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Edwin Markham: Semiramis, the conqueror

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

American writers on peace and against war

Edwin Markham: Peace

Edwin Markham: Peace Over Africa

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Edwin Markham
A Look into the Gulf

I looked one night, and there the Semiramis,
With all her mourning doves about her head,
Sat rocking on an ancient road of Hell,
Withered and eyeless, chanting to the moon
Snatches of song they sang to her of old
Upon the lighted roofs of Nineveh.
And then her voice rang out with rattling laugh:
“The bugles! they are crying back again –
Bugles that broke the nights of Babylon,
And then went crying on through Nineveh.

***

Stand back, ye trembling messengers of ill!
Women, let go my hair: I am the Queen,
A whirlwind and a blaze of swords to quell
Insurgent cities. Let the iron tread
Of armies shake the earth. Look, lofty towers:
Assyria goes by upon the wind!”
And so she babbles by the ancient road,
While cities turned to dust upon the Earth
Rise through her whirling brain to live again –
Babbles all night, and when her voice is dead
Her weary lips beat on without a sound.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. yehudiwebster
    June 16, 2022 at 5:23 pm

    Dear Rick, Can I arouse your interest in the making of a peace/anti-war film that could be on You Tube? I am a novice, but deeply committed to anudi-visual presentations of the neglected, millennia-old voices for nonviolence. Thank you

    Best wishes Yehudi yehudi.webster@gmail.com

    On Thu, Jun 16, 2022 at 3:51 PM For peace, against war: literary selections

    Like

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