Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CHRISTMAS, 1917, by BRENT DOW ALLINSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

CHRISTMAS, 1917, by                    
First Line: Is it a mocking jest that christmas bells
Last Line: Let nations pass so man himself be free.
Subject(s): Christmas; Freedom; Hate; Humanity; Social Protest; War; Nativity, The; Liberty

Is it a mocking jest that Christmas bells
Chime in this tragic hour of strife and pain,
That in the misery of conflicting wills
Breathless, men whisper words of love again?

Is it a jest that Europe's stainless snows
In beauty mask her burning, bleeding scars,
Where man's blaspheming thunder comes and goes?—
Is this unholiest his last of wars?

Is this the freedom that we bought so dear,—
To live among the wolf-pack in a cage,
Spurr'd by a Sycorax to hate and fear—
Ingenious brutes that cower and kill and rage?

Have we no further end, no nobler plan,
No subtler vision and no bolder will?
Is this the creature that we called a man?
Is this the jungle that we live in still?

Be dumb! ye bells, nor wake the frosty air
With joyful clamor while the nations bleed;
Let sorrow's silence speak a people's prayer
Whose legion'd sons lie crucified by greed.

Be dumb, sweet bells: or ring more wild and clear,
Proclaim a sunrise on youth's Calvary!
Ring out the madness with the dying year,
Let nations pass so Man himself be free.

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