The War-Makers

A poem by William Arthur Dunkerley

Who are the Makers of Wars?
The Kings of the earth.

And who are these Kings of the earth?
Only men--not always even men of worth,
But claiming rule by right of birth.

And Wisdom?--does that come by birth?
Nay then--too often the reverse.
Wise father oft has son perverse;
Solomon's son was Israel's curse.

Why suffer things to reason so averse?
It always has been so,
And only now does knowledge grow
To that high point where all men know--
Who would be free must strike the blow.

And how long will man suffer so?
Until his soul of Freedom sings,
And, strengthened by his sufferings,
He breaks the worn-out leading-strings,
And calls to stricter reckonings
Those costliest things--unworthy Kings.

Not all are worthless. Some, with sense of duty,
Strive to invest their lives with grace and beauty.
To such--high honour! But the rest--self-seekers,
Pride-puffed--out with them!--useless mischief-makers!

The time is past when any man or nation
Will meekly bear unrighteous domination.

The time is come when every burden-bearer
Must, in the fixing of his load, be sharer.

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