War Poems - Poems For War - War Song

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War Song - Poem by John Davidson

In anguish we uplift
A new unhallowed song:
The race is to the swift;
The battle to the strong.

Of old it was ordained
That we, in packs like curs,
Some thirty million trained
And licensed murderers,

In crime should live and act,
If cunning folk say sooth
Who flay the naked fact
And carve the heart of truth.

The rulers cry aloud,
"We cannot cancel war,
The end and bloody shroud
Of wrongs the worst abhor,
And order's swaddling band:
Know that relentless strife
Remains by sea and land
The holiest law of life.
From fear in every guise,
From sloth, from lust of pelf,
By war's great sacrifice
The world redeems itself.
War is the source, the theme
Of art; the goal, the bent
And brilliant academe
Of noble sentiment;
The augury, the dawn
Of golden times of grace;
The true catholicon,
And blood-bath of the race."

We thirty million trained
And licensed murderers,
Like zanies rigged, and chained
By drill and scourge and curse
In shackles of despair
We know not how to break --
What do we victims care
For art, what interest take
In things unseen, unheard?
Some diplomat no doubt
Will launch a heedless word,
And lurking war leap out!

We spell-bound armies then,
Huge brutes in dumb distress,
Machines compact of men
Who once had consciences,
Must trample harvests down --
Vineyard, and corn and oil;
Dismantle town by town,
Hamlet and homestead spoil
On each appointed path,
Till lust of havoc light
A blood-red blaze of wrath
In every frenzied sight.

In many a mountain pass,
Or meadow green and fresh,
Mass shall encounter mass
Of shuddering human flesh;
Opposing ordnance roar
Across the swaths of slain,
And blood in torrents pour
In vain -- always in vain,
For war breeds war again!

The shameful dream is past,
The subtle maze untrod:
We recognise at last
That war is not of God.


Comments about War Song by John Davidson

  • Rookie Jane Pinkerton (4/13/2014 11:41:00 PM)

    A poem that displays the horrors of war & comes to the conclusion that it is futile & creates an even more broken society than the the one that tried to repair wrongs with sending man to battle. The last line states it is not God's wish... (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Rookie Ron Flowers (5/12/2008 9:58:00 PM)

    You've captured the horrers of war. Thanks for sharing it. I hope you will read my poem 'War No More.' (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Poems About War

  1. 1. A War Song To Englishmen , William Blake
  2. 2. Love And War , Ovid
  3. 3. Sekhmet, The Lion-Headed Goddess Of War , Margaret Atwood
  4. 4. The Next War , Wilfred Owen
  5. 5. A Prayer In Time Of War , Alfred Noyes
  6. 6. War Is Never Over , Cecil L. Harrison
  7. 7. From A German War Primer , Bertolt Brecht
  8. 8. In California During The Gulf War , Denise Levertov
  9. 9. Lessons Of The War , Henry Reed
  10. 10. War Some More , Sandra Osborne
  11. 11. Do Not Weep, Maiden, For War Is Kind , Stephen Crane
  12. 12. Two Poems From The War , Archibald MacLeish
  13. 13. A Meditation In Time Of War , William Butler Yeats
  14. 14. On Receiving News Of The War , Isaac Rosenberg
  15. 15. Meditations In Time Of Civil War , William Butler Yeats
  16. 16. Nefarious War , Li Po
  17. 17. Repression Of War Experience , Siegfried Sassoon
  18. 18. On Being Asked For A War Poem , William Butler Yeats
  19. 19. War Music [down On Your Knees, Achilles] , Christopher Logue
  20. 20. Spring In War Time , Sara Teasdale
  21. 21. Memorial Day For The War Dead , Yehuda Amichai
  22. 22. The Next War , Robert Graves
  23. 23. War Of The Worlds , john tiong chunghoo
  24. 24. Woman And War , Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  25. 25. Sonnet 46: Mine Eye And Heart Are At A M.. , William Shakespeare
  26. 26. War Profit Litany , Allen Ginsberg
  27. 27. War-Music , Henry Van Dyke
  28. 28. Dusk In War Time , Sara Teasdale
  29. 29. At The War Office, London (Affixing The .. , Thomas Hardy
  30. 30. To Lucasta On Going To The War - For The.. , Robert Graves
  31. 31. War...War...War... , joe yourmom
  32. 32. Song-Books Of The War , Siegfried Sassoon
  33. 33. War Song , John Davidson
  34. 34. At The War Office, London. , Thomas Hardy
  35. 35. The War Films , Sir Henry Newbolt
  36. 36. A Date With An Anti-War Protester , Chuck Audette
  37. 37. The Holy War , Rudyard Kipling
  38. 38. There Was Crimson Clash Of War. , Stephen Crane
  39. 39. On A Line From Valéry (The Gulf War) , Carolyn Kizer
  40. 40. War Song , Thomas Moore
  41. 41. - Love Is War! , Ronberge (anno primo)
  42. 42. Man's Civil War , Robert Southwell
  43. 43. Tell Brave Deeds Of War , Stephen Crane
  44. 44. War , Charles Wagner
  45. 45. Fortune Of War , Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  46. 46. They Gave Us A War That Nobody Wanted , Patrick O'Donnell
  47. 47. War And Peace , Franklin Pierce Adams
  48. 48. A Radical War Song , Thomas Babbington Macaulay
  49. 49. Declaration Of War , Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  50. 50. The Ashantee War , William Topaz McGonagall
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