Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE PREACHERS ON ARMISTICE DAY, by VINCENT GODFREY BURNS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TO THE PREACHERS ON ARMISTICE DAY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O ye who preach about god's love to man
Last Line: This armistice day?
Subject(s): God; Preaching & Preachers; Religion; Veterans Day; War; Theology

O ye who preach about God's love to man,
Who speak the gospel of the crucified Friend,
The One who died so selflessly upon the Tree
That men might know the cause of sin upon the Earth:
O ye who preach about the one great Lover,
Listen to me:
What will you say on Armistice Day:
The Day a billion souls sighed gratitude to God?

Will you have sense to see the Truth?
Will you have Love to speak for man?
Will you be brave to say to folk:
"This day is history's most sacred day,
The day when men stopped slaughtering their brothers:
Today the ghosts of twenty million unknown boys
Command us to declare why they,
In Life's glad youth-time,
Had to die!

And this is why:
Because of the shameful pride of good rulers,
Because of the racial hate of Christian nations,
Because of the grasping gluttony of powerful rich-men,
Because of the ignorant blindness of intelligent people,
Because of the colossal folly of skillful diplomats:
That is why a generation's best are dead!"

O shepherd of the flock what will you say?
Will you too fear to speak the Truth,
Which you do know within your heart of hearts?
Will you mouth ancient platitudes
Or will you speak brave, agonizing Truth?
Will you pray this:
"God of our Humanity,
Forgive us these our sins,
Forgive our hate and greed and lust,
And give us sight and strength and will
To struggle free from bonds to loathesome Mammon,
To turn again to worship only Thee, the one true God,
In spirit humble and in heart sincere!
Give us the vision of a Brotherhood larger than America!
Give us the vision of a Justice wider than our own needs!
Give us the vision of a Truth deeper than our old illusions!
And hold us in the bond of peace

So let us truly judge ourselves,
That we may see our own shortcomings,
That we may recognize our own sins and blunders
Which in the past have made God's Earth
A shambles and an holocaust!
Let us now forget our class or race,
Let us now forsake the way of death,
And with new meekness, new kindness and new courage
Now resolutely begin to build
The new world of Life that is to be!

O ye who preach that God is Love,
What will you do
This Armistice Day?

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