Works in the Herald 1935

Undeterred by the tragic lessons of the past, the nations of Europe and Asia frantically prepare for war while statesmen everywhere declare fervently their desire for world peace and security.

Where is the peace we used to know?
   That peace of mind and peace of soul
We found but thirty years ago,
   When men strove onward toward a goal;
When nation unto nation gave 
   The tolerance sane beings give,
Nor deemed all ended at the grave;
   Yet found it good to live.

After grim centuries of strife
   Bewildered man grew sane at last --
Or so it seemed -- and sought new life
   Unswayed by his barbaric past.
The age-old creeds stil held for men
   A wisdom that withstood all test.
Life was a bright adventure then,
   And death a glorious quest.

Then arrogance, grown out of ease,
   Sent bugles wailing round the world,
And all man's hard-won liberties
   Into the holocaust were hurled
A grim self-immolation, vast
   Beyond all earth had known before.
But they said; "This brings peace at last --
   This war that ends all war."

So came the peace that found no peace
   In harrying a vanquished foe.
Shorn of old faiths, men's cries increase;
   "Where is the peace we used to know?"
Scorning old truths, each nation flocks
   To tattered banners, mocked once more,
Duped by that tragic paradox
   That peace may come thro' war.

Herald, 22 May 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003