Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
November 7
The Gospel of Peace
By James Jeffrey Roche (1847–1908)
          The captain and several of the crew of the ship Virginius, captured by the Spaniards in Cuban waters were executed at Santiago de Cuba, Nov. 7, 1873. The affair almost caused a rupture between Spain and the United States, and was finally settled by the payment of an indemnity by the Spanish government.

AY, let it rest! And give us peace.
  ’Tis but another blot
On Freedom’s fustian flag, and gold
  Will gild the unclean spot.
Yes, fold the hands, and bear the wrong        5
  As Christians over-meek,
And wipe away the bloody stain,
  And turn the other cheek.
What boots the loss of freemen’s blood
  Beside imperilled gold?        10
Is honor more than merchandise?
  And cannot pride be sold?
Let Cuba groan, let patriots fall;
  Americans may die;
Our flag may droop in foul disgrace,        15
  But “Peace!” be still our cry.
Ay, give us peace! And give us truth
  To nature, to resign
The counterfeit which Freedom wears
  Upon her banner fine.        20
Remove the Stars,—the light our shame;
  But keep the Stripes of gore
And craven White, to tell the wrong
  A prudent nation bore.

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