[From Manx Quarterly #20 1919]
To the Editor.
Sir,-The late lamented poet of Manxland, " Tom" Brown, once admitted in a letter to me-which was afterwards published in a book of his many charming letters-that satire 'has a legitimate claim to be classed under the head of poetry although, as he said, it did not very much appeal to him personally. " Still I must admit," he wrote, " that your ' Pigs' much amused and really pleased me. I know them, too, and have met them often," etc.
Now, I am of the strongest and abiding opinion that only satire of the most biting kind is applicable to this unhappy age-and that, mainly because its leading characteristic-general trouble and misery -is unquestionably traceable to what amounts to insanity of prejudice and colossal hypocrisy.
While not claiming the grace of poetry for my verses in imitation of the gifted Omar, I 'have no hesitation in urging their truth as worthily counterbalancing any or all possible defects, and likely to weigh in your discriminating mind in favour of giving them worthy space in your valuable paper.
GEO. QUARRIE. 330 East 55th Street,
New York. April 12th, 1918.
WAY raise our hands in sanctified surprise
That men to this unchristian war should rise?
Not one per cent. of us believe in Christ.
Is there an honest man who that denies?
Ti11 man to be an animal shall cease,
What boots to talk of universal peace?
Nature exists by unremitting war;
The more she thrives, doth slaughter more increase
Not more relentless is the beast of prey,
Which for a meal a brother boast doth slay,
Than is the human wolf, who, cloaked by law,
Devours his fellow man from day to day.
What is smug business, but dishonesty?
I lie and steal from you; you filch from me;
Man against man in licensed brigandage;
The winner must the craftier liar be.
Add to duplicity some cheating skill,
Ana thus the role of business man fulfil,
As our advance must be through others loss,
Like beasts of prey, we thrive the more we kill.
Business is war, then, deadly earnest strife,
Where each man has to battle for his life;
Not with the dreadful honesty of war,
But with deceitful smile and hidden knife.
What of the millions who no respite know
From civilized prerogatives of woe,
Victims of Christian laws' antithesis,
Of honest men far more than war the foe?
Which should the Christian soul the more abhor,
The transient harvest of the sword in war
Or bloodless strangling of his brother man,
Which Christian "peace" has long been sponsor for?
The man or nation which doth Christ proclaim,
And bow the knee to him in form and name,
While utterly lecariots in their hearts;
Foredoomed are all such hypocrites to shame!
Let war go on, with guns and shot and shell;
It may be merciless and may be "hell";
But as reproach to Christian men, methinks
It doth compare with " business " very well