By Charles Harpur
He who in battle slays his fellow man,
Without first having duly weighed the cause
Of quarrel, and derived the approval thence
Of his own heart, as to the part therein
By him to be sustained,—he is, no doubt
Strictly a murderer! And though this stern truth
Should sound distastefully to many—those
Especially who trade in national madness
And brutal glory; magnifying so
A rag inscribed with some stale jugglery
Heraldic, far more than they honor God!
Yet what then? Is not this great world grown grey
In woe if not in weal? And surely now
‘Tis time the voice of Truth, in all things, should
Be lifted clearly, and sent ringing forth
Even like the startling spirit of a trumpet!
For herein had her simple test been taught
From the beginning, what lagoons of blood
Had so been spared Mankind! What desolations,
What infamies, prevented!