Getting rid of stuff, a book fell open at random, at this:

War: a Lament

Not of its glory! leave that song to others,
Who have no risks to run, no lives at stake,
Who are not wives forlorn, are not mothers,
Let them with warlike songs the echoes wake.
The song I sing is one of grief and tears,
Of blighted homes through all life’s bitter years.

The grievousness of war! – awhile ‘tis hidden
By flashing swords, or lost ‘mid cannon’s roar,
While hate is hot, justice is overridden,
And universal brotherhood’s no more.
But let me bring the ‘afterword’ to thought:
Can glory fill the blank that war has brought?

Oh, how can hate to be overcome by hating?
Or how can blood and slaughter bring us peace?
When shall love’s morning end the night of waiting?
When shall love rule, and wars and bloodshed cease?
Not while ambition, love of power and pride
Master men’s hearts, and God is shut outside.

See how the fires of hatred Hell is heating!
See the grim weapons dealing death abroad!
See the peace-angel shudd’ringly retreating!
See how a nation sinks, bereft of God!
See the mad thirst that only blood can slake!
See and bewail! for human hearts must break!

The grievous loss of war outweighs its glory,
The woe and sorrow long outlive the gain;
The desolation lingers – when its story
Has faded from the busy people’s brain.
Oh, God have mercy, bid our warfare cease,
Teach us to choose Christ’s way of winning peace.
Ruth Tracy
from ‘The Salvationist Reciter’ published circa 1960’s



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