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Robert Whitaker: The Starred Mother

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

American writers on peace and against war

Robert Whitaker: Whence Cometh War?

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Robert Whitaker
The Starred Mother

Is there a madness underneath the sun
More strange, more terrible? or any one
More pitiful than this, that for a star
A mother sells her flesh and blood to war?

A son for slaughter, and a star for praise!
Not this the total madness of our days,
A son to slay some other mother’s son,
And by such murder mother’s blessing won!

The Hindi mother, by the Ganges tide
Drowning her babe, heart-broken, but with pride,
Poor blind purveyor to a Saurian feast,
Still spares her babe from murder’s maw, at least.

Is there debauchery more deep than this?
The State betraying mothers with a kiss?
Bribing the Marys of the world to sell,
For tinselled star, their flesh and blood to hell!

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