Home > Uncategorized > Christoph August Tiedge: Give to earth the light of peaceful day

Christoph August Tiedge: Give to earth the light of peaceful day

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

German writers on peace and war

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Christoph August Tiedge
From Elegie auf dem Schaltfelde bei Kunersdorf
Translated by T. Holmes

Oh, sight of horror! mighty prince, come, see,
And o’er this awful heap of mouldering clay
Swear to thy folk a gentler lord to be,
And give to earth the light of peaceful day.

Great leader, when thou thirstest for renown,
Come, count these skulls, before the solemn hour
When thine own head must lay aside its crown,
And in Death’s silence ends thy dream of power.

Let the dread vision hover o’er thee ever
Of these sad corpses here around thee strown,
And then say, does it charm thee, the endeavour
Upon men’s ruins to erect thy throne?

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