George William Russell | |
IT was the fairy of the place,
Moving within a little light,
Who touched with dim and shadowy grace
The conflict at its fever height.
It seemed to whisper “Quietness,”
Then quietly itself was gone:
Yet echoes of its mute caress
Were with me as the years went on.
It was the warrior within
Who called “Awake, prepare for fight:
Yet lose not memory in the din:
Make of thy gentleness thy might:
“Make of thy silence words to shake
The long-enthroned kings of earth:
Make of thy will the force to break
Their towers of wantonness and mirth.
It was the wise all-seeing soul
Who counselled neither war nor peace:
“Only be thou thyself that goal
In which the wars of time shall cease.
Friedrich von Schiller | |
Whither was it that my spirit wended
When from thee my fleeting shadow moved?
Is not now each earthly conflict ended?
Say,--have I not lived,--have I not loved?
Art thou for the nightingales inquiring
Who entranced thee in the early year
With their melody so joy-inspiring?
Only whilst they loved they lingered here.
Is the lost one lost to me forever?
Trust me, with him joyfully I stray
There, where naught united souls can sever,
And where every tear is wiped away.
And thou, too, wilt find us in yon heaven,
When thy love with our love can compare;
There my father dwells, his sins forgiven,--
Murder foul can never reach him there.
And he feels that him no vision cheated
When he gazed upon the stars on high;
For as each one metes, to him 'tis meted;
Who believes it, hath the Holy nigh.
Faith is kept in those blest regions yonder
With the feelings true that ne'er decay.
Venture thou to dream, then, and to wander
Noblest thoughts oft lie in childlike play.
Walt Whitman | |
RACE of veterans! Race of victors!
Race of the soil, ready for conflict! race of the conquering march!
(No more credulity’s race, abiding-temper’d race;)
Race henceforth owning no law but the law of itself;
Race of passion and the storm.
Walt Whitman | |
AH poverties, wincings, and sulky retreats!
Ah you foes that in conflict have overcome me!
(For what is my life, or any man’s life, but a conflict with foes—the old, the
You degradations—you tussle with passions and appetites;
You smarts from dissatisfied friendships, (ah wounds, the sharpest of all;)
You toil of painful and choked articulations—you meannesses;
You shallow tongue-talks at tables, (my tongue the shallowest of any;)
You broken resolutions, you racking angers, you smother’d ennuis;
Ah, think not you finally triumph—My real self has yet to come forth;
It shall yet march forth o’ermastering, till all lies beneath me;
It shall yet stand up the soldier of unquestion’d victory.
Sarojini Naidu | |
CHILDREN, ye have not lived, to you it seems
Life is a lovely stalactite of dreams,
Or carnival of careless joys that leap
About your hearts like billows on the deep
In flames of amber and of amethyst.
Children, ye have not lived, ye but exist
Till some resistless hour shall rise and move
Your hearts to wake and hunger after love,
And thirst with passionate longing for the things
That burn your brows with blood-red sufferings.
Till ye have battled with great grief and fears,
And borne the conflict of dream-shattering years,
Wounded with fierce desire and worn with strife,
Children, ye have not lived: for this is life.
Liam Wilkinson | |
One child takes cover beneath our bay window, he waits on grazed knees for his breath to come back and checks the ammo in his Fairy Liquid bottle.
I suddenly realise I’m a war poet.
The schools are polling stations, the streets scorched by sun and wet with water bombs.
I stick out my head in an effort to experience the conflict of odds against evens.
An army springs from number seven
and I’m hit - an orange balloon at my shoulder - the crouching soldier comes to my aid with a towel and, with failing breath, I tell him where I keep the hose.
Robert William Service | |
The night before I left Milan
A mob jammed the Cathedral Square,
And high the tide of passion ran
As politics befouled the air.
A seething hell of human strife,
I shrank back from its evil core,
Seeing in this convulsive life
The living seeds of war.
To Barcelona then I came,
And oh the heavenly release!
From conflict and consuming flame
I knew the preciousness of peace.
Such veneration for the law!
How decorous was every one!
And then (significant) I saw
Each copper packed a tommy gun.
Well, maybe it is best that way.
Peace can mean more than liberty:
These people, state-directed, may
Be happier than those more free.
When politics wield evil grip,
And warring factions rise and fall,
May be the answer, after all.
Robert William Service | |
My only medals are the scars
I've won in weary, peacetime wars,
A-fighting for my little brood,
To win them shelter, shoon and food;
But most of all to give them faith
In God's good mercy unto death.
My sons have medals gleaming bright,
Proud trophies won in foreign fight;
But though their crosses bravely shine,
My boys can show no wounds like mine -
Grim gashes dolorously healed,
And inner ailings unrevealed.
Life-lasting has my battle been,
My enemy a fierce machine;
And I am marked by many a blow
In conflict with a tireless foe,
Till warped and bent beneath the beat
Of life's unruth I own defeat.
Yet strip me bare and you will see
A worthy warrior I be;
Although no uniform I've worn,
By wounds of labour I am torn;
Leave the their ribbands and their stars .
Behold! I proudly prize my scars.
Emily Dickinson | |
A wild Blue sky abreast of Winds
That threatened it -- did run
And crouched behind his Yellow Door
Was the defiant sun --
Some conflict with those upper friends
So genial in the main
That we deplore peculiarly
Their arrogant campaign --
William Cowper | |
The new-born child of gospel grace,
Like some fair tree when summer's nigh,
Beneath Emmanuel's shining face
Lifts up his blooming branch on high.
No fears he feels, he sees no foes,
No conflict yet his faith employs,
Nor has he learnt to whom he owes
The strength and peace his soul enjoys.
But sin soon darts its cruel sting,
And comforts sinking day by day,
What seem'd his own, a self-fed spring,
Proves but a brook that glides away.
When Gideon arm'd his numerous host,
The Lord soon made his numbers less;
And said, "Lest Israel vainly boast,
My arm procured me this success!"
Thus will He bring our spirits down,
And draw our ebbing comforts low,
That saved by grace, but not our own,
We may not claim the praise we owe.