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Katrina Trask: The Statue of Peace


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

American writers on peace and against war

Women writers on peace and war

Katrina Trask: Selections on war and peace


Katrina Trask
The Statue of Peace*

The Daughter of Tradition – that fair Maid
Called, falsely, by the splendid name of Peace –
Still haunts the Land in marble and in bronze;
Her graceful garments fall in quiet folds,
Enriched with leaves of laurel at the hem:
Before the fevered eyes of baffled men,
In the mad struggle of a frenzied world,
She holds a futile olive-branch – and smiles:
Her sweetly placid lips would seem to say,
“Peace dwells apart, safe-sheltered from the storm.”

O Sculptor of the Future, bring to us
The larger mind, endowed with power to see
Behind the veil the Vision of the Truth!
The conscious marble waits your quickening hand!
Show forth the true embodiment of Peace!

Peace is no limp and pallid Negative!
Peace is the living Positive of God!
Her life abundant is unending work;
Her course is ceaseless movement to the stars!

Make her a noble woman, brave to dare;
In every line of figure and of face
Chisel bold strokes of action and of strength;
Her mission is to master – not to yield;
Her destined duty to wage constant war
On Sin and Evil through the mortal years:
Not with the ancient weapons of the world –
But with the white flame of her valiant Soul!

Carve on her dauntless lips a lofty scorn
Of brutal practices employed by men
Who stoop to bloodshed and to cruel fight,
Like savage beasts that rend and tear their prey;
Poise her proud head as one who would not bend
To passing gusts of passion and revenge;
Fashion her hands outstretched to help mankind;
Create new harmonies where discords jar;
Blow back her storm-tossed garments in the wind.
She stays not for the sunshine – she goes forth
Though tempests roar and threatening thunders roll;
She knows no fear to die – no fear to live.

Peace is a Spirit-Warrior! She strives
With unseen forces, fiercer to subdue
Than marshaled hosts equipped with armaments;
And when she conquers ’tis immortal gain;
Hers is no transient triumph of the hour;
Her conquest is the victory supreme.
The Victory of Spirit over flesh.

Crown her, O Master, with the crown of crowns,
And show her mighty in the might of God!

*(The above poem was Mrs. Spencer Trask has been inspired by the proposed presentation by the United States of a statue of Peace to the Peace Palace at The Hague, now awaiting an appropriation by Congress and the choice of a sculptor: New York Times.)

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