War Or Peace?

In the din of martial glory,
We are ready to engage,
To enact another story
That shall burn in history's page.
Our iron ships are ready,
Floating grimly on the main;
Our soldiers stern and steady,
For their blood is up again.
Woe to the foe opposing,
Of the lions fangs beware!
They have roused him when reposing
Unharming in his lair.
Yet war may be averted
And we pray for lovely peace;
May the cannons be deserted
And the threat of battle cease.
May joy rain in our valleys,
In our cottages and halls -
In our crowded streets and valleys,
And sing within our walls.
And health may still be ours,
As sure as nature lives!
Health! bright as summer showers,
Hall’s “Lung Restorer” gives.
Cough, cold, and all diseases
That afflict the lungs and chest,
Hall’s “Lung Restorer” eases,
And by it all are blest.

Title:War Or Peace?


Publication:Bolton Guardian

Published in:

Date:January 4th 1862

Keywords:politics, war


We have found several examples of advertisement poems relating to the Cotton Famine but this is perhaps one of the most bizarre. The reader has no idea they are reading a sponsored work until the final two stanzas but before that the piece gives every impression of being principally concerned with the geopolitical situation. The transition between these seemingly unrelated subjects is extraordinarily clunky, but perhaps it is this awkwardness which is the memorable ‘catch’ in the poem. – SR