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Poems About Conflict

Table of Contents

  1. Tiger and Elephant by James McIntyre
  2. A Live Wire by Anonymous
  3. The Nightingale and the Glow-worm by William Cowper
  4. The Discourse by Anonymous

  1. Tiger and Elephant

    by James McIntyre

    On Ganges banks roams the tiger,
    And lion rules by the Niger,
    Hunter heard shrill cry of peacocks,
    In Indian jungles go in flocks.

    And he saw tiger crouch and spring,
    To crush a bird with beauteous wing,
    But the tiger missed his aim,
    And he hung his head with shame.

    Then there came a mighty crush,
    Of elephants rush through the bush,
    The tiger cat-like crouched on ground,
    And elephants rushed in with bound.

    In front was baby elephant,
    To crush its bones did tiger want,
    But mother saw fierce forest ranger,
    And she gave a cry of danger.

    Leader of herd he madly rushed,
    Resolved the tiger should be crushed,
    But tiger strove to run away,
    Willing to relinquish prey.

    But when he found that he must fight,
    On elephant's back he strove to light,
    But elephant struck him with his foot,
    And then with tusks he did him root.

    So now once more must praise be sung;
    To beasts who nobly fight for young,
    And grateful feelings were now stirred,
    Towards the leader of the herd.

  2. A Live Wire

    by Anonymous

    I did not know—so awkward I,
    So fumbling in my speech—
    That I had touched a quivering nerve
    No man might safely reach.

    A burst, a flash, a deadly blow,
    A friendship numb for aye,
    What other end may one expect,
    If one with lightnings play?

  3. The Nightingale and the Glow-worm

    Those Christians best deserve the name
    Who studiously make peace their aim;

    - William Cowper
    The Nightingale and the Glow-worm
    by William Cowper

    A Nightingale, that all day long
    Had cheer'd the village with his song,
    Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
    Nor yet when eventide was ended,
    Began to feel, as well he might,
    The keen demands of appetite;
    When, looking eagerly around,
    He spied far off, upon the ground,
    A something shining in the dark,
    And knew the glow-worm by his spark;
    So stooping down from hawthorn top,
    He thought to put him in his crop.
    The worm, aware of his intent,
    Harangu'd him thus, right eloquent —

    Did you admire my lamp, quoth he,
    As much as I your minstrelsy,
    You would abhor to do me wrong,
    As much as I to spoil your song;
    For 'twas the self-same pow'r divine
    Taught you to sing, and me to shine;
    That you with music, I with light,
    Might beautify and cheer the night.
    The songster heard his short oration,
    And, warbling out his approbation,
    Releas'd him, as my story tells,
    And found a supper somewhere else.

    Hence jarring sectaries may learn
    Their real int'rest to discern;
    That brother should not war with brother,
    And worry and devour each other;
    But sing and shine by sweet consent,
    Till life's poor transient night is spent,
    Respecting in each other's case
    The gifts of nature and of grace.

    Those Christians best deserve the name
    Who studiously make peace their aim;
    Peace, both the duty and the prize
    Of him that creeps and him that flies.

  4. The Discourse

    by Anonymous

    He "cleared the way" remorselessly,
    This conscientious bore,
    Removing misconceptions—
    Which were not there before,

    He met objections skilfully—
    That no one ever made;
    He waged a war with men of straw,
    And did not seem afraid.

    And thus he led, by crafty steps,
    To one triumphant burst,
    Convincingly demonstrating—
    What all believed at first.