War And Its Causes

4 Jun

Esthetic Revulsion against War

A fuller expression of esthetic disillusionment is to be found in the following verses from the poet, Alec Waugh, entitled “The Other Side.”

There are not any, save the men that died,

Whose minds have probed into the heart of war.

Sometimes we stumble on a secret door

And listening guess what lies the other side.

Sometimes a moment’s sudden pain

Flings back the veil that hangs between

Guessing and knowing, then lets it fall again

Before we understand what we have seen

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

A soldier who once was fresh and clean,

Lost to himself in whoring and drink,

Blind to what will be and what has been,

Only aware that he must not think.

In the pulpit a parson preaching lies,

Babbling of honour and sacrifice.

Fragments flutter in and out;

Christ! what is it all about?


Quoted in Nineteenth Century, XCIV: 304 (Aug. 1923).

L.L. Bernard; War And Its Causes (New York: Henry Holt and Company Inc ©1944) pp. 155


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