William Blake’s Anti-War Poem, “Who Can Stand?”

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Who Can Stand?

O for a voice like thunder, and a tongue
To drown the throat of war!
When the senses
Are shaken, and the soul is driven to madness,
Who can stand?
When the souls of the oppressed
Fight in the troubled air that rages,
Who can stand?
When the whirlwind of fury comes from the
Throne of God, when the frowns of his countenance
Drive the nations together,
Who can stand?
When Sin claps his broad wings over the battle,
And sails rejoicing in the flood of Death;
When souls are torn to everlasting fire,
And fiends of Hell rejoice upon the slain.
O who can stand?
O who hath caused this?
O who can answer at the throne of God?
The Kings and Nobles of the Land have done it!
Hear it not, Heaven, thy Ministers have done it!

8:04 pm on April 2, 2013