Poetry of Kansas

Peace After War.

Rest for the dead. No more, for marches dreary,
    They stretch their stiffened limbs when bugles sound;
No more at night they lie down, wet and weary,
              Upon the sodden ground.
 
No more the gallant charge, amid the screaming
    Of murderous iron ball and bursting shell,
Up steep and slippery slopes___with warm blood streaming___
              "Into the mouth of hell."
 
No more the dreadful search, the battle over,
    While up the placid sky the white moon climbs;
No more the mournful truce, while both sides cover
              Torn breasts and shattered limbs.
 
Not truce to-day, but peace. Soft grass is creeping,
    Year after year, above the broken sod,
Where gallant foemen___foes no more___are sleeping,
              Blossoms the golden rod.
 
Where passed the armies, when the shock of meeting,
    Deep fissures were, and fields all tramped and torn,
Now happy birds, the same old song repeating,
              Flit through the growing corn.
 
Thus Nature speaks to all, with mute appealing,
    Wrapping in tender green each gaping scar.
Shall man alone resist her touch of healing,
              And still remain at war?
 
No, no. If any lurking hate yet lingers
    In any heart, oh fling it far away!
While fragrant flowers are strewed by loving angers
              Above both blue and gray.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 207-208

 
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June 16, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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