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Vachel Lindsay: The Unpardonable Sin

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

American writers on peace and against war

Vachel Lindsay: Speak Now for Peace

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Vachel Lindsay
The Unpardonable Sin

This is the sin against the Holy Ghost: –
To speak of bloody power as right divine,
And call on God to guard each vile chief’s house,
And for such chiefs, turn men to wolves and swine: –

To go forth killing in White Mercy’s name,
Making the trenches stink with spattered brains,
Tearing the nerves and arteries apart,
Sowing with flesh the unreaped golden plains.

In any Church’s name, to sack fair towns,
And turn each home into a screaming sty,
To make the little children fugitive,
And have their mothers for a quick death cry, –

This is the sin against the Holy Ghost:
This is the sin no purging can atone: –
To send forth rapine in the name of Christ: –
To set the face, and make the heart a stone.

 

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