Peace for the nations, God,
For the harassed earth complains
That brothers are staining the fertile sod
With the blood of each other’s veins;
And sounds of rage and regret are rife;
And men grow mad ‘mid the waste of life;
Labour’s broad brow grows furrowed and pale,
And homes are disturbed by the voice of wail,
And fast coming griefs, bewildering fears,
From countless hearts wring curses and tears,
While the spirit of Progress back recoils
At the far borne bruit of unhallowed broils,
And Freedom shudders with strange dismay,
As she veils her face from the light of day!
Restore to us Peace, a transcendant dower,
If such be the will of Thy holy power!
Peace for the household, Lord,
Let each unto each so cling
That all may appear in a bright accord,
Like pearls on a golden string.
Let love be the sweet and presiding grace
To charm into beauty the dwelling place;
To soften the language of firm command,
And lighten the cares of the household band;
To mould the heart with a delicate stress,
And wake its emotions of tenderness;
To train the mind to exalted things,
And lift the soul upon skyward wings;
Peace for the hearth, and the purest air,
That thought may burst into constant prayer—
Into silent worship, serenely rife
‘Mid the duties and pains of mortal life—
That earth may grow on her changeful sod,
Immortal blooms for thy garden, God?



Publication:Preston Guardian

Published in:Preston


Keywords:industry, peace, war


This poem by the popular writer Jonathon Critchley Prince does not directly identify the conflict it calls for the end of, but the mention of brothers shedding each other’s blood leaves the reader in little doubt that the piece refers to the American Civil War. This is also corroborated by the oblique reference to the Cotton Famine in the line where ‘[l]abours’s broad brow grows furrowed and pale’. The poem depicts war as holding back ‘Progress’ and ‘Freedom’, though it might be argued that the latter was a justified reason for the war in relation to African-American slaves. This pacifist side-stepping of the issue of slavery was quite common in poetry, even by writers who sympathised with abolition. – SR