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The Illusion of War
Richard Le Gallienne
War
I abhor,
And yet how sweet
The sound along the marching street
Of drum and fife; and I forget
Wet eyes of widows, and forget
Broken old mothers, and the whole
Dark butchery without a soul.

Without a soul--save this bright drink
Of heady music, sweet as hell;
And even my peace-abiding feet
Go marching with the marching street,
For yonder, yonder goes the fife,
And what care I for human life!

The tears fill my astonished eyes,
And my full heart is like to break;
And yet 'tis all embannered lies,
A dream those little drummers make.

O it is wickedness to clothe
Yon hideous grinning thing that stalks
Hidden in music, like a queen
That in a garden of glory walks,
Till good men love the thing the loathe.
Art, thou hast many infamies,
But not an infamy like this.
O stop the fife and still the drum,
And show the monster as she is.


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