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Jessie Wiseman Gibbs: Crown him with many crowns, the Prince of Peace

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

American writers on peace and against war

Women writers on peace and war

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Jessie Wiseman Gibbs
From Peace Sonnets

XI
Crown Him with many crowns, United States!
A crown for every one – one crown for all!
Crown Him, ye thousand cities, great and small!
Crown Him, ye villages and farms, whose gates
Teem with the future! Crown Him, Magistrates,
Governors, President! Before Him fall
And vow yourselves the vassals of his thrall!
Crown Him, each soul that for God’s Kingdom waits!

Call Him our Counsellor, our mighty God,
Our everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,
Whose Kingdom in our hearts can never cease;
Who plants the life of God in us to grow
And bring forth healing for the nations – 0
He shall bring down all Heaven upon our sod!

XVI
America! New World! Empire of Man!
Hope of the nations! Land of destiny,
Wherein the whole world looks to be set free!
Think’st thou to bind the races with a ban
Of peace, who hated since the world began?
For black, red, brown, white, yellow, meet in thee;
And wilt thou teach them all one fealty?
And be to all one mother, if thou can!

Hope not to do it by any earthly thing;
But only by Himself, who is the King
Of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Almighty Son
Of God and man, whose love hath power to bring
All men of every race and clime in one
Unto his Father, till his will be done!

XVII
O for the prophet’s vision to discern
The things of thy dear peace, to read for thee
The inner secret of all history!
O for the will in thee to look and learn!
What were those mighty forces that could burn
Up nations into empires? – Look and see:
Alexander, Cæsar, Charlemagne, and he,
The fierce Mogul, Napoleon, – each in turn!

Their spirits gone, how soon their realms decayed!
And shall we take the world to us and think
To stand, one body, with no soul arrayed
Therein as King of all? The devil enticed
Us to this thought, who would that we should sink
To ruin with the rest, – but crown we Christ!

XVIII
Think you if those six thousand murderers
Who wrought their deeds of blood in us last year
Had had the spirit of Christ, we had had fear?
Think you if those uncounted worshippers
Of lust and mammon which our age incurs
Through ignorance of God, had dared to rear
Their bloody idols up amongst us here,
If we had had his spirit in us, sirs?

Hear, O my Brothers! Iron bars nor laws
Shall ever save us, but his secret art;
And love of Him is more than all police
And ships of war to keep our realm in peace;
And this is our great policy, to cause
Each child to know and love Him in his heart!

XXII
Ye peoples who profess to worship Christ,
Ye kings who claim Him for your Overlord,
Ye parliaments who hear his saving word,
Ye souls who live by what He sacrificed, –
In what an evil hour are ye enticed
Of this world’s Prince to lift the murderous sword
Against each other, – ye, whose treasures horde
A love that for the world’s peace had sufficed!

Are ye not traitors to your Sovereign King,
Whom He would bring in one, to do this thing?
Who then shall save you when the heathen laugh?
Hope ye yet in the sword, to live thereby?
The sword, wherein ye trust, shall turn and quaff
Your blood, and by it ye shall surely die!

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