Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON READING OF ATROCITIES IN WAR, by ROBERT UNDERWOOD JOHNSON



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ON READING OF ATROCITIES IN WAR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Mild is the air of april
Last Line: In one eternal shame.
Subject(s): War


MILD is the air of April,
Gentle the sky above,
And the budding and the mating
Call for a song of love;
But the season on my singing
Has lost its olden spell
Because of a shame and sorrow
Men close their eyes to tell.

I see but the tears of women
In the rain of the springtime flood;
I cannot brook the flowers --
They only smell of blood.
Sad is the playground frolic --
Its joy and laughter melt
In the moan of children sobbing
From jungle and from veldt.

O ye in the halls of council,
You may conquer the distant foe,
But still before a higher court
Your needless wars must go.
Too much you ask of silence;
Too fierce the iron heel.
Because one statesman blundered
Must every heart be steel?

O Britain! O Columbia!
Too much of sodden strife.
Back to the banished gospel --
The sacredness of life!
Else shall our ties of language
And law and race and fame
Be naught to the bond that binds us
In one eternal shame.





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