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Edwin Arnold Brenholtz: Peace, the Conqueror


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

American writers on peace and against war

Edwin Arnold Brenholtz: The Passion of Peace


Edwin Arnold Brenholtz
Peace, the Conqueror

The great and sole expansionist am I.
Naught but the whole, naught but the whole, I cry.
Away with these weak-kneed and doting Karls,
Who want a piece and tremble at the snarls
Snarled by their brother thieves; with them away!
Rejoice, O Earth, to see my bright’ning day!
Rejoice, O Man, to own my gentle sway!

Hark to my words, O dreaded man of War!
I have no need of thee.
Stand thou aside: six thousand years are more
Than Hell’s – are thine. No plea!
Away! away! away!
Rejoice, O Earth, now comes a gentle sway!

Ho, all ye toilers, come to work, to work.
‘Tis play that will no manly feelings irk.
Melt down these guns to bands of shining steel,
To make firm pathways for the Nation’s weal.
Add to it every pound from armored ships;
Lightened, they kiss the waves with peaceful lips,
And to their ensign every ensign dips.

Hark to my words, O dreaded man of force!
I have no need of thee.
‘Twixt kingdom mine and kingdom thine, divorce.
Love, erstwhile bound, is free.
Oh stay! oh stay! oh stay!
And hail, with love, the ever bright’ning day.

The poor ye have alway with ye, with ye,
Not in the kingdom ruled by me, for see
Here such equality and joy in life,
The nations vie with emulating strife
To come beneath the soft and kindly rule
Swayed – with a discard of the butcher’s tool –
By him, “The Prince of Peace,” whom War calls fool.

Hark to my words, O ye, ye dreaded twain!
I have much need of thee.
Transformed, join ye the servants of my train;
For Peace – make needed plea.
Oh pray! oh pray! oh pray
The hast’ning of the bright’ning, glorious day!


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