Peace should not come

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Peace should not come along this foul, earth way.
Peace should not come, until we cleanse the path.
God waited for us; now in awful wrath
He pours the blood of men out day by day
To purify the highroad for her feet.
Why, what would Peace do, in a world where hearts
Are filled with thoughts like poison-pointed darts?
It were not meet, surely it were not meet
For Peace to come, and with her white robes hide
These industries of death - these guns and swords, -
These uniformed, hate-filled, destructive hordes, -
These hideous things, that are each nation’s pride.
So long as men believe in armèd might
Let arms be brandished. Let not Peace be sought
Until the race-heart empties out all thought
Of blows and blood, as arguments for Right.
The world has never had enough of war,
Else war were not. Now let the monster stand,
Until he slays himself with his own hand;
Though no man knows what he is fighting for.
Then in the place where wicked cannons stood
Let Peace erect her shrine of Brotherhood.

 
from Poems of Optimism by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1919)

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