The Ones Who Said No

1. Ask peo­ple what are their hopes for the future,
like­li­hood is they will say they want peace,
sad­ly deplore all the world’s many con­flicts,
look for a time when they final­ly cease.
Yet these same peo­ple will talk of past glo­ries,
praise our brave armies with pride all aglow,
lovers of peace prais­ing fight­ers of bat­tles,
nev­er a word for the ones who said No.

2. When the call comes from their king and their coun­try,
most will relin­quish the pow­er to choose.
High-sound­ing words urge them on towards duty,
few are the peo­ple who dare to refuse.
Yes, it takes courage to march into bat­tle,
go where author­i­ty tells you to go,
whether as butch­ers or lambs to the slaugh­ter -
courage no less had the ones who said No.

3. Scorned and despised in a cul­ture of war­fare,
in many lands they are suf­fer­ing still,
brand­ed as worth­less, as cow­ards, as trai­tors,
pun­ished for sim­ply refus­ing to kill.
Proud politi­cians and pos­tur­ing gen­er­als
stand on their dunghills and might­i­ly crow.
If they were stripped of their plumage, we’d see them
shamed by the fate of the ones who said No.

4. Ask peo­ple what are their hopes for the future,
like­li­hood is they will say they want peace,
yet pin their hopes upon weapons and armies,
even as dam­age and dan­ger increase.
Look back to those who have dared to be dif­fer­ent,
over the world let their clear courage flow.
Army unarmed, let it swell into mil­lions -
cry Yes to peace with the ones who said No.

This entry was posted in and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.