Fifes and Drums/Peace with a Sword

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PEACE WITH A SWORD

Peace! How we love her and the good she brings
On broad, benignant wings!
And we have clung to her—how close and long,
While she has made us strong!
Now we must guard her lest her power cease,
And in the harried world be no more peace.
                 Even with a sword,
                 Help us, O Lord!

For us no patient peace, the weary goal
Of a war-sickened soul;
No peace that battens on misfortune's pain,
Swollen with selfish gain,
Bending slack knees before a calf of gold,
With nerveless fingers impotent to hold
                 The freeman's sword—
                 Not this, O Lord!

Not peace bought for us by the martyred dead
Of countries reeking red;
No peace flung to us from a tyrant's hand,
Sop to a servile land.
Our Peace the State's strong arm holds high and free,
The "placid Peace she seeks in liberty,"
                 Yea, "with a sword."
                 Help us, O Lord!

Bring out the banners that defied a king;
Then tattered colors bring
That made a nation one from sea to sea,
In godly liberty.
Unsheathe the patriot sword in time of need,
America! Forth, forth your armies lead!
                "Peace, with a sword!
                 Help us, O Lord!"

Abbie Furwell Brown.