Anti-war poetry: Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Image

‘When Luxury and Lust’s exhausted stores
No more can rouse the appetites of kings;
When the low flattery of their reptile lords
Falls flat and heavy on the accustomed ear;
When eunuchs sing, and fools buffoonery make,
And dancers writhe their harlot-limbs in vain;
Then War and all its dread vicissitudes
Pleasingly agitate their stagnant hearts;
Its hopes, its fears, its victories, its defeats,
Insipid Royalty’s keen condiment!
Therefore, uninjured and unprofited
(Victims at once and executioners),
The congregated Husbandmen lay waste
The vineyard and the harvest. As along
The Bothnic coast, or southward of the Line,
Though hushed the winds and cloudless the high noon,
Yet if Leviathan, weary of ease,
In sports unwieldy toss his island-bulk,
Ocean behind him billows, and before
A storm of waves breaks foamy on the strand.
And hence, for times and seasons bloody and dark,
Short Peace shall skin the wounds of causeless War,
And War, his strainéd sinews knit anew,
Still violate the unfinished works of Peace.’

====

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
From The Destiny of Nations (1817)

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Coleridge: All our dainty terms for fratricide

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/samuel-taylor-coleridge-war-and-all-its-dread-vicissitudes-pleasingly-agitate-their-stagnant-hearts/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s