Home > Uncategorized > Walt Whitman: Away with themes of war! away with war itself!

Walt Whitman: Away with themes of war! away with war itself!

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

American writers on peace and against war

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Walt Whitman
From Song of the Exposition

The male and female many laboring not,
Shall ever here confront the laboring many,
With precious benefits to both, glory to all,
To thee America, and thee eternal Muse.

And here shall ye inhabit powerful Matrons!
In your vast state vaster than all the old,
Echoed through long, long centuries to come,
To sound of different, prouder songs, with stronger themes,
Practical, peaceful life, the people’s life, the People themselves,
Lifted, illumin’d, bathed in peace – elate, secure in peace.

Away with themes of war! away with war itself!
Hence from my shuddering sight to never more return that
show of blacken’d, mutilated corpses!
That hell unpent and raid of blood, fit for wild tigers or for
lop-tongued wolves, not reasoning men,
And in its stead speed industry’s campaigns,
With thy undaunted armies, engineering,
Thy pennants labor, loosen’d to the breeze,
Thy bugles sounding loud and clear.

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