Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
 
III. War
Our Orders
Julia Ward Howe (1819–1910)
 
WEAVE no more silks, ye Lyons looms,
  To deck our girls for gay delights!
The crimson flower of battle blooms,
  And solemn marches fill the night.
 
Weave but the flag whose bars to-day        5
  Drooped heavy o’er our early dead,
And homely garments, coarse and gray,
  For orphans that must earn their bread!
 
Keep back your tunes, ye viols sweet,
  That poured delight from other lands!        10
Rouse there the dancer’s restless feet:
  The trumpet leads our warrior bands.
 
And ye that wage the war of words
  With mystic fame and subtle power,
Go, chatter to the idle birds,        15
  Or teach the lesson of the hour!
 
Ye Sibyl Arts, in one stern knot
  Be all your offices combined!
Stand close, while Courage draws the lot,
  The destiny of human kind.        20
 
And if that destiny could fail,
  The sun should darken in the sky,
The eternal bloom of Nature pale,
  And God, and Truth, and Freedom die!
 
 
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