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Théodore Jean: The God of War

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

French writers on war and peace

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Théodore Jean
The God of War
Translated by Ernest Crosby

O be it! Our globe is but a hell
Of torments, crimes, and sins abhorred,
Where Force by dint of fire and sword
Subdues his victims all too well….

O god whom patriots adore,
I scorn thee; for in thee I see
The symbol of barbarity.
Therefore I hate thee, god of war!

As mothers curse thee, so curse I –
Mothers whose sons were racked with pain,
Whose mutilated bodies slain
Are heaped in vain beneath the sky.

With pick and hammer let us rise
And break this idol-shape of stone,
Breathing forth slaughter from his throne
Hid in the inmost shrine of lies.

Down with the temple which above
Sets up a blood-bespattered rag
And let us with a world-wide flag
Find freedom in the work of love.

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