Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Why the War?
By John Gould Fletcher
From “Modern Lamentations”

THEY went to a field, and there lay two swords and two ploughshares;
And the first man said, “Plow, brother.”
But the second man frowned, and growled, tossing his head,
“We must kill each other.”
“The fruits of earth are beautiful—flowers and fruits,        5
From the warm breast of earth, our mother.”
“Flower and fruit are for fools who want them, and beauty to boot!
We must kill each other.”
“Then let us strive, if you will, but only in peace;
In life let us conquer each other.”        10
“Death settles the contest more quickly; one cut will release:
We must kill each other.”
“If death settles all, why then either fight or strive?
Let us sit down on the grass and weep for each other.”
“Because only so can the farce be played to the last:        15
Draw, brother.”

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