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Pierre-Jean de Béranger: The Holy Alliance of Peace

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

French writers on war and peace

Pierre-Jean de Béranger: When from the miseries of war we wake…

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Pierre-Jean de Béranger
The Holy Alliance of Nations
Translated by E. Hall Jackson

I have seen Peace coming down to the world
Lavishing gold with the flowers and the corn;
Calm was the air, not a missile was hurled,
Quiet was War, for his strength had been shorn;
“Ah,” she exclaimed,” one in valour so great,
English and French, Russian, German, and Dane,
Nations, a holy alliance create,
And friendship maintain!

“Mortals, you weary in enmity’s race;
Even your rest is a troubled repose;
Better than earth so divided is space;
Each has his share of the sun as it goes;
All to yoke power to the car of the state
Leave the good way where true pleasure we gain;
Nations, a holy alliance create,
And friendship maintain!

“Fire you a neighbor’s loved house or his fold,
Blows the North-wind and your roofs are in flame;
Then when the earth has again become cold,
Slow goes the plough for the ploughman is lame;
Blood on your boundaries tells of your hate;
Even the corn has a terrible stain;
Nations, a holy alliance create,
And friendship maintain!

“Free then at last let the people respire;
Over the past fling the heaviest veil;
Sow you your fields to the sounds of the lyre;
Art her pure incense to Peace will exhale,
Hope on the breast of abundance elate
Gather sweet treasures the union will rain;
Nations, a holy alliance create,
And friendship maintain!”

Such were the words of this maiden adored;
More than one king was repeating her strain;
So when the Spring has her loveliness poured
Autumn recalls the fair graces again;
Vintage of France flow for those at our gate!
Leave they our frontier their love we’ll retain!
Nations, such holy alliance create,
And friendship maintain!

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