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John Oxenham: Thank God For Peace!


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

British writers on peace and war

John Oxenham: The Stars’ Accusal


John Oxenham (William Arthur Dunkerley)
Thank God For Peace!

Thank God for Peace!
Up to the sombre sky
Rolled one great thankful sigh,
Rolled one great gladsome cry –
The soul’s deliverance of a mighty people.
Thank God for Peace!

The long-low-hanging war-cloud rolled away,
And night glowed brighter than the brightest day.
For Peace is Light,
And War is grimmer than the Night.

Thank God for Peace!
Great ocean, was your mighty calm unstirred
As through your depths, unseen, unheard,
Sped on its way the glorious word
That called a weary nation to ungird,
And sheathed once more the keen, reluctant sword?

Thank God for Peace!
The word came to us as we knelt in prayer
That wars might cease.
Peace found us on our knees, and prayer for Peace
Was changed to prayer of deepest thankfulness.
We knelt in War, we rose in Peace to bless
Thy grace, Thy care, Thy tenderness.

Thank God for Peace!
No matter now the rights and wrongs of it;
You fought us bravely, and we fought you fair.
The fight is done. Grip hands! No malice bear!
We greet you, brothers, to the nobler strife
Of building up the newer, larger life!

Join hands! Join hands! Ye nations of the stock!
And make henceforth a mighty Trust for Peace.
A great enduring peace that shall withstand
The shocks of time and circumstance; and every land
Shall rise and bless you – and shall never cease
To bless you – for that glorious gift of Peace.

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