Poems, Prayers and Songs
Most of the following poems by Peace Pilgrim were
written early in her pilgrimage and appeared in a leaflet
titled Poems for Our Times. Her version of The
Beatitudes appeared in one of her infrequent Peace
Pilgrim's Progress newsletters and also in Steps Toward
Inner Peace. Peace enjoyed teaching songs to others, and
would frequently end gatherings by having people join in a
vigorous and happy rendition of Fountain of Love.
He said, "Of course I may be wrong,
But I wouldn't be surprised
If this were the greatest Christian church
That ever man devised.
Our organ is the very best
Our choir stays on key.
Our stained glass windows - priceless
Our pulpit - the best you'll see."
But only the wealthy were welcome there,
I heard slanderous gossip galore,
And from that pulpit so highly prized
The preacher glorified war.
"Is there anything more you could want in a church?"
In pride, he said to me.
"Just one thing," I made reply -
WORLD WITHOUT MAN
Before me flowed the gurgling, placid river.
Behind me rose the tree-clad, peaceful mountain.
"Man says this is his world," I reflected,
"And yet there was a time when there was no man.
Did this old world exist the same without him?"
"I was flowing then," murmured the river.
"I was standing firm," whispered the mountain.
"Man now," I thought, "seems bent on self-destruction.
A million fiendish things he has invented -
Each one more deadly than the one before it.
If he succeeds in self-annihilation
Will this world he says is his go on without him?"
"I'll be flowing still," murmured the river.
"I'll be standing firm," whispered the mountain.
That terrible blindness -
Which makes your foe appear like a fiend
And makes you look like a fiend to him -
That awful insanity -
Which makes the same act brilliant strategy for you
And foul treachery for the enemy -
That frightful drunkenness -
Which muddles the mind until wrong seems like right,
Hate appears good, and murder a virtue -
That horrible sickness -
For which no cure is sought, but instead
Ways are sought to spread the disease -
In days long past, when men were mere barbarians:
They chose a man or maybe two, to die
As sacrifices to the storm god, Thor.
But now that they are civilized and Christians:
They choose a million men or two to die
As sacrifices to the stern god, War.
On the scarred battlefield, where they forced me to go
I met a man that they said was my foe -
And I ran him through with my blade!
When I pulled it out and his blood gushed forth,
I was suddenly filled with a racking remorse -
"I have killed a man!" I said.
He was slim and youthful and frightened like me,
And not a fiend as they said he would be -
"They sent me to kill you," he sighed.
"By God! I wish you had done so!" I swore.
"Why, I don't even know what I'm fighting for!"
"Nor I," he breathed, and died.
Amid the destruction created by man
Nature moves calmly on.
Amid shrieks of the dying and thunder of guns
Winter has come and gone.
Around the edge of a broken gun
Tender young grass is showing;
And through the eye of a grinning skull
A buttercup is growing.
TO A CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR
The Master looked upon the world
In nineteen seventy-two,
He found men brutalized by hate,
And few to Him were true,
He saw men shedding human blood -
Inflicting untold pain.
I heard the Master whispering,
"To them I spoke in vain!"
But then He spied one gallant man -
Despised, scorned, and alone,
Because he would not hate and kill
A prison was his home.
His aim had been, not gaining wealth,
But serving fellow men.
I heard the Master whispering,
"In him I live again!"
(A Story of Men or Nations)
There were two men who had a dispute
Over a boundary line.
One said, "This land belongs to me!"
The other said, "It is mine!"
So they fought and fought like two wild beasts,
And oh, the blood that was shed.
Till one of the men was crippled for life
And the other man was dead!
Then the cripple lived in misery,
And he cried in his despair,
"What fools we were so greedy to be!
There was plenty for both to share!"
In this world you are given as you give
And you are forgiven as you forgive -
While you go your way
Through each lovely day
You create your future as you live.
Blessed are they who give without expecting even thanks in return, for they shall be abundantly rewarded.
Blessed are they who translate every good thing they know into action, for ever higher truths shall be revealed unto them.
Blessed are they who do God's will without asking to see results, for great shall be their recompense.
Blessed are they who love and trust their fellow beings, for they shall reach the good in people and receive a loving response.
Blessed are they who have seen reality, for they know that not the garment of clay but that which activates the garment of clay is real and indestructible.
Blessed are they who see the change we call death as a liberation from the limitations of this earth-life, for they shall rejoice with their loved ones who make the glorious transition.
Blessed are they who after dedicating their lives and thereby receiving a blessing, have the courage and faith to surmount the difficulties of the path ahead, for they shall receive a second blessing.
Blessed are they who advance toward the spiritual path without the selfish motive of seeking inner peace, for they shall find it.
Blessed are they who instead of trying to batter down the gates of the kingdom of heaven approach them humbly and lovingly and purified, for they shall pass right through.
(Peace taught this version of the familiar Hawaiian song to the people who accompanied her on a special inspirational trip to the islands in 1980.)
See this magic land of sparkling waters
And feel the warmth of South Seas sunshine.
As you walk through fields of fragrant flowers
And listen to the sound of sweet Hawaiian music ...
Aloha O! - My love to you,
Walk gently through this land of sun and flowers.
Aloha O! - God loves you too,
And blesses all your steps along the way!
FOUNTAIN OF LOVE
Fountain of love
My source is in thee -
Loving thy will
My spirit is free -
When all of us see
The hope of the world
PRAYER FOR PEACE IN OUR WAR WEARY WORLD
O wonderful spirit of gentleness, touch, calm and embolden us and all men. Take from our frightened hands the bomb and bayonet. Arm us with faith instead. Arm us with wisdom and love so that wherever we walk in whatsoever land, life will enter and not death. This we know is the will of the Prince of Peace. Amen.