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A Plea To Peace by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1918)

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When mighty issues loom before us, all
The petty great men of the day seem small,
Like pigmies standing in a blaze of light
Before some grim majestic mountain-height.
War, with its bloody and impartial hand,
Reveals the hidden weakness of a land,
Uncrowns the heroes trusting Peace has made
Of men whose honor is a thing of trade,
And turns the searchlight full on many a place
Where proud conventions long have masked disgrace.
O lovely Peace! as thou art fair be wise.
Demand great men, and great men shall arise
To do thy bidding. Even as warriors come,
Swift at the call of bugle and of drum,
So at the voice of Peace, imperative
As bugle’s call, shall heroes spring to live
For country and for thee. In every land,
In every age, men are what times demand.

Demand the best, O Peace, and teach thy sons
They need not rush in front of death-charged guns
With murder in their hearts to prove their worth.

The grandest heroes who have graced the earth
Were love-filled souls who did not seek the fray,
But chose the safe, hard, high, and lonely way
Of selfless labor for a suffering world.
Beneath our glorious flag again unfurled
In victory such heroes wait to be
Called into bloodless action, Peace, by thee.
Be thou insistent in thy stern demand,
And wise, great men shall rise up in the land.


  1. Virgil's Avatar
    Hi Farnoosh. Nice to see you again. What a nice picture that is of you.
  2. Chrislyne's Avatar
    How true I found this poem to be
    That those called to duty
    Should respond with bloodless action
    That men of all age, race and sex
    Will interact with no suspicion
    Peace, peace, peace we all call
    Even cry, weep and wail for
    But it cannot hear nor answer us
    Peace by nature hears only
    The voice of justice even when still
    It is only peace at home called by justice
    That will make the peace we export
    To other land pure and worth awhile
    As those duty demands
    Respond with bloodless action
    Updated 11-30-2014 at 09:08 PM by Chrislyne