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Francis Saltus Saltus: Peace to see our Love and Law arrived to witness cruel War

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

American writers on peace and against war

Francis Saltus Saltus: Selections on peace and war

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Francis Saltus Saltus
Austerlitz

On to the goal the impatient legions come!
Ulm haloes with success an army’s might;
Far mid the mists and gloom of Austrian night,
Hear the advancing steeds, the ominous drum!

Europe cowers shuddering, and strong kings are dumb;
A Caesar leads a nation to the fight,
And o’er the allied camps the flaming light
Of his great star strikes the rude masses numb!

Five hundred thundering cannon boom and glow,
A sun of victory on the keen steel slants,
There on the gore-strewn plains of pine and snow
Russ clutches Gaul in labyrinths of lance,
While o’er the hurrying hell of war and woe
Floats the Imperial, bloodstained flag of France.

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Confession

Love came to Earth with faith and trust,
And found all nations steeped in lust.
Sweet Pity came in ways sublime,
Her eyes on every side saw crime.

Health, peerless, sprang from Heaven’s breath.
And came to Earth to find – but Death.
While Peace to see our Love and Law
Arrived to witness cruel War.

Then back to Heaven the angels flew,
Their golden pinions draped in dew.
Asking whose fault is this, oh God divine,
And God serenely answered – “It is mine.”

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From Bah!

I see ten thousand men advance,
With musket, cannon, glave and lance;
They fight until the soil is red,
And half have gone to meet the dead.

While in a village-church, not far away,
I hear the austere, bearded preacher say,
“Poor mortals here below,
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

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