Tuesday, January 22, 2013

PEACE & JUSTICE

Songs and Ballads, (E 489)
          The Grey Monk                    
"I die I die the Mother said
My Children die for lack of Bread          
What more has the merciless Tyrant said
The Monk sat down on the Stony Bed         

The blood red ran from the Grey Monks side 
His hands & feet were wounded wide
His Body bent his arms & knees
Like to the roots of ancient trees

His eye was dry no tear could flow
A hollow groan first spoke his woe 
He trembled & shudderd upon the Bed        
At length with a feeble cry he said

When God commanded this hand to write
In the studious hours of deep midnight
He told me the writing I wrote should prove
The Bane of all that on Earth I lovd       

My Brother starvd between two Walls
His Childrens Cry my Soul appalls
I mockd at the wrack & griding chain    
My bent body mocks their torturing pain 

Thy Father drew his sword in the North
With his thousands strong he marched forth
Thy Brother has armd himself in Steel     
To avenge the wrongs thy Children feel    

But vain the Sword & vain the Bow 
They never can work Wars overthrow
The Hermits Prayer & the Widows tear
Alone can free the World from fear

For a Tear is an Intellectual Thing        
And a Sigh is the Sword of an Angel King 
And the bitter groan of the Martyrs woe    
Is an Arrow from the Almighties Bow

The hand of Vengeance found the Bed 
To which the Purple Tyrant fled
The iron hand crushd the Tyrants head 
And became a Tyrant in his stead" 
 
Courtesy of william-blake.org

Mercy and Truth are met together, 
Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other
Original in Victoria & Albert Museum
Illustration of Psalm 85
If Peace & Justice prevailed the world would be transformed. Blake found that war and injustice were linked; they had their origins in the 'merciless Tyrant' who was as insensible to the pain of the starving child as to the victims of war. But we are in error if we oppose war with the use of force or oppose oppression with oppressive measures. The use of force leaves in its wake broken lives in whom the seeds of war have been planted. Peaceful means can heal the wounds and produce a crop that nourishes.


Psalms 85
[9] Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.
[10] Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
[11] Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
[12] Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.



Matthew 5
[11] Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
[37] But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
[39] But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
[45] That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
 
 
Romans 12
[14] Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
[17] Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
[18] If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
[21] Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

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