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. The Next War , Wilfred Owen
  2. 2. World War Ii = Best Of The Rest War Poems , Tom Zart
  3. 3. From A German War Primer , Bertolt Brecht
  4. 4. Sekhmet, The Lion-Headed Goddess Of War , Margaret Atwood
  5. 5. Love And War , Ovid
  6. 6. A War Song To Englishmen , William Blake
  7. 7. Do Not Weep, Maiden, For War Is Kind , Stephen Crane
  8. 8. War Some More , Sandra Osborne
  9. 9. A Prayer In Time Of War , Alfred Noyes
  10. 10. Meditations In Time Of Civil War , William Butler Yeats
  11. 11. Repression Of War Experience , Siegfried Sassoon
  12. 12. War Of The Worlds , john tiong chunghoo
  13. 13. Memorial Day For The War Dead , Yehuda Amichai
  14. 14. There Was Crimson Clash Of War. , Stephen Crane
  15. 15. On Receiving News Of The War , Isaac Rosenberg
  16. 16. War, War, War! , Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
  17. 17. Two Poems From The War , Archibald MacLeish
  18. 18. Spring In War Time , Sara Teasdale
  19. 19. The Next War , Robert Graves
  20. 20. War Profit Litany , Allen Ginsberg
  21. 21. A Meditation In Time Of War , William Butler Yeats
  22. 22. War Is Never Over , Cecil L. Harrison
  23. 23. On Being Asked For A War Poem , William Butler Yeats
  24. 24. War Song , Thomas Moore
  25. 25. Tell Brave Deeds Of War , Stephen Crane
  26. 26. A War Song! , Sylvia Chidi
  27. 27. Song-Books Of The War , Siegfried Sassoon
  28. 28. Sonnet: War Is Inevitable At Times , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
  29. 29. Nefarious War , Li Po
  30. 30. War War War , gajanan mishra
  31. 31. At The War Office, London. , Thomas Hardy
  32. 32. War-Music , Henry Van Dyke
  33. 33. The Watchman (War War War War War War) , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  34. 34. The Holy War , Rudyard Kipling
  35. 35. Memories Of War , Joseph T. Renaldi
  36. 36. At The War Office, London (Affixing The .. , Thomas Hardy
  37. 37. To The Man-Of-War-Bird , Walt Whitman
  38. 38. In California During The Gulf War , Denise Levertov
  39. 39. Sonnet 46: Mine Eye And Heart Are At A M.. , William Shakespeare
  40. 40. Lessons Of The War , Henry Reed
  41. 41. To Lucasta On Going To The War - For The.. , Robert Graves
  42. 42. 0108 Two Poems About War , Michael Shepherd
  43. 43. Vietnam War Memorial Wall , Luke Easter
  44. 44. The War Of The Children , Aldo Kraas
  45. 45. On Being Asked To Write A Poem Against T.. , Hayden Carruth
  46. 46. Sonnet: Kargil War-Song , Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
  47. 47. Bob Dylan Wrote Masters Of War , Uriah Hamilton
  48. 48. Civil War , Stanley Cooper
  49. 49. A War , Sylvia Chidi
  50. 50. War Music [down On Your Knees, Achilles] , Christopher Logue
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