The Price of Peace
Peace without Justice is a low estate,— A coward cringing to an iron Fate! But Peace through Justice is the great ideal,— We’ll pay the price of war to make it real.
This poem is in the public domain.
You dare to say with perjured lips,
"We fight to make the ocean free"?
You, whose black trail of butchered ships
Bestrews the bed of every sea
Where German submarines have wrought
Their horrors! Have you never thought,—
What you call freedom, men call piracy!
Unnumbered ghosts that haunt the wave
Where you have murdered, cry you down;
And seamen whom you would not save,
Weave now in weed-grown depths a crown
Of shame for your imperious head,—
If Might made Right, life were a wild-beasts’ cage; If Right made Might, this were the golden age; But now, until we win the long campaign, Right must gain Might to conquer and to reign.
“Lights out" along the land, “Lights out” upon the sea. The night must put her hiding hand O’er peaceful towns where children sleep, And peaceful ships that darkly creep Across the waves, as if they were not free. The dragons of the air, The hell-hounds of the deep, Lurking and prowling everywhere, Go forth to seek their helpless prey, Not knowing whom they maim or slay— Mad harvesters, who care not what they reap. Out with the tranquil lights, Out with the lights that burn For love and law and human rights! Set back the clock a thousand years: All they have gained now disappears, And