Classic and Contemporary Poetry
WHERE FLOWN, O PEACE?, by CHARLES V. H. ROBERTS
First Line: O peace, that lies within beloved arms
Last Line: Yon smile of iron lips nightmared from out the mouth of hell.
Subject(s): Dreams; Peace; Nightmares
O Peace, that lies within Beloved Arms
Of Fate, part of whose Will we are,
In a world of Chaos stumbling, yearning for
Thy throbs of Joy and Light. 'Tis vain this badge
Of blood, this vengeance, storm, and plague that bind
And strike thy sons to-day, red spurting out
Of orphaned mouths, while fiends and furies rush
To make a Hell-Home in the Dreams of God.
Where flown, O Peace, 'mid voiceless echoes crying
"Dead and dead!"these denizens and soulless shapes
And torpors, tombstones gaunt and white
That empty Future of all heritages?
Where art thou 'mid this burn and waste 'neath heavens
Deaf to anguished cries lock-lipped and riding
To o'er conquer Time? Where art thou on
That boundless sea, that Life's great vessels sailed
Before the winds of calm Intelligence?
Where lost thine anchor in this seething surf
Of warring men, that beat a phantomed air
Of lacerated souls and mangled hearts?
Where flown thy flowers, dells, and rippling laughter,
Thy warbling birds and dancing children's feet?
Where are thy clustering vines, thy hamlets astir
With valiant knights, half-dreaming over Nature's
Fields, thy lakes that dazzled beneath the sky
Along whose shores, in fragrance full of damask-rose,
White-winged swans made cradle of the waves?
Surely, Great Peace, thou hast not left the earth,
Her domes and palaces so bathed in red,
Which once thy touch of love and genius lent!
Return Environment with clarion note
And hurl these Shades from off thy chiseled brow
That rive thy body and thy soul apart.
Cities, rivers, mountains veined in blood!
Battlefields and prisons reeked in gore!
Grinning skeletons, dead in Ambition's shriek!
Morbid Mirror! feasting in curses and with
Burning browhide thy scarlet furrowed face!
Where flown, O Peace?
Sweet Halo, come and break
Yon smile of iron lips nightmared from out the mouth of Hell.
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