Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice
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Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
 
The Illusion of War

By Richard Le Gallienne

(American poet, born in England, 1866–1947)
 
WAR I abhor, and yet how sweet
The sound along the marching street
Of drum and fife, and I forget
Wet eyes of widows, and forget
Broken old mothers, and the whole        5
Dark butchery without a soul.
 
Without a soul, save this bright drink
Of heady music, sweet as hell;
And even my peace-abiding feet
Go marching with the marching street—        10
For yonder, yonder goes the fife,
And what care I for human life!
 
The tears fill my astonished eyes,
  And my full heart is like to break;
And yet ’tis all embannered lies,        15
  A dream those little drummers make.
 
O, it is wickedness to clothe
  Yon hideous grinning thing that stalks,
Hidden in music, like a queen,
  That in a garden of glory walks,        20
Till good men love the thing they loathe.
 
Art, thou hast many infamies,
  But not an infamy like this—
Oh, snap the fife, and still the drum,
  And show the monster as she is!        25
 
 
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