[Editor: This poem, by Marjorie Wilcox, regarding Armistice Day (later known as Remembrance Day), was published in The Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 8 November 1934.]
In commemoration of Armistice Day, November 11, 1934.
(“Wherefore, O King, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.” — Daniel 4: 27.)
In times of grace and peace, talent is used for peace.
Through long, calm days men pause to ponder and produce
Works God-designed to lengthen man’s tranquility.
Conquest is made within the realm of quiet thought.
In times of hate and strife, talent is used for strife.
Passions are loosed. Men rush to kill, and to destroy
Gifts God-bestowed to lengthen man’s tranquility.
Conquest is deemed seizure of bodies and of earth.
Contrast then peace with war! Choose peace to-day! Hate not!
Choose to aggress not, nor resent pride’s boast and threat.
Thoughts God-inspired to lengthen man’s tranquility
Protect his life and works, when he is free from hate.
As much as in you lies, with all men live at peace.
Nations belov’d of God, patience is armament.
Hands God-destined to lengthen man’s tranquility
May never strike but to protect when war is made.
Semper paratus is the watchword of a King
Whose sins are justly broken off by righteousness.
Ways God-ordained to lengthen man’s tranquility
Are righteous. Mercy gives the King protective strength.
Mercy is just to all. Should ruthless onslaught fall
Justice gives rapid and successful armament.
Words God-empower’d to lengthen man’s tranquility
Will yet make envy cease, and peace will reign on earth!
— C. MARJORIE WILCOX.
The Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 8 November 1934, p. 1
Also published in:
The Groper (Perth, WA), 10 November 1934, p. 3
The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 11 November 1934, p. 8 (First Section)
This poem was accompanied by a letter from the author, which was published on page 3 of The Swan Express in the same issue.
Front Page Poem.
(To the Editor “The Swan Express.”)
Sir, — May I submit these lines to you … for they have been commended, and there is a great deal of thought in them — thought derived from the Scriptures, from great writers, from the spoken word of preachers and lecturers, and (one may say in a certain sense) influenced by the earnestness of all executive workers who are devoting their lives to the cause of peace to-day. … The beat is 12 to a line, with emphasis on every second syllable. … — Yours, etc.,
(Miss) C. MARJORIE WILCOX.
See: The Swan Express (Midland Junction, WA), 8 November 1934, p. 3
belov’d = (vernacular) beloved
empower’d = (vernacular) empowered
Scripture = the Bible; the foundational writings of a religion; Holy writings (plural: Scriptures) (also known as: Holy Scripture, Holy Writ)
semper paratus = (Latin) always prepared; always ready
thee = (archaic) you (regarding a person as the object in a sentence)
thine = your (“thine”, meaning “your”, is usually placed before a word which begins with a vowel or a vowel sound, e.g. “To thine own self be true”); yours (“thine”, meaning “yours”, is the more common usage)
thy = (archaic) your
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