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Philip Stafford Moxom: The Palace of Peace


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

American writers on peace and against war


Philip Stafford Moxom
The Palace of Peace at The Hague

Cheer up, my heart, the better day is dawning,
The better day of which thou dreamedst long,
When, on the god of war no longer fawning,
Mankind shall sweep away the ancient wrong.

The land which Alva’s hordes once desolated,
Where Dutchmen checked the power of haughty Spain,
Where faith and love of freedom new-created
The shrines which war had leveled to the plain,

Has now become the holy place of meeting
Of messengers of good from many lands,
And East and West engage, with friendly greeting,
In weaving strong world-wide fraternal bands.

Where sabers flashed and belching cannon thundered
Is heard the music of the builders’ toil,
And near the field where Gaul’s great captain blundered
The shrine of Peace now rises from the soil.

Not to sweet notes evoked by bright Apollo,
Nor Orpheus’ lyre, these sacred walls arise,
But rhythmic heart-beats of the world they follow
By light of love-gleams in the nations’ eyes.

The level fields of Holland, water-cinctured,
Sublimer grow than templed hills of Rome,
And lovelier than Athens, glory-tinctured,
The Hague becomes benignant Justice’s home.

Here sovran Law shall dim War’s ancient splendor,
Rebuking with strong truth the nations’ wrath;
Here Peace, with gracious mien and accents tender,
Shall lead them onward in her fruitful path.

Then sing, my heart; the glorious day draws nearer,
When strife no more with blood shall drench the earth,
And, each to all and all to each grown dearer,
The peoples, glad, shall thrive in wealth and worth.

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