Home > Uncategorized > Katrina Trask: “Wars shall cease. Peace shall knit the world together in a bond of common Brotherhood.”

Katrina Trask: “Wars shall cease. Peace shall knit the world together in a bond of common Brotherhood.”

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

American writers on peace and against war

Women writers on peace and war

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Katrina Trask
From In the Vanguard

ELSA
Suddenly I was awakened by a call – I thought it was your voice, calling Elsa, Elsa. I was frightened – O so frightened – I jumped up and ran to the window – it was dark; there were clouds in the sky – I knelt at the window, looking out into the night; and then, again I heard the voice – and I knew it was not yours: it was deep and terrible; it sounded like a bell tolling across measureless waters – but every word was clear, distinct. “Woe, woe,” cried the voice; “woe unto those who break the bonds of Brotherhood; woe unto those who lay waste the pleasant places of the earth; woe unto those who fan the powers of enmity and hate; woe unto those who have called false things true, cruel things brave, and barbarous things of good report.” Philip, I was so frightened!

Then, all was still. And as I knelt there, it was just as you said in your letter – it was as though a window opened in my mind – I seemed to see rivers of blood, hideous masses of horror, to hear the piteous cries of women and children and the moans and curses of those who died in the lust of battle. I remembered how I had thought only of the gorgeous surface show that covered the ghastly reality; at last, I saw the truth. I knew – I understood – and I was ashamed. I shuddered as I knelt there – I thought I could not bear it.

Her voice breaks – she is quiet for a moment

Suddenly, the clouds lifted, the morning star rose clear and beautiful, the dawn broke, and the rosy light came over the hills. Then, another voice – melodious, musical – spoke these words – “Fear not! Behold, a new order is dawning upon the earth. Wars shall cease. Peace shall knit the world together in a bond of common Brotherhood.”

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THE BOYS
Singing.
Get your gun, get your gun,
And shoot them every one.
Let them fly, let them die,
Let them perish as they run.
Get your gun, get your gun,
O go and get your gun!

MR. GREART
Indignantly.
That is the way our boys’ morals are stunted and blunted. It is abominable! Unspeakable! War is Hell. Even our generals admit that – but they think that when war is over, the Hell is ended. They forget that the miasma of Hell spreads over the country and taints the little children, affecting them for life. How long, O Lord – how long will it take men to see that two and two make four?

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