The Great War

from The Man Who Saw, an electronic edition

Tranquil Liberty

("Pax est tranquilla libertas.--

CICERO)

PEACE is no peace when all its dream is war;

Nor are repasts beneath the hair-swung sword,

That awed in Syracuse the tyrant's board,

Such banquets as the peoples hunger for.

Not to Europa's bull need toreador

Wave scarlet provocation ; and Accord

Blooms ill from arsenals for ever stored

With mouths of death for ever in act to roar.

An areopagus of nations let

Men found hereafter, puissant to restrain

Flaunted armipotence, whether on earth or sea

Or the outraged air, and suchlike peace beget

As Tully envisioned ; peace itself being vain,

That is not also tranquil liberty.1

Notes

1. First published, Oct. 23, 1914, in the Westminster Gazette.