John Boyle O'Reilly
A Message of Peace
THERE once was a pirate, greedy and bold,
Who ravaged for gain, and saved the spoils;
Till his coffers were bursting with bloodstained gold,
And millions of captives bore his toils.
Then fear took hold of him, and he cried:
'I have gathered enough; now, war should cease!'
And he sent out messengers far and wide
(To the strong ones only) to ask for peace.
'We are Christian brethren!' thus he spake;
'Let us seal a contract—never to fight!
Except against rebels who dare to break
The bonds we have made by the victor's right.'
And the strong ones listen; and some applaud
The kindly offer and righteous word;
With never a dream of deceit or fraud,
They would spike the cannon and break the sword.
But others, their elders, listen, and smile
At the sudden convert's unctuous style.
They watch for the peacemaker's change of way;
But his war-forges roar by night and by day.
Even now, while his godly messengers speak,
His guns are aflame on his enemies weak.
He has stolen the blade from the hand of his foe,
And he strikes the unarmed a merciless blow.
To the ends of the earth his oppression runs;
The rebels are blown from the mouths of his guns;
His war-tax devours his subject's food;
He taxes their evil and taxes their good;
He taxes their salt till he rots their blood.
He leaps on the friendless as on a prey,
And slinks, tail-down, from the strong one's way.
The pharisee' s can’t goes up for peace;
But the cries of his victims never cease;
The stifled voices of brave men rise
From a thousand cells; while his rascal spies
Are spending their blood-money fast and free.
And this is the Christian to oversee
A world of evil! a saint to preach!
A holy well-doer come to teach!
A prophet to tell us war should cease!
A pious example of Christian peace!
John Boyle O'Reilly's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Message of Peace by John Boyle O'Reilly )
Poem of the Day
- I Remember, I Remember, Thomas Hood
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Warning, Jenny Joseph
- On the Ning Nang Nong, Spike Milligan
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- A Thought, Robert Louis Stevenson
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- First Day at School, Roger McGough
- If, Rudyard Kipling
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(16 April 1918 – 27 February 2002)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
Edna St. Vincent Millay
(22 February 1892 – 19 October 1950)
(1886 - 1967)
(November 9 - 1937)