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Katharine Lee Bates: When the Millennium Comes

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

American writers on peace and against war

Women writers on peace and war

Katharine Lee Bates: Selections on war and peace

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Katharine Lee Bates
When the Millennium Comes

When the Millennium comes
Only the kings will fight,
While the princes beat the drums,
And the queens in aprons white,
Arnica bottle in hand,
Watch their Majesties throw,
With a gesture vague and grand,
Their crowns at the dodging foe,
Poor old obsolete crowns
That Time hangs up in a row.

When the Millennium comes
And the proud steel navies meet,
While the furious boiler hums,
And the vengeful pistons beat,
The sailors will stay on shore
And cheer with a polyglot shout
The self-fed cannon that roar
Till metal has fought it out,
But the warm, glad bodies of boys
Are not for the waves to flout.

When the Millennium comes,
Love, the mother of life,
Will have worked out all the sums
Of our dim industrial strife,
And every man shall be lord
Of his deed and his dream, and the lore
Of war shall be abhorred
As a dragon-tale of yore,
Myth of the Iron Age,
A monster earth breeds no more.

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