She sang her hymn before her eyes had seen
The glory of the coming of the Lord,
The blood and death of mortar, gun, and sword,
And brother killing brother long had been.
Then callow-sang of peace, with freedom won,
To eager faces, white and brown… and black,
Whose liberty had just been gifted back
Still soaked with blood by mortar, sword, and gun.
Imagine men had heard that hymn four score
And seven years of blood and death before,
Heard next her callow, pacifist’s decree,
Laid down their arms to study war no more:
With shackled peace from sea to shining sea,
What hue would now such eager faces be?
This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all: