade –
The peaceful warriors of trade.

Let others choose the deeds of war
For symbols of our nation’s skill,
The blood-red coat, the rattling throat,
The regiment that charged the hill,
The boy who died to serve the flag,
Who heard the order and obeyed,
But leave to me the gallantry
Of those who labor unafraid –
The peaceful warriors of trade.

Aye, let me sing the splendid deeds
Of those who toil to serve mankind,
The men who break old ways and make
New paths for those who come behind.
The young who war with customs old
And face their problems, unafraid,
Who think and plan to lift for man
The burden that on him is laid –
The splendid warriors of trade.

I sing of battles with disease
And victories o’er death and pain,
Of ships that fly the summer sky,
And glorious deeds of strength and brain.
The call for help that rings through space
By which a vessel’s course is stayed,
Thrills me far more than fields of gore,
Or heroes decked in golden braid –
I sing the warriors of trade.

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