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The Bankrupt Peace-Maker - Poem by Vachel Lindsay

I opened the ink-well and smoke filled the room.
The smoke formed the giant frog-cat of my doom.
His web feet left dreadful slime tracks on the floor.
He had hammer and nails that he laid by the door.
He sprawled on the table, claw-hands in my hair.
He looked through my heart to the mud that was there.
Like a black-mailer hating his victim he spoke:
"When I see all your squirming I laugh till I choke
Singing of peace. Railing at battle.
Soothing a handful with saccharine prattle.
All the millions of earth have voted for fight.
You are voting for talk, with hands lily white."
He leaped to the floor, then grew seven feet high,
Beautiful, terrible, scorn in his eye:
The Devil Eternal, Apollo grown old,
With beard of bright silver and garments of gold.
"What will you do to end war for good?
Will you stand by the book-case, be nailed to the wood?"
I stretched out my arms. He drove the nails deep,
Silently, coolly. The house was asleep,
I hung for three years, forbidden to die.
I seemed but a shadow the servants passed by.
At the end of the time with hot irons he returned.
"The Quitter Sublime" on my bosom he burned.
As he seared me he hissed: "You are wearing away.
The good angels tell me you leave them today.
You want to come down from the nails in the door.
The victor must hang there three hundred years more.
If any prig-saint would outvote all mankind
He must use an immortally resolute mind.
Think what the saints of Benares endure,
Through infinite birthpangs their courage is sure.
Self-tortured, self-ruled, they build their powers high,
Until they are gods, overmaster the sky."
Then he pulled out the nails. He shouted "Come in."
To heal me there stepped in a lady of sin.
Her hand was in mine. We walked in the sun.
She said: "Now forget them, the Saxon and Hun.
You are dreary and aged and silly and weak.
Let us smell the sweet groves. Let the summertime speak."
We walked to the river. We swam there in state.
I was a serpent. She was my mate.
I forgot in the marsh, as I tumbled about,
That trial in my room, where I did not hold out.
Since I was a serpent, my mate seemed to me
As a mermaiden seems to a fisher at sea,
Or a whisky soaked girl to a whisky soaked king.
I woke. She had turned to a ravening thing
On the table — a buzzard with leperous head.
She tore up my rhymes and my drawings. She said:
"I am your own cheap bankrupt soul.
Will you die for the nations, making them whole?
We joy in the swamp and here we are gay.
Will you bring your fine peace to the nations today?"


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Poems About Peace

  1. 51. The Bankrupt Peace-Maker , Vachel Lindsay
  2. 52. World Peace , Mac Araromi
  3. 53. A Peace Of Mind... , Ravi Sathasivam
  4. 54. The Home Of Peace , Charles Harpur
  5. 55. Love, Joy, Peace And Presence , Christian Eliab Ratnam
  6. 56. War And Peace , Nate Snowball
  7. 57. Peace Is A Fiction Of Our Faith , Emily Dickinson
  8. 58. Peace, Peace, Peace , Viola B. Jelinek
  9. 59. Peace, Peace, Peace , gajanan mishra
  10. 60. The Peace Of Dives , Rudyard Kipling
  11. 61. "World Peace&Quot; , Pauline DiBenedetto
  12. 62. Peace , Eleanor Agnes Lee
  13. 63. Jehovah-Shalom. The Lord Send Peace , William Cowper
  14. 64. Peace~~true Peace , Jean Mallette
  15. 65. .nurtured In Peace (Couplets) , Debora Short
  16. 66. Peace , John Hay
  17. 67. The Peace-Pipe , Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  18. 68. Peace And Unity , Noline A.V. Johnson
  19. 69. Inner Peace , David Moe
  20. 70. 963: Peace N Happiness Wish... , Amit Biswas
  21. 71. ' Peace Can Be Found In The Storm' , Becky LaPrarie
  22. 72. Teeth In Peace , Herbert Nehrlich
  23. 73. Not Peace But A Sword , Bob Gotti
  24. 74. Let Us Live In Peace , Frederick Kambemba Yamusangie
  25. 75. Justice And Peace For All , Billie Spratlin
  26. 76. A Peace They'D Find , Lawrence S. Pertillar
  27. 77. Beautiful Birds Of Peace , jim foulk
  28. 78. Peace, Little Girl, Peace. , Mia Ocean
  29. 79. Peace Be With You (Latin-Pax Vobiscum) , Rajaram Ramachandran
  30. 80. The Peace Train , Michael Philips
  31. 81. If Pain For Peace Prepares , Emily Dickinson
  32. 82. Peace Everywhere , Joseph T. Renaldi
  33. 83. At Peace , Tatianna Rei Moonshadow
  34. 84. The World Is At Peace , Charles M Moore
  35. 85. Live In Peace , Charles M Moore
  36. 86. Peace , Bob Blackwell
  37. 87. The Future Peace And Glory Of The Church , William Cowper
  38. 88. (world Peace) , Kyle.J Carruthers
  39. 89. In A World Of Peace , Charles M Moore
  40. 90. A Call For World Peace , Joseph T. Renaldi
  41. 91. No Peace , Ben Gieske
  42. 92. World Peace (Please Read) , kirilee S..
  43. 93. Kisses Of Peace (Couplets) , Debora Short
  44. 94. Peace , Florence M. Jones
  45. 95. Peace, Peace And Peace , Aftab Alam
  46. 96. Peace After A Storm , William Cowper
  47. 97. When There's Peace, And Love Within! , William Clark
  48. 98. On The Prospect Of Peace , Thomas Tickell
  49. 99. Unnatural Peace , Muhammad Abdullah Ali
  50. 100. Peace Of Mine! , Geoff Warden
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