THE PÆAN OF PEACE

WITH ever some wrong to be righting,
    With self ever seeking for place,
The world has been striving and fighting
    Since man was evolved out of space.
Bold history into dark regions,
    His torchlight has fearlessly cast;
He shows us tribes warring in legions,
    In jungles of ages long passed.

Religion, forgetting her station,
    Forgetting her birthright from God,
Set nation to warring with nation,
    And scattered dissension abroad.
Dear creeds have made men kill each other.
    Fair faith has bred hate and despair;
And brother has battled with brother
    Because of a difference in prayer.

But earth has grown wiser and kinder,
    For man is evolving a soul;
From wars of an age that was blinder,
    We rise to a peace-girdled goal.
Where once men would murder in treason,
    And slaughter each other in hordes,
They now meet together and reason,
    With thoughts for their weapons, not swords.

The brute in humanity dwindles,
    And lessens as time speeds along,
And the spark of Divinity kindles
    And blazes up brightly and strong.
The seer can behold in the distance
    The race that shall people the world--
Strong men of a godlike existence
    Unarmed, and with war banners furled.

No longer the bloodthirsty savage
    Man's vast spirit strength shall unfold,
And tales of red warfare and ravage
    Shall seem like ghost stories of old.
For the booming of guns and the rattle
    Of carnage and conflict shall cease,
And the bugle call, leading to battle,
    Shall change to a pæan of peace.

                 --Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

The Evening Bulletin [Philadelphia] 30 Dec. 1905: 7.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.


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