War Poems - Poems For War

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A War Song To Englishmen - Poem by William Blake

Prepare, prepare the iron helm of war,
Bring forth the lots, cast in the spacious orb;
Th' Angel of Fate turns them with mighty hands,
And casts them out upon the darken'd earth!
Prepare, prepare!

Prepare your hearts for Death's cold hand! prepare
Your souls for flight, your bodies for the earth;
Prepare your arms for glorious victory;
Prepare your eyes to meet a holy God!
Prepare, prepare!

Whose fatal scroll is that? Methinks 'tis mine!
Why sinks my heart, why faltereth my tongue?
Had I three lives, I'd die in such a cause,
And rise, with ghosts, over the well-fought field.
Prepare, prepare!

The arrows of Almighty God are drawn!
Angels of Death stand in the louring heavens!
Thousands of souls must seek the realms of light,
And walk together on the clouds of heaven!
Prepare, prepare!

Soldiers, prepare! Our cause is Heaven's cause;
Soldiers, prepare! Be worthy of our cause:
Prepare to meet our fathers in the sky:
Prepare, O troops, that are to fall to-day!
Prepare, prepare!

Alfred shall smile, and make his harp rejoice;
The Norman William, and the learnèd Clerk,
And Lion Heart, and black-brow'd Edward, with
His loyal queen, shall rise, and welcome us!
Prepare, prepare!

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    my name is jeff and i have a canion Reply

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  • Britte Ninad 3/4/2020 3:16:00 AM

    not the war place
    but give me the peace

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Read all 80 comments »
War Poems
  1. 1. A War Song To Englishmen
    William Blake
  2. 2. The Next War
    Wilfred Owen
  3. 3. A Prayer In Time Of War
    Alfred Noyes
  4. 4. Love And War
  5. 5. Sekhmet, The Lion-Headed Goddess Of War
    Margaret Atwood
  6. 6. War Is Never Over
    Cecil L. Harrison
  7. 7. In California During The Gulf War
    Denise Levertov
  8. 8. From A German War Primer
    Bertolt Brecht
  9. 9. Meditations In Time Of Civil War
    William Butler Yeats
  10. 10. Lessons Of The War
    Henry Reed
  11. 11. Do Not Weep, Maiden, For War Is Kind
    Stephen Crane
  12. 12. A Meditation In Time Of War
    William Butler Yeats
  13. 13. War Some More
    Sandra Osborne
  14. 14. Nefarious War
    Li Po
  15. 15. Spring In War Time
    Sara Teasdale
  16. 16. Woman And War
    Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  17. 17. They Gave Us A War That Nobody Wanted
    Patrick O'Donnell
  18. 18. On Receiving News Of The War
    Isaac Rosenberg
  19. 19. Two Poems From The War
    Archibald MacLeish
  20. 20. Repression Of War Experience
    Siegfried Sassoon
  21. 21. Sonnet 46: Mine Eye And Heart Are At A M..
    William Shakespeare
  22. 22. On Being Asked For A War Poem
    William Butler Yeats
  23. 23. War Of The Worlds
    john tiong chunghoo
  24. 24. Memorial Day For The War Dead
    Yehuda Amichai
  25. 25. The Next War
    Robert Graves
  26. 26. War...War...War...
    joe yourmom
  27. 27. War Song
    John Davidson
  28. 28. War-Music
    Henry Van Dyke
  29. 29. To Lucasta On Going To The War - For The..
    Robert Graves
  30. 30. Dusk In War Time
    Sara Teasdale
  31. 31. The War Films
    Sir Henry Newbolt
  32. 32. War Music [down On Your Knees, Achilles]
    Christopher Logue
  33. 33. At The War Office, London (Affixing The ..
    Thomas Hardy
  34. 34. Man's Civil War
    Robert Southwell
  35. 35. Song-Books Of The War
    Siegfried Sassoon
  36. 36. War Profit Litany
    Allen Ginsberg
  37. 37. At The War Office, London.
    Thomas Hardy
  38. 38. Declaration Of War
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  39. 39. A Radical War Song
    Thomas Babbington Macaulay
  40. 40. The Holy War
    Rudyard Kipling
  41. 41. Fortune Of War
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  42. 42. War Song
    Thomas Moore
  43. 43. Tell Brave Deeds Of War
    Stephen Crane
  44. 44. War
    Charles Wagner
  45. 45. There Was Crimson Clash Of War.
    Stephen Crane
  46. 46. War Torn
    James Mills
  47. 47. Love And War
    Arthur Patchett Martin
  48. 48. On Being Asked To Write A Poem Against T..
    Hayden Carruth
  49. 49. In Spite Of War
    Angela Morgan
  50. 50. A Date With An Anti-War Protester
    Chuck Audette

