Disarmament





"PUT up the sword!" The voice of Christ once more

Speaks, in the pauses of the cannon's roar,

O'er fields of corn by fiery sickles reaped

And left dry ashes; over trenches heaped

With nameless dead; o'er cities starving slow

Under a rain of fire; through wards of woe

Down which a groaning diapason runs

From tortured brothers, husbands, lovers, sons

Of desolate women in their far-off homes,

Waiting to hear the step that never comes!

O men and brothers! let that voice be heard.

War fails, try peace; put up the useless sword!



Fear not the end. There is a story told

In Eastern tents, when autumn nights grow cold,

And round the fire the Mongol shepherds sit

With grave responses listening unto it

Once, on the errands of his mercy bent,

Buddha, the holy and benevolent,

Met a fell monster, huge and fierce of look,

Whose awful voice the hills and forests shook.

"O son of peace!" the giant cried, "thy fate

Is sealed at last, and love shall yield to hate."

The unarmed Buddha looking, with no trace

Of fear or anger, in the monster's face,

In pity said: "Poor fiend, even thee I love."

Lo! as he spake the sky-tall terror sank

To hand-breadth size; the huge abhorrence shrank

Into the form and fashion of a dove;

And where the thunder of its rage was heard,

Circling above him sweetly sang the bird

"Hate hath no harm for love," so ran the song;

"And peace unweaponed conquers every wrong!"

1871.





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