Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
3rd Dec 2013Posted in: Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets 0
Five War Poems

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Five War Poems
A Memento of this Great, Most Cruel, and Atrocious War!
The Backwoods Poet
Author of “Manitoba Muses,” etc.
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Five War Poems

A Memento of this Great, Most Cruel, and Atrocious War!



The Backwoods Poet

Author of “Manitoba Muses,” etc.

We fight that demon’s reign shall end,

We fight for homes and right;
We fight our loved ones to defend,
And demon put to flight.
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   Entered according to Act of Parliament of Canada, in the year one thousand nine hundred and fifteen, by Isaac S. White, at the Department of Agriculture.  Rights Reserved. [unnumbered page]




“War is hell!” is a truth that cannot be denied.  It destroys all the higher instincts in man.  It kills all that is humane, and incites a ferocity that is hard to describe.  Cruelty, bloodthirstiness, and cannibalism are some of the fruits of war.  Christ said:  “By their fruits shall ye know them.”  And when a man from selfish and interested motives proclaims a war, can such a man be called religious?  He may deceive himself and declare that God is on his side, but “This man’s religion is vain.”  It is altogether different with those who go to war to fight for freedom and the rights of man.

In 1870 the late Rt. Hon. W. E. Gladstone said:  “We felt called upon to enlist ourselves, on the part of the British nation, as advocates and as champions of the integrity and independence of Belgium.  And if we had gone to war, we should have gone to war for freedom, we should have gone to war for public right, we should have gone to war to save human happiness from being invaded by tyrannous and lawless power.

That is what I call a good cause, gentlemen.  And though I detest war, and there are no epithets too strong, if you could supply me [unnumbered page] with them, that I will not endeavour to heap upon its head.  In such a war as that, while the breath in my body is continued to me, I am ready to engage!”

And such is the war in which we are now engaged; and which, so far as Great Britain is concerned, was unavoidable; and the poems in this little booklet were composed to give expression of the Author’s feelings in connection therewith.  He does not think it right that men should add to the hardships and misery brought by war, by advancing the price of the necessities of life, in order to profit by war conditions.  “War and Greed” was written when prices were unnecessarily run up at the commencement of the war for this purpose.

“When Will War Cease?” was also written at the beginning of the war, but two stanzas were added after the raid on the English coast.  They are not composed from a belligerent point of view, neither are they intended to prevent men from taking up arms to fight for right, for their homes, their little ones, and the dear old country whose “flag has braved a thousand years the battle and the breeze.”

—I. S. W.

453 Flora Avenue,

Winnipeg, Man. [unnumbered page]













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By the same Author

Manitoba Muses


Gentle Joseph

and Other Poems





See page 12.

 Are you charitable?  Would you

A friendly act to the aged do?

Then buy this book and show thou’rt kind

Ere it doth pass out of thy mind;

And help the man behind the pen,

Who borders on three score and ten.

Price:  Cloth Boards, $1.25; Cloth Limp, $1.00.

By Mail, 10 cents extra.

Address:  I. S. WHITE

453 Flora Avenue                Winnipeg, Man.

[page 6]

 The German Emperor

War!  War!  The world’s aflame
                              With cruel war!
   Most dreadful war!
                              The fever is intense;
Brought on by German’s
                              Autocrat Kaiser,
   Whose great ambition
                              Overruled his sense.
Through serfs, no doubt, he thinks
                              That he shall rule,
   (And millions of serfs he has
                              At his command;)
That he shall conquer all
                              The world.  The fool
   Thinks not, he may lose power
                              In his own land.

For serfs don’t fight like freemen,
                              With a will
   To conquer or to die
                              In country’s cause; [page 7]
A slight reverse, their souls
                              With terror fill,
   And fear will cause stampede
                              Or make them pause.
In thought I see the great,
                              Vast armies meet,
   And hear the monstrous cannon
                              Loudly roar;
And with the noise, thousands
                              Fall off their feet,
   Then sad, sad thought:
                              How many lives are o’er?

How this great war will end,
                              Not one can tell,
   Whether to monarch great
                              He shall arise;
More like he shall go down
                              The path to hell,
   O’ercome by those that now
                              He doth despise:
For should the pampered sire
                              Outlive the strife,
He will most sure in exile
                              End his life. [page 8]

War and Greed

What law will justify
   Rich men for greedy gain;
To raise the price of food supply,
   More pillage to obtain?
To raise the price on poor,
   And thus bring more distress
On those who can’t keep wolf from door,
   But live quite comfortless.

The rich care not who want,
   They hunger do not feel;
But with true hypocritic cant,
   Will punish those who steal;
Yet hunger’s hard to bear,
   And when the hungry see
Food that the pillagers won’t share,
   Tempted to steal is he.

