Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
Introductory to America
Young America—Old England
Charles Kent (1823–1902)
 
A Song of Peace
(1852)

WHAT! shall Saxon bonds be sundered
  By the sordid lust of gain?
Shall the realms of peace be ravaged
  By the rulers of the main
For the greed of gold or glory?        5
  No,—forbid it, God the Lord!
Young America—Old England—
  Hand-in-hand, not sword to sword!
 
Shall one hour dissever races
  Thus allied by kindred fame,        10
Speaking both one common language,
  Men with blood and bards the same?
Such dark crime can never follow
  Foolish taunt or idle word:
Young America—Old England—        15
  Hand-in-hand, not sword to sword!
 
Has not History woven our laurels
  Till their many wreaths are one,—
Yours the pride in burly Cromwell,
  Ours in honest Washington?        20
With the radiance of past annals
  Shall the future not be stored?
Young America—Old England—
  Hand-in-hand, not sword to sword!
 
Does broad ocean roll between us?        25
  We are still brought side by side,
By the peaceful navies Commerce
  Scatters grandly o’er the tide.
Shall we wake our dormant thunders
  Where toil-laden ships are moored?        30
Young America—Old England—
  Hand-in-hand, not sword to sword!
 
Have we not alike together
  Prized the songs our poets sung
Since the golden day when Genius        35
  First drew music from our tongue?
Godlike Shakespeare, seerlike Milton,
  All now cry with one accord,
Young America—Old England—
  Hand-in-hand, not sword to sword!        40
 
Has not Art shed equal splendors
  On the treasures each possest
In the homely hues of Hogarth,
  In the sacred dyes of West:
And not less on Powers than Flaxman        45
  Phidian inspiration poured?
Young America—Old England—
  Hand-in-hand, not sword to sword!
 
We have loved the same old legends
  Throwing charms around our lot,        50
Through each tale of gentle Irving,
  Each romance of gorgeous Scott.
And shall war pollute the cloudland,
  Battle dint the fairy sward?
Young America—Old England—        55
  Hand-in-hand, not sword to sword!
 
Then shall Saxon bonds be sundered
  By the sordid lust of gain?
Shall the realms of peace be ravaged
  By the rulers of the main        60
For the greed of gold or glory?
  No,—forbid it, God the Lord!
Young America—Old England—
  Hand-in-hand, not sword to sword!
 
 
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