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Page 11 text:
THE GLAMOUR OF WAR 11
with the spirit of war, have gloried in the war theme. We
have no time to even mention the hundreds of stirring war
anthems and songs and odes and tales and speeches of
every nation, so we shall give our attention to a few of the
more eminent authors.
Homer, the master poet of all ages, has painted with
unfading colors the ten years' war of Troy. As the pure
waxen lily bursts from the stagnant pond, as the silken
corn with grains of living gold springs from corruption, so
also the beautiful works of Homer have taken being from
the blood-soaked fields of Troy.
The characters of the Homeric poems have been an in-
spiration to all succeeding ages. There is the wise Ulysses,
fertile of resources, indomitable of will. His .love-like wis-
dom and unconquerable will are ever at the service of his
country. He is ever planning new schemes to help the
Grecian cause. Now in the assembly of kings he stands to
offer godlike wisdomg now amid the brawling soldiery he
stirs up wild enthusiasm. Although he has suffered greatly
for his native land, "both with those that loved him, and
alone, on shore, and when through scudding drifts the rainy
Hyades vext the dim seag yet he finds it dull to pause, to
make an end, to rust unburnished, not to shine in use."
mighty Achilles grieving
Beside a snow-white tent sits
over an injustice done him. Without his aid the tide of
battle turns against the Greeks. But when he hears of the
slaughter of his friends, he enters into battle and none
dare stand against him. To avenge the death of his friends
he seals the doom of Troy, and amid the glory of the con-
quest yields up his own life for those he loves.
Homer not only arouses admiration for the numerous
selfless heroes and heroines of the war, but holds up to
everlasting contempt the selfish slackers. When the cox-
comb, Paris, fled from battle he sought refuge among the
Page 10 text:
1U THE IGNATIAN
of battle we were not shockedg we were not horrifiedgiwe
were inspired by that same mysterious, irresistible emotion.
We felt that such a death is glorious.
"Come to the- bridal chamber, Death,
Come in consumption's ghastly form,
The earthquake's shock, the ocean storm,
And thou art terrible! ,
"But to the hero, when his sword
Has won the battle for the free,
Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word,
And in its hollow tones are heard
The thanks of millions yet to be.
We tell his doom without a sighg
For he is Freedom's now, and Fame's-
One of the few, the immortal names,
That were not born to die."
In more mature years, as we emerged from the fanciful
days of childhood, as we learned to appreciate the purpose
of various wars, and as we began to realize what great causes,
what great principles, what great blessings are won and lost
through the cruel arbitrament of the sword, then our enthu-
siasm was increased, our thrilling interest in war was intensi-
fied. The Crusades were fought that the sacred soil of
Palestine might be purged of the sacrilegious, scoiiing Sara-
cen. Are we disgusted at the .cost in blood and in life of
those holy wars? No, we are aflame with the holy cause.
Our revolution was fought that our nation might be free.
Do we not thrill at the recollection of each sad event of
that sorrowful time? Our Civil War was fought that our
nation, conceived in liberty, might endure. It was fought to
spread the cause of freedom through the world.
just as we have felt the thrill of war, so people of every
century have been influenced by the same subtle emotion.
We are not surprised therefore to End that war is the pre-
dominant note in all literature. Poets and orators, thrilling
., if .wwuiamwvw f- f
"Wi, - w?"".
Page 12 text:
12 THE IGNATIAN
women of his home. Hector, wishing to urge him in'f0 U16
fray, found him in the glittering rooms, admiring his 11561655
weapons and chatting with the women. The hero thus
addressed him :
"Thy hate to Troy, is this the time to show
O wretch, ill-fated, and thy country's foe!
For thee great Ilium's guardian heroes fall,
Till heaps of dead alone defend her Wally
For thee the soldier bleeds, the matron mourns,
And wasteful war in all its fury burns.
Ungrateful man! deserves not this thy care,
Our troops to hearten, and our toils to share?
Rise, or behold the conquering flames ascend,
And all the Phrygian glories at an end."
Even a philosopher can draw inspiration from a poet.
Alexander the Great with 30,000 soldiers swept through
Asia Minor, and down through Persia, completely shattering
the Persian Empire that was defended by millions. Across
into Egypt he Hung his men, subjugating that ancient empire.
Later he defeated the warlike Scythians. Then he descended
upon India, placing that land of mystery under his sway.
Where did he get his spirit? Among the mountainous
strongholds of Macedonia where he spent his youth. There
in his father's palace he received all his education from the
mightiest, the most subtle intellect that ever shed luster on
this world-Aristotle, the peerless, trained the young Alex-
ander, and his textbook was Homer.
The whole of Greek literature throbs with the spirit of
war. Demosthenes in his speeches aroused the Athenians
to action by showing them the danger of their Country and
the glory of a patriot's death. Pericles by his orations kept
the tire aglow. The dramatist Sophocles so loved war as to
command that his epitaph should mention his share in the
victory of Marathon, but should contain no allusion to his
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