The League of Nations has been described as "a body of old men talking so long that they have forgotten what they are talking about." At the same time, it has been noted that the hot-headed national revolutionary movements threatening the world's peace today are promulgated and supported mainly by young men.
The old men speak at the Council, Weary and bowed with years, Wise with the old men's wisdom, Filled with the old men's fears. But the young men beat at the portals, And their eager cries increase For the stress, the storm! O their blood runs warm, But the old men plan for peace. The old men talk in the evening, Nodding their wise grey heads; And they hark thro' the years to a Fury Whose menace an old man dreads. But the young claim shining visions As they mock at the mumbled truth; For their morning light glows falsely bright And dazzles the eyes of youth. Let the young men come to the Council, They shall learn of an ancient shame, Of the Beast that waits where the shining gates Beckon to phantom fame. They shall learn of the cost of glory, Of the price of a hard-won peace, Till their brave young eyes pierce all disguise, And their hot young shoutings cease. They shall learn, God grant, and quickly, Of the ill things seeming good, Of a new sin wrought and an old lie taught In the name of nationhood. Then shall the Beast be branded Foul 'neath its fair disguise, When tottering age shall pass the gage To the earth's strong young grown wise.
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2006-07|