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W. H. Anderson: Our Brother’s Keeper


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

American writers on peace and against war


W. H. Anderson
Our Brother’s Keeper

The patient world through all its cycled years
Has borne its human burden, murmuring not –
A selfish horde, almost by God forgot –
A theme to flood the Universe with tears!
From that far distance where there first appears
A ray to pierce the conglomerate blot
Spewed from Creation’s maw, the common lot
Of man, the creature, changes not nor veers:
A current rushing on from naught to naught,
Turgid and turbulent, ‘twixt narrow banks
Of grasping greed and centered self-endeavor;
Each drop impregnate with the single thought
Of striving till all others it outranks,
Blind in its petty Now to vast Forever!

This is the picture painted; this the view
Of cynic solons in our hall of State,
Venting their venomed envy in debate,
Cruel and heartless as a pirate’s crew,
Shackling the many for the selfish few,
Clasping the hasp upon the book of Fate,
Seeking the elder Cain to emulate –
“Are we our brothers’ keepers?” Nay, not you!
But the great world is. War has fixed its fangs
Just once too often in the human breast,
And roused the nations to their sole surcease.
Nor shall we fail to heed our brothers’ pangs.
The serried legions of this glorious West
Shall head the vanguard of the hosts of Peace!

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