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War Poems

  1. A Prayer In Time Of War

    The war will change many things in art and life, and among them, it is to be hoped, many of our own ideas as to what is, and what is not, "intellectual." Thou, whose deep ways are in the sea, Whose footsteps are not known, To-night a world that turned from Thee Is waiting -- at Thy Throne. The towering Babels that we raised Where scoffing sophists brawl, The little Antichrists we praised -- The night is on them all. The fool hath said . . . The fool hath said . .. And we, who deemed him wise, We who believed that Thou wast dead, How should we seek Thine eyes? How should we seek to Thee for power Who scorned Thee yesterday? How should we kneel, in this dread hour? Lord, teach us how to pray! Grant us the single heart, once more, That mocks no sacred thing, The Sword of Truth our fathers wore When Thou wast Lord and King. Let darkness unto darkness tell Our deep unspoken prayer, For, while our souls in darkness dwell, We know that Thou art there.

  2. The Next War

    War's a joke for me and you, Wile we know such dreams are true. - Siegfried Sassoon Out there, we've walked quite friendly up to Death,- Sat down and eaten with him, cool and bland,- Pardoned his spilling mess-tins in our hand. We've sniffed the green thick odour of his breath,- Our eyes wept, but our courage didn't writhe. He's spat at us with bullets and he's coughed Shrapnel. We chorussed when he sang aloft, We whistled while he shaved us with his scythe. Oh, Death was never enemy of ours! We laughed at him, we leagued with him, old chum. No soldier's paid to kick against His powers. We laughed, -knowing that better men would come, And greater wars: when each proud fighter brags He wars on Death, for lives; not men, for flags.

  3. Sekhmet, The Lion-Headed Goddess Of War

    He was the sort of man who wouldn't hurt a fly. Many flies are now alive while he is not. He was not my patron. He preferred full granaries, I battle. My roar meant slaughter. Yet here we are together in the same museum. That's not what I see, though, the fitful crowds of staring children learning the lesson of multi- cultural obliteration, sic transit and so on. I see the temple where I was born or built, where I held power. I see the desert beyond, where the hot conical tombs, that look from a distance, frankly, like dunces' hats, hide my jokes: the dried-out flesh and bones, the wooden boats in which the dead sail endlessly in no direction. What did you expect from gods with animal heads? Though come to think of it the ones made later, who were fully human were not such good news either. Favour me and give me riches, destroy my enemies. That seems to be the gist. Oh yes: And save me from death. In return we're given blood and bread, flowers and prayer, and lip service. Maybe there's something in all of this I missed. But if it's selfless love you're looking for, you've got the wrong goddess. I just sit where I'm put, composed of stone and wishful thinking: that the deity who kills for pleasure will also heal, that in the midst of your nightmare, the final one, a kind lion will come with bandages in her mouth and the soft body of a woman, and lick you clean of fever, and pick your soul up gently by the nape of the neck and caress you into darkness and paradise.

  4. Love And War

    Lovers all are soldiers, and Cupid has his campaigns: I tell you, Atticus, lovers all are soldiers. Youth is fit for war, and also fit for Venus. Imagine an aged soldier, an elderly lover! A general looks for spirit in his brave soldiery; a pretty girl wants spirit in her companions. Both stay up all night long, and each sleeps on the ground; one guards his mistress's doorway, one his general's. The soldier's lot requires far journeys; send his girl, the zealous lover will follow her anywhere. He'll cross the glowering mountains, the rivers swollen with storm; he'll tread a pathway through the heaped-up snows; and never whine of raging Eurus when he sets sail or wait for stars propitious for his voyage. Who but lovers and soldiers endure the chill of night, and blizzards interspersed with driving rain? The soldier reconnoiters among the dangerous foe; the lover spies to learn his rival's plans. Soldiers besiege strong cities; lovers, a harsh girl's home; one storms town gates, the other storms house doors. It's clever strategy to raid a sleeping foe and slay an unarmed host by force of arms. (That's how the troops of Thracian Rhesus met their doom, and you, O captive steeds, forsook your master.) Well, lovers take advantage of husbands when they sleep, launching surprise attacks while the enemy snores. To slip through bands of guards and watchful sentinels is always the soldier's mission - and the lover's. Mars wavers; Venus flutters: the conquered rise again, and those you'd think could never fall, lie low. So those who like to say that love is indolent should stop: Love is the soul of enterprise. Sad Achilles burns for Briseis, his lost darling: Trojans, smash the Greeks' power while you may! From Andromache's embrace Hector went to war; his own wife set the helmet on his head; and High King Agamemnon, looking on Priam's child, was stunned (they say) by the Maenad's flowing hair. And Mars himself was trapped in The Artificer's bonds: no tale was more notorious in heaven. I too was once an idler, born for careless ease; my shady couch had made my spirit soft. But care for a lovely girl aroused me from my sloth and bid me to enlist in her campaign. So now you see me forceful, in combat all night long. If you want a life of action, fall in love. - translated from the Latin by Jon Corelis