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The Audacious War   By: (1855-1928)

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E text prepared by Al Haines




Boston and New York Houghton Mifflin Company The Riverside Press Cambridge 1915 Copyright, 1914 and 1915, by the Boston News Bureau Company Copyright, 1915, by Clarence W. Barron All Rights Reserved Published February 1915



Suppose 't were done! The lanyard pulled on every shotted gun; Into the wheeling death clutch sent Each millioned armament, To grapple there On land, on sea and under, and in air! Suppose at last 't were come Now, while each bourse and shop and mill is dumb And arsenals and dockyards hum, Now all complete, supreme, That vast, Satanic dream!

Each field were trampled, soaked, Each stream dyed, choked, Each leaguered city and blockaded port Made famine's sport; The empty wave Made reeling dreadnought's grave; Cathedral, castle, gallery, smoking fell 'Neath bomb and shell; In deathlike trance Lay industry, finance; Two thousand years' Bequest, achievement, saving, disappears In blood and tears, In widowed woe That slum and palace equal know, In civilization's suicide, What served thereby, what satisfied? For justice, freedom, right, what wrought? Naught!

Save, after the great cataclysm, perhap On the world's shaken map New lines, more near or far, Binding to king or czar In festering hate Some newly vassaled state; And passion, lust and pride made satiate; And just a trace Of lingering smile on Satan's face! Boston News Bureau Poet .

This poem has been called the great poem of the war. It was written just preceding the war, and published August 1 by the "Boston News Bureau." Of it, and its author, Bartholomew P. Griffin, the following was written by Rev. Francis G. Peabody: "The English poets, Bridges, Kipling, Austin, and Noyes, have all tried to meet the need and all have lamentably failed. I am proud not only that an American, but that a Harvard man, should have risen to the occasion."


The Scotch have this proverb: "War brings poverty. Poverty brings peace. Peace brings prosperity. Prosperity brings pride. And pride brings war again." Shall the world settle down to the faith that there is no redemption from an everlasting round of pride, war, poverty, peace, prosperity, pride, and war again?

But it was not primarily to settle, or even study this problem that I crossed the ocean and the English Channel in winter. As a journalist publishing the Wall Street Journal , the Boston News Bureau , and the Philadelphia News Bureau , and directing news gathering for the banking and financial communities, I deemed it my duty to ascertain at close hand the financial factors in this war, and the financial results therefrom.

I found myself on the other side, not only in the domain of the finance encircling this war, but unexpectedly in close touch with diplomatic and government circles. The whole of the war, its commercial causes, its financial and military forces, its tremendous human sacrifices, the conflicting principles of government, and the world wide issues involved, all lay out in clear facts and figures after I had gathered by day and night from what appeared at first to be a tangled web.

I learned who made this war, and why at this time and for what purposes, present and prospective; and from facts that could not be set down categorically in papers of state. No papers, "white," "gray," or "yellow," could present a picture of the war in its inception and the reasons therefor.

There is no powerful organization over nations to keep the peace of Europe or of the world, as nations are in organization over states, and states over cities, to insure peace and justice, without strife or human sacrifice.

The immediate causes of this war, and I believe they have not before been presented on this side of the ocean, are connected with commercial treaties, protective tariffs, and financial progress... Continue reading book >>

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