Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CALL TO THE COLORS, by ROBERT UNDERWOOD JOHNSON



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Rhyming Dictionary Search
THE CALL TO THE COLORS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: On the blood-watered soil of the balkans
Last Line: But call to the colors of peace!


I

ON the blood-watered soil of the Balkans
A Bulgar lies clenched with a Turk,
And the task of the cannon and rifle
Will be finished by fist and by dirk.
And the last word of hate -- ere the rattle
Of death bids their enmity cease --
Does it call to the banners of battle
Or call to the colors of Peace?

II

In the purlieus of sin-befogged cities,
Slow food of neglect and of pest,
How many a mother lies dying,
With to-morrow's pale scourge at her breast!
And the bread-cry that serves for the prattle
Of orphans -- (oh, when shall it cease?) --
Does it call to the banners of battle,
Or call to the colors of Peace?

III

I hear from my window this morning
The shout of a soldiering boy;
And a note in his proud pleasure wounds me
With the grief that is presaged by joy.
I hear not the drum's noisy rattle
For the groan of one hero's release:
Does it call to the banners of battle,
Or call to the colors of Peace?

IV

O ye of the God-given voices,
My poets, of whom I am proud,
Who trumpet the true and the real
When illusions are dazzling the crowd:
Go, turn men from wolves and from cattle,
Till Love be the one Golden Fleece.
Oh, call us no more unto battle,
But call to the colors of Peace!





Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net