The rich think not ’tis sin
   To overcharge the poor
And greater hardships make within
   The humble cottage door; [page 9]
But this is how they’d pay
   The men who to war go;
They would dependants rob, that they
   May greater profits grow.

The rich donations give
   To war fund and get praise;
Then make it hard for poor to live,
   When price of food they raise;
The grafters raise the price,
   To recoup what they paid;
But they want twice as much, yea thrice,
   Huge profits must be made.

The rich will say they’re broke,
   Their loyalty to show;
Though do not sacrifice a smoke,
   Nor glass of grog forego.
They sound their gifts abroad,
   A high bid for renown;
They desecrate the name of God,
   They’re traitors to the crown.

They fly the Union Jack,
   On automobiles sure;
But grace and loyalty they lack
   Or would not rob God’s poor; [page 10]
Who need more nourishment
   Than they do now receive;
Though food for them was by God sent,
   All hunger to relieve.

The rich hard-hearted are,
   At poverty they laugh;
While they huge profits make from war,
   By their unrighteous graff.
Surely a day will come,
   When pillagers shall stand
Before the Judge, be stricken dumb,
   No words at their command.

Though stricken dumb—they are
   Conscious the sentence just;
That from God’s presence them debar,
   To brood upon their lust;
But god will see the poor
   Are paid for all their toil;
Though pillagers are now secure
   To gather in the spoil. [page 11]


Manitoba Muses

is a Good Book

   The following are only a few of the good opinions of readers to whom the reading of the book has given great pleasure.

“It is the most interesting book of poetry I have ever read.”  “I have read it from beginning to end, and like every line of it.”  “It shows originality and real genius.”  “It is very interesting, there is not a dull page in the book.”  “It contains beautiful thought.”  “A welcome contribution to the lovers of good literature.”  “I have read it through and life in the backwoods of Manitoba seems to be able to give a person some idea of what life really is.  I wish you all kinds of success.”  Etc., etc.

“There are pleasures in the backwoods, as we learn from reading the poem entitled ‘The Wonderful Calf,’ or that domestic lyric ‘Solomon’s Wives.’  Following hard upon a song ‘O Freedom!  Where Art Thou?’ the author is at his happiest in the lilting gaeity of ‘The Black Moustache.’”—From a Review in The Winnipeg Telegram.

Address:  I. S. WHITE, 453 Flora Ave., Winnipeg. [page 12]


When Will War Cease?

The wise in heart know well that God
   Doth not delight in war;
What right have men to spill the blood
   Of those who neighbours are?
What right have they to take away
   The life they cannot give,
Or kill men in a deadly fray?
   Much better, let them live.

The countries that won’t live in peace
   Should just be ostracised;
And kept apart till they war cease,
   And life by them is prized;
Who knoweth how a war will end,
   When man by blood is thrilled,
And hundreds to their long home send,
   Then gloat o’er many killed?

It so barbaric is!  The thought
   Doth make the blood run cold;
If serfs would act as wise men ought,
   Their lives would not be sold. [page 13]
Better to live on homely fare,
   Along with those we love,
Than rank in feasts both rich and rare,
   Where selfish beings rove.

What will console or grief make well,
   That sinks deep in the soul,
When sons are killed by shot and shell
   Ambitious men control?
War!  War!  That selfish, cruel thing,
   When will it ever end?
When will men cease to sorrow bring?
   When will they lives defend?

When man’s delight in Blood doth cease,
   Then he shall rise above
The cruel, carnage war!  And peace
   Shall fill his soul with love;
And love shall cherish love, until
   Each sees in each a brother;
Then man will know ‘tis wrong to spill
   The life-blood of another.

But though we know ‘tis wrong to spill
   The life-blood of a man;
A tyrant must not have his will
   To trample those he can: [page 14]
So we must help the weak to fight,
   And pull the tyrant down;
And fight for right with all our might,
   Till victory brings renown.

There is no other way that will
   Unto the earth bring peace;
And though we blood of man may spill,
   We fight that war may cease;
We fight that demon’s reign shall end,
   We fight for homes and right;
We fight our loved ones to defend,
   And demon put to flight.

For such a demon ne’er did live,
   He Nero puts to shame;
For he who vile commands doth give,
   Must shoulder all the blame:
Then let the Allies do their best
   To put the murderer down;
Till on his knees he peace requests,
   Or fly and leave his crown. [page 15]

By the same Author

Damon and Pythias


“Friendship, Charity and Benevolence”

A neat little Booklet only 15 cents

The following is from the Prefatory:

The authorities are about equally divided as to which of the two was condemned…Not one of the works we consulted gives the story in full, so we have compiled from several, taking from one the part that others have omitted; therefore, the story as here told will be found to be more complete than in any other work, and should be prized by the K. P. and all those who would like to have the best account of the most faithful display of friendship the world hath ever seen, for no matter which of them was condemned:

The other played a noble part,

That showed true friendship at the start;

And all way through up till the end,

When each one proved a trusty friend.”

