Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sunday War Poet...

Lady Margaret Sackville

(1881-1963)





Nostra Culpa



We knew the sword accursed, yet with the strong
Proclaimed the sword triumphant. Yea this wrong
Unto our children, unto those unborn
We did, blaspheming God. We feared the scorn
Of men; men worshipping pride, so where they led
We followed. Dare we now lament our dead?
Shadows and echoes, harlots! We betrayed
Our sons; because men laughed we were afraid.
That silent wisdom which was ours to kept
Deep buried; thousands perished; still we slept.
Children were slaughtered, women raped, the weak
Down-trodden. Very quiet was our sleep.


***

At the outbreak of WW1, Margaret Sackville joined the anti war Union of Democratic Control.  In 1916 she published a collection of poems called The Pageant of War. It included the poem "Nostra Culpa", denouncing women who betrayed their sons by not speaking out against the war. Her brother, Gilbert Sackville, was killed during the conflict in 1915.

Margaret had a passionate love affair with Ramsey MacDonald between 1913 and 1929, but refused to marry him. She never married.

2 comments:

  1. So moving, and so understandable, that hatred of war. Thanks, Josie.

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    1. Thanks for your insightful comment Susan - your support of Sunday war Poets is much appreciated .

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Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffa and I appreciate your interest.