Poems of the Great War/To the Troubler of the World

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To the Troubler of the World
by William Watson


TO THE TROUBLER OF THE WORLD


AT last we know you, War-lord. You, that flung
   The gauntlet down, fling down the mask
          you wore,
   Publish your heart, and let its pent hate pour,
You that had God for ever on your tongue.
We are old in war, and if in guile we are young,
   Young also is the spirit that evermore
   Burns in our bosom ev'n as heretofore,
Nor are these thews unbraced, these nerves unstrung.
We do not with God's name make wanton play;
   We are not on such easy terms with Heaven;
But in Earth's hearing we can verily say,
   "Our hands are pure; for peace, for peace we
      have striven";
   And not by Earth shall he be soon forgiven
Who lit the fire accurst that flames to-day.