Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Monster


When we might make with happy heart
This world a paradise,
With bombs we blast brave men apart,
With napalm carbonize.
Where we might till the sunny soil,
And sing for joy of life,
We spend our treasure and our toil
In bloody strife.

The fields of wheat are sheening gold,
The flocks have silver fleece;
The signs are sweetly manifold
Of plenty, praise and peace.
Yet see! The sky is like a cowl
Where grimy toilers bore
The shards of steel that feed the foul
Red maw of War.

Instead of butter give us guns;
Instead of sugur, shells.
Devoted mothers, bear your sons
To glut still hotter hells.
Alas! When will mad mankind wake
To banish evermore,
And damn for God in Heaven's sake
Mass Murder--WAR?

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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