John Davidson

(11 April 1857 – 23 March 1909 / Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, Scotland)

Battle - Poem by John Davidson

The war of words is done;
The red-lipped cannon speak;
The battle has begun.

The web your speeches spun
Tears and blood shall streak;
The war of words is done.

Smoke enshrouds the sun;
Earth staggers at the shriek
Of battle new begun.

Poltroons and braggarts run:
Woe to the poor, the meek!
The war of words is done.

"And hope not now to shun
The doom that dogs the weak,"
Thunders every gun;

"Victory must be won."
When the red-lipped cannon speak,
The war of words is done,
The slaughter has begun.

Comments about Battle by John Davidson

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (1/26/2017 9:14:00 PM)

    It truly happens..... Thanks for sharing..... (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (1/26/2017 1:12:00 PM)

    This is nice poem keeping in view the present scenario. (Report) Reply

  • Loppo Louie (1/26/2017 11:07:00 AM)

    The battles of this
    life are going to another day
    (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (1/26/2017 7:51:00 AM)

    Talk is the best way to solve a problem. But this is what happens when talks break down and war starts. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Muzahidul Reza (1/26/2017 6:38:00 AM)

    The war of words is done;
    The red-lipped cannon speak;
    The battle has begun., wisely written
    (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (1/26/2017 4:16:00 AM)

    Slaughter! ! Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • (1/26/2017 3:54:00 AM)

    tom allport
    a poem that sends a message of what happens when dialogue breaks down. (Report) Reply

  • Lantz Pierre (1/26/2017 3:28:00 AM)

    This is one of my favorite poetic forms. The way the first and third lines must repeat in the subsequent stanzas, the constraint of the ABA rhyme scheme, all make for a very dense, difficult form to wrestle into submission. To keep the lines fresh even as they roll over on themselves over and over, without relent, works very well with the theme of the transition from verbal combat to physical. The on-going struggle, the dance of two competing sides locked in a duel of mutual destruction is well played out. The shift in the last line from battle to the word slaughter is a stroke of mastery bringing the carnage to fore as the words come to a close, perfectly mimicking the context of these verses. I am always impressed to read a villanelle which is so skillfully brought to fruition. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: war, red, hope, sun, dog, running

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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