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Friedrich Martin von Bodenstedt: Christianity and War

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

German writers on peace and war

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Friedrich Martin von Bodenstedt
Christianity and War
Translated by Ernest H. Crosby

Talk, if you will, of hero deed,
Of clash of arms and battle wonders;
But prate not of your Christian creed
Preached by the cannon’s murderous thunders.

And if your courage needs a test,
Copy the pagan’s fierce behavior;
Revel in bloodshed east and west,
But speak not with it of the Saviour.

The Turk may wage a righteous war
In honor of his martial Allah;
But Thor and Odin live no more,
Dead are the gods in our Valhalla.

Be what you will, entire and free,
Christian or warrior, each can please us;
But not the rank hypocrisy
Of warlike followers of Jesus.

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