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Isabella Lickbarrow: Invocation To Peace


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

British writers on peace and war

Women writers on peace and war


Isabella Lickbarrow
Invocation To Peace

O gentle Peace! celestial visitant!
Thou friend to virtue, charity, and love,
Whose smile can make a paradise on earth,
Without whose presence heav’n could not be blest,
How long has thy inexorable foe,
That fiend unblest, Ambition, banish’d thee,
Chas’d thee a fugitive from clime to clime,
And made thee roam a pilgrim o’er the world?
Say, beauteous wand’rer, in what distant spot,
What lonely isle amid the unbounded main,
Hast thou a temporary shelter found?
Where, like the fabled goddess sung of old,
To wand’ring nations and to savage tribes
Thou teachest how to till th’ uncultur’d soil,
And all the useful arts of polish’d life;
Or still remembering Europe’s fairer realms,
Upon some rocky promontory’s brow
Pensive thou sit’st, bending a list’ning ear
Towards the distant shores, and only hear’st
Unwelcome sounds, discordant din of arms,
Like murmuring thunder, wafted o’er the waves;
While in thy swelling bosom heaves the sigh,
And from thy glist’ning eye descends the tear,
In pity for the ills her sons endure.
Return, fair stranger, to those realms again,
Return to heal the wounds which war has made;
Come, and on Europe’s plains the olive plant;
Beneath its friendly shade, the purple vine
Shall brighter bloom, the harvest richer glow,
And greater plenty crown the rolling year.
Oh come! on Albion’s plains for ever dwell,
Thy sacred temple let our island be,
Then arts and manufactures would revive,
And happy Industry rejoice again;
Then friendly Commerce would unfurl her sails,
No hostile natives, arm’d with bolts of death,
Would meet in dreadful conflict on the deep,
But freighted vessels, laden with the fruits
Of ev’ry varied clime, would crowd our ports,
And flags of ev’ry land wave round our shores
In social harmony, a glorious sight –
To generous minds, yielding more genuine joy,
Than dearly purchas’d trophies won by war
From ev’ry different region of the globe.

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