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Nathan Haskell Dole: The Vision of Peace


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

American writers on peace and against war

Nathan Haskell Dole: Selections on peace

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Nathan Haskell Dole
From Onward
A Vision of Peace
Symphonic Pictures in Nine Movements

The Vision of Peace

O, beautiful Vision of Peace,
Beam bright in the eyes of Man!
The host of the meek shall increase,
The Prophets are leading the van.

Have courage: we see the Morn!
Never fear, tho’ the Now be dark!
Out of Night the Day is born;
The Fire shall live from the spark.
It may take a thousand years
Ere the Era of Peace hold sway.
Look back and the Progress cheers
And a thousand years are a day!
The World grows – yet not by chance;
It follows some marvellous plan;
Tho’ slow to our wish the advance,
God rules the training of Man.

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We gain contentment from a calm survey
Of vanisht epochs, great, tho’ less than ours;
But Hope still promises a better day
When Peace shall reign among the rival Powers.

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From the fire grew Civilization;
The metals were worked into tools –
Into weapons for nation ‘gainst nation.
Into gyves for knaves and for fools.

To the men that lived in those ages,
The ages of Iron and Brass –
To even the Priests and the Sages –
How slow seemed abuses to pass.

But still there was Gain; we detect it
From the vantage of distance and time;
Wars and barbarous creeds may have checkt it;
But the Race was beginning to climb.

The Potter and Sculptor and Painter
Evolved new forms for their Art;
Crude colours grew softer and fainter,
And Poesy rose from the heart.

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The dynasties of Hyksos Kings
Grew haughty with their harvestings.
The few by power and wealth were cherisht;
The wretched millions, toiling, perisht.
Where now is that swart Pharaoh
Whose hieroglyphics, row on row,
Relate his titles and his name.
The realms he conquered and their fame?

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Prophet Vision sees a better day
In the future, maybe far away,
Yet the promise of it certain:
Might I only lift the curtain!

Wars of every stripe shall surely cease;
There shall dawn the happy reign of Peace,
Guaranteed by Arbitration,
Reverenced by every Nation.

All the Millions’ waste in needless war
(Foolish trifles men have battled for!)
Spent in costly armoured-cruisers
(Brutal Hates their only users!)
Spent in cruel, polisht, rifled guns,
Wasting smokeless powder, tons and tons,
Spent in forts and standing armies
(Slow men are to learn where harm is!),
Shall be utilized for human good
When the Law of Love is understood.

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