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Clinton Scollard: The Carnival of war

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

American writers on peace and against war

Clinton Scollard: Selections on war and peace

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Clinton Scollard
The Carnival

Oh, the autumn-tide is the carnival tide,
And what shall the carnival wear?
Shall it be the blue of the haze-hung skies
That is blent with gold and with topaz dyes?
Shall it be the pied soft green that lies
On the meadow slope and the mountain side,
Shimmering far and fair?

Nay, none of these for the carnival tide.
For red is the carnival wear!
And never a redder carnival shone
Than now where the San and the Aisne flow on
In the red of the eve, in the red of the dawn.
And the war-fires rule and the thunders ride
Under the autumn air !

Of what avail is this carnival tide,
This blood-red carnival wear.
These carnival lines that rock and reel
And eddy and sally and meet and wheel
And break like a surge on a shore of steel?
Aye, what, when the doom-led men have died,
Does the King of the carnival care?

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