Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

North America And Her War Parsons

'Angels and ministers of grace defend us,'
Not airs from Heaven, quite the reverse you send us,
Your priests who counsel war and vengeance dire,
Their text-extermination, sword, and fire.
Their eloquent appeals, and flowers of speech,
Their loudest platform thunders fail to reach
The British heart; for why? we can't dispense
With human feeling, truth, and common sense.
You say the God of Love, the Prince of Peace,
Approves your cause, that war shall never cease
Till the red demon sweep with gory wing
Your sister land of every living thing.
Your feigned regards, your Heaven-invoking cant,
Do not deceive us; what you really want
Is conquest, vengeance, empire, and the slaves
May bondsmen live and rot in bondsmen's graves.
Birds of ill omen fold your sable pinions,
Cease your gyrations through our Queen's dominions;
Your pecking, screaming, croaking, don't alarm us-
Your frothy declamations do not charm us.
Do no 'compunctious visitings' e'er reach you?
Nor sense of duty? Gospel precepts teach you
That not to where the tide of carnage rolls
Your hand should point-yours is the charge of souls.
Between the dead and living take your stand,
Uplift to Heaven the interceding hand
The plague to stay, and peace or separation-
Save your fair land from worse than desolation.
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