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Let Us Have Peace
Nancy Byrd Turner


The earth is weary of our foolish wars.
Her hills and shores were shaped for lovely things,
Yet all our years are spent in bickerings
                    Beneath the astonished stars.

April by April laden with beauty comes,
Autumn by autumn turns our toil to gain,
But hand at sword-hilt, still we start and strain
                    To catch the beat of drums.

Knowledge to knowledge adding, skill to skill,
We strive for others' good as for our own--
And then, like cavemen snarling with a bone,
                    We turn and rend and kill. . . .

With life so fair, and all too short a lease
Upon our special star! Nay, love and trust,
Not hate and violence shall redeem our dust.
                     Let us have peace!

This poem is in the public domain.

Nancy Byrd Turner (1880 - 1971) was born in Virginia. A descendant of both Thomas Jefferson and Pocohantas, Nancy began writing poetry as a child. She studied to become a teacher, and did teach for a few years, but eventually she became a magazine editor. During the course of her career, she published 15 books, several songs, and her work appeared regularly in the leading magazines of her day. Late in her life, Nancy became a freelance writer and a popular lecturer.

Post New Comment:
Thank you Jayne.
Posted 11/07/2012 11:31 AM
Larry Schug:
Put this poem on every billboard in the country. And then tear down the billboards!
Posted 11/07/2012 09:50 AM
Thank you, Jayne.
Posted 11/07/2012 08:48 AM
I love the line "Beneath the astonished stars"!
Posted 11/07/2012 08:05 AM
Thank you!
Posted 11/07/2012 08:03 AM
Great selection for today or any day. Thank you.
Posted 11/07/2012 07:34 AM

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