Home > Uncategorized > Angela Morgan: For the moment’s red renown. Battle Cry of the Mothers.

Angela Morgan: For the moment’s red renown. Battle Cry of the Mothers.


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

American writers on peace and against war

Women writers on peace and war

Angela Morgan: Selections on war and peace


Angela Morgan
Battle Cry of the Mothers

Bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh,
Fruit of our age-long mother pain,
They have caught your life in the nations’ mesh,
They have bargained you out for their paltry gain
And they build their hope on the shattered breast
Of the child we sang to rest.
On the shattered breast and the wounded cheek –
O, God! If the mothers could only speak! –
Blossom of centuries trampled down
For the moment’s red renown.

Pulse of our pulse, breath of our breath,
Hope of the pang that brought to birth,
They have flung you forth to the fiends of death,
They have cast your flesh to the cruel earth,
Field upon field, tier upon tier
Till the darkness writhes in fear.
And they plan to marshal you more and more –
Oh, our minds are numb and our hearts are sore! –
They are killing the thing we cherish most,
They are driving you forth in a blinding host,
They are storming the world with your eager strength
But the judgment comes at length.

Emperors! Kings! On your heedless throne,
Do you hear the cry that the mothers make?
The blood you shed is our own, our own,
You shall answer, for our sake.
When you pierce his side, you have pierced our side –
O, mothers! The ages we have cried! –
And the shell that sunders his flesh apart
Enters our bleeding heart.

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