 Address:  I. S. WHITE, 453 Flora Ave., Winnipeg, Man. [page 16]

War and Fame

Men stir up war!  For what?
   Ambitious men want fame!
And lives they will destroy for that
   Empty bubble of a name.

How selfish people are,
   Who run in such a net;
And fight for tyrant in a war,
   That tyrant praise may get.

At victory he’ll boast,
   Through murder of a crowd;
And should the innocent suffer most,
   He’ll praise his serfs more loud.

He lauds him to the sky,
   Who doth from war return;
He hath no thoughts for those who die,
   And leave their friends to mourn.

What frame will her repay,
   Whose only son is lost? [page 17]
What joy doth she receive each day?
   Where hath she cause to boast?

The German valiant look,
   When weapon used is gun;
But sight of steel he cannot brook,
   The bayonet makes him run.

The Briton makes a dash,
   Be small or large the crowd;
With bayonet fixed he is so rash,
   When Germans run he’s proud.

The Germans cowards are,
   When fog-bank them conceal;
To murder children is not war,
   And that they soon shall feel.

All humane laws they smash,
   Are lot of knavish clowns;
They skulk from ships, and make a dash
   At unprotected towns.

We volunteer our lives
   To make the dastards pause;
We leave our homes, children and wives,
   To fight for righteous cause. [page 18]

To fight for truth and love,
   Our little ones to save;
And keep our families above
   The power of German knave.

To fight for dear old home,
   That Britons shall be free;
And though we far away may roam,
   Old homes remembered be.

We’ll British homes defend
   From any tyrant lord;
And we shall conquer in the end,
   So put that on record.

We’ll conquer or we’ll die,
   We’ll beat the German knaves;
And shout aloud our battle cry:
   “Britons never shall be slaves.”

We’ll sing:  “Rule Britannia!
   Britannia rules the waves!”
And we who live in Canada
   Shall ne’er be German slaves. [page 19]

By the same Author

 Abolish the Bar

This Booklet contains three poems, viz.:  “Abolish the Bar!” “The Five Cent Glass” and “Nearer to God.”  The description of the Titanic Band going down with the ship playing “Nearer My God to Thee,” fills one page of the last poem “Nearer to God.”

The first two are Temperance Poems, and in the Prefatory the Author says:  “While I respect the opinions of those who believe that politics will cure intemperance, I must say that I have more faith in Moral Suasion, Temperance teaching, and a perfect example, than in any law that has yet been devised.”  Read the Booklet and form your own opinion.


Address:  I. S. WHITE, 453 Flora Ave., Winnipeg, Man. [page 20]

 The German Tiger’s Mad Jump

The German rushed at France,
                    Like a tiger so bold,
And plunder’d brave Belgium,
                    “Like a wolf on the fold.”
And he boldly asserted
                    He’d rule the great sea,
But the Lion advanced
                    From the land of the free.

Then all his proud boasting
                    Was brought to an end,
And for work of destruction
                    He’ll have to amend;
It will take all the lands
                    He ever did own,
To make good the loss, when he’s
                    Chased from the throne.

The tyrant shall cheer on
                    His serfs to the fight,
More revolting the scene,
                    The more dear to his sight; [page 21]
He delights in the scent
                    Of the blood as it flows,
Whether blood of his serfs,
                    Or blood of his foes.

He might see from events
                    That he never shall win,
And the Allies will soon
                    Dictate terms from Berlin;
And that will take place
                    Ere the British shall say:
“Good-bye, ‘German Tiger!’
                    We bid you ‘Good-day!’”

Then the Germans shall know
                    That the loss of the war
Was better than winning,
                    When it squelched the Kaiser;
For he ruled with a rod
                    That was heavy to bear,
But the war sets them free
                    From the tyrant’s flare.

Then awards shall be made
                    To compensate loss
That Belgium received
                    Through the mad German boss; [page 22]
But his power for evil
                    Is now at an end,
For the lion has proved
                    To the weak a good friend.

And the heroic work
                    Of the Belgians shall be
Enrolled with the acts
                    Of the brave and the free;
And the peace-loving nations,
                    With joyful acclaim,
Shall hail their advance
                    To the Annals of Fame.

When this war is ended,
                    May we never again
Hear war sounds of cannon
                    On land or on main;
But may peace bound with love,
                    Earth’s joys much increase,
Then JEHOVAH shall reign:
                    The true Prince of Peace. [page 23]

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