Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO AN ETHICAL PREACHER, by BRENT DOW ALLINSON

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TO AN ETHICAL PREACHER, by            
First Line: Four square against the genial tides of peace
Last Line: Could never be but for your priceless words!
Subject(s): Preaching & Preachers; Veterans Day; War

Four-square against the genial tides of peace
He stands, Cock-Robin—wise in self-esteem,
Pronouncing his implacable decrees,—
Sir Oracle out-oracled—a stream
Of mordant and pontifical abuse
Descending in hot torrents from his tongue
As lava from Vesuvius. "No truce!"
He cries, "between the righteous and the wrong,
No truce but war incessant,—to the hilt—
Between the virtuous and the red-with-guilt!" ...
And under every deep portentous breath:
"We are the right; their cause is Cain's!" he saith.

Behold him on the platform shake his sword,—
Our social darling and consummate child;
Or death-defying at the banquet-board
Sift Truth from Error and with gestures mild
Make hating virtuous for the sovereign State,
Define the duty of all moral men
To praise the war's "morale," and demonstrate
That God is with us in the slaughter-pen!

O, valiant donor of another's tears,—
Thrice-bless'd of our war-gilded patrioteers,
Starvation-cordons and Youth's fear-drawn swords
Could never be but for your priceless words!

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