Home > Uncategorized > Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: I sing the soldiers of the coming wars, those that save and heal

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: I sing the soldiers of the coming wars, those that save and heal


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

American writers on peace and against war

Women writers on peace and war

Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: Selections from the Peace Sonnets


Jessie Wiseman Gibbs
From Peace Sonnets

Ye nations of the earth, have ye not said,
“We will increase our strength with ships and guns”?
Yet now do they consume your little ones,
And while ye think to make your bullets red
In brothers’ blood, in your own house lie dead
Your children; for God chastens so his sons,
Bringing the ill they practice whence it runs
Back to recoil at last on their own head.

But if ye once had known your Father, God,
Ye could not lift the hand against your brother;
And if ye once had felt his chastening rod,
Would leave to Him the vengeance; if ye knew
The mighty fortress He hath given to you
In these, your children, ye would ask no other.

Behold the missionaries of Christ’s cross,
That go before the merchant ventures! These,
More than all ships of war, bring in the peace
Of the world, and what they spend is never loss.
Think, if we gave the heathen but our dross
Of vice and war-craft, how their hordes would seize
Our weapons to despoil us, and appease
With smell of our spilt blood their lustful joss!

Nay, we must give them Christ, or on our head
Their sin shall be, and God unto their strife
Shall give us up to chastisement; our pelf
Shall profit us no more, when we are dead:
For selfishness doth still defeat itself,
And sacrificial love is fount of life.

I sing the soldiers of the coming wars,
The wars of God and man, of common weal
And individual glory. Not with steel
Nor for destruction, pass their shining corps
Where all our modern tumult sweats and roars;
But girt with faith, love, prayer ,- how e’er they feel
The iron in their own souls – to save and heal,
And Christ leads on, who all to God restores!

These be thy heroes, O my Country! They
Shall wear henceforth thy laurel and thy bay!
Thou shalt not give again the crown of thorns
To Him who is thy Savior, nor the ray
And aureole of glory that adorns
His brow to them that pillage and that slay!

‘Tis not enough, my Land, that thou shouldst cry
To Christ to save, but thou must crown Him King
Ere He can save thee; thou must dare to fling
Thine all on Him and trust Him, live or die,
Ere thou canst find his power, or live thereby.
Behold, how beautiful his feet, that bring
Good news of peace! Behold Him in the spring
Of glorious day, descending from on high!

Hail Him, my Country! Crown Him, whom so long
Men dared deny the crown! Whom God doth crown
In Heaven before the angels, who with song
Acclaim Him King forever, casting down
Their diadems before Him, choosing Him
Before all glory in themselves grown dim!

Hail Him! For it is He who left his throne
In glory and came down to earth and men,
To lift them with his own hands up again
Into that heavenly light that was his own
Before the world was! Hail Him, who has known
Our sorrows, shared our burdens, borne our pain,
In his own body – yea, our sins amain
O’ercoming all in his love’s might alone!

Hail Him victorious! Hail Him conqueror
And King forever! Own Him with thy whole
Heart , O my Country, even as the soul
That lives by his great life! Have thou no shame
To speak of Him before the kings that war,
But let the whole earth hear thee praise his name!

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