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Max Plowman: The God of War


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

British writers on peace and war

Max Plowman: The dead soldiers. Killing men is always killing God.

Max Plowman: The Goddess of War


Max Plowman
The God of War

‘Let all Indefinites be thrown into Demonstrations.’

Pass, unknown monster, pass; the dawn of mind
Reveals thy lineaments. Ere break of day
Men saw thee as a cloud for the display
Of Heaven’s lightning, Heaven’s rushing wind;
They worshipped thee in fear and reverence blind,
Hanging about thine altars banners gay,
Beating loud drums, wreathing thy priests with bay,
And dancing at the murder of mankind.

No more we watch thy great foreboding shape
Sprawled on the darkened heavens. Instead we see
One soldier disembowelled by butchery,
One girl-wife, now a living shroud of crape;
And in the thinking sight of these we cry,
‘Spawn of our lust and hatred, thou shalt die.’

August, 1914

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