O Prince of Peace! how long, how long
Shall sin assert its pow’r,
And war its thousands brave and strong
In distant lands devour?
For men at strife, O Lord, we pray,
Oh bid their contests cease;
Bid angry passions pass away,
And yield to thoughts of peace.
No foreign hosts invade their soil,
No savage hordes they see!
Ready their sacred homes to spoil,
And crush their liberty.
But ’tis a fratricidal strife
Which angry brethren wage;
A brother takes a brother’s life,
And sons with sires engage.
O Prince of Peace, but speak the word,
And man on slaughter bent
Will quickly sheath the blood-stain’d sword,
A humble penitent.
Why should the labour of the loom
So long suspended be?
And why should want o’erspread with gloom
The seats of industry?
Prosperity, O Lord, restore
To thousands in distress;
With peace and plenty evermore
All nations deign to bless.
And in their midst, O Lord, be thou
All potentates above;
The Lord to whom all knees shall bow,
The God of peace and love.
September 1862. J.R


Author:J. R.

Publication:The Blackburn Standard

Published in:Blackburn

Date:Wednesday, October 15, 1862

Keywords:america, poverty, religion, war, work


This poem, with a simple ABAB rhyme scheme, takes the form of a prayer or hymn for an end to the American Civil War. The bulk of the poem expresses the horrors of warfare, particularly that within a nation, though it also touches on the impact on Lancashire’s cotton industry. The poem does not espouse the cause of either side in the American conflict, nor does it touch on the issue of slavery. – RM