Quotes About War


Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness -- Otta Von Bismarck quote about war.

Battles are never the end of war; for the dead must be buried and the cost of the conflict must be paid.—James A. Garfield.

A wise minister would rather preserve peace than gain a victory, because he knows that even the most successful war leaves nations generally more poor, always more profligate, than it found them.—Colton.

War is a crime which involves all other crimes.—Brougham.

To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.—Washington.

O God assist our side: at least, avoid assisting the enemy and leave the rest to me. - Prince Leopold

War is a terrible trade; but in the cause that is righteous sweet is the smell of powder.—Longfellow.

Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any fondness for war, and I have never advocated it except as a means of peace.—U.S. Grant.

I prefer the hardest terms of peace to the most just war.—C.J. Fox.[Pg 286]

Take my word for it, if you had seen but one day of war, you would pray to Almighty God that you might never see such a thing again.—Wellington.

War, even in the best state of an army, with all the alleviations of courtesy and honor, with all the correctives of morality and religion, is nevertheless so great an evil, that to engage in it without a clear necessity is a crime of the blackest dye. When the necessity is clear, it then becomes a crime to shrink from it.—Southey.


My sentence is for open war; of wiles
More unexpert I boast not: then let those
Contrive who need, or when they need, not now.
_Paradise Lost, Bk. II_. MILTON.

And Cćsar's spirit, ranging for revenge,

* * * * *

Cry "Havock!" and let slip the dogs of war.
_Julius Cćsar, Act iii. Sc. 1_. SHAKESPEARE.

In every heart
Are sown the sparks that kindle fiery war;
Occasion needs but fan them, and they blaze.
_The Task: Winter Morning Walk_. W. COWPER.

Long peace, I find,
But nurses dangerous humors up to strength,
License and wanton rage, which war alone
Can purge away.
_Mustapha_. D. MALLET.

The fire-eyed maid of smoky war
All hot and bleeding will we offer them.
_King Henry IV., Pt. I. Act iv. Sc. 1_. SHAKESPEARE.

Lochiel, Lochiel! beware of the day
When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array!
For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight,
And the clans of Culloden are scattered in fight.
They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown;
Woe, woe to the riders that trample them down!
Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain,
And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain.
_Lochiel's Warning_. T. CAMPBELL.

He is come to ope
The purple testament of bleeding war;
But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,
Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers' sons
Shall ill become the flower of England's face,
Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace
To scarlet indignation, and bedew
Her pastures' grass with faithful English blood.
_King Richard II., Act iii. Sc. 3_. SHAKESPEARE.

War, my lord,
Is of eternal use to human kind;
For ever and anon when you have passed
A few dull years in peace and propagation,
The world is overstocked with fools, and wants
A pestilence at least, if not a hero.
_Edwin_. G. JEFFREYS.

O War! thou hast thy fierce delight,
Thy gleams of joy intensely bright!
Such gleams as from thy polished shield
Fly dazzling o'er the battle-field!
_Lord of the Isles_. SIR W. SCOTT.

The tyrant custom, most grave senators,
Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war
My thrice-driven bed of down.
_Othello, Act i. Sc. 3_. SHAKESPEARE.

Hang out our banners on the outward walls;
The cry is still, _They come_. Our castle's strength
Will laugh a siege to scorn: here let them lie
Till famine and the ague eat them up.
_Macbeth, Act v. Sc. 5_. SHAKESPEARE.

War, war is still the cry.--"war even to the knife!"
_Childe Harold, Canto I_. LORD BYRON.

O, the sight entrancing,
When morning's beam is glancing
O'er files arrayed
With helm and blade,
And plumes, in the gay wind dancing!
When hearts are all high beating,
And the trumpet's voice repeating
That song, whose breath
May lead to death,
But never to retreating.
O, the sight entrancing.
When morning's beam is glancing
O'er files arrayed
With helm and blade,
And plumes, in the gay wind dancing.
_O, the sight entrancing_. T. MOORE.

From the tents,
The armorers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation.
_King Henry V., Act iv. Chorus_. SHAKESPEARE.

Father, I call on thee!
Clouds from the thunder-voiced cannon enveil me,
Lightnings are flashing, death's thick darts assail me:
Ruler of battles, I call on thee!
Father, oh lead thou me!
_Prayer During the Battle. German of_ K.T. KÖRNER.
_Trans. of_ J.S. BLACKIE.

Lochiel, untainted by flight or by chains,
While the kindling of life in his bosom remains,
Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,
With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe;
And leaving in battle no blot on his name,
Look proudly to Heaven from the death-bed of fame!
_Lochiel's Warning_. T. CAMPBELL.

Not hate, but glory, made these chiefs contend;
And each brave foe was in his soul a friend.
_The Iliad, Bk. VII_. HOMER. _Trans. of_ POPE.

Ay me! what perils do environ
The man that meddles with cold iron.
_Hudibras, Pt. I. Canto III_. S. BUTLER.

Now swells the intermingling din; the jar
Frequent and frightful of the bursting bomb;
The falling beam, the shriek, the groan, the shout,
The ceaseless clangor, and the rush of men
Inebriate with rage;--loud, and more loud
The discord grows: till pale Death shuts the scene,
And o'er the conqueror and the conquered draws
His cold and bloody shroud.

* * * * *

War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight,
The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade,
And to those royal murderers whose mean thrones
Are bought by crimes of treachery and gore.
The bread they eat, the staff on which they lean.
_War_. P.B. SHELLEY.

One to destroy is murder by the law;
And gibbets keep the lifted hand in awe;
To murder thousands takes a specious name,
War's glorious art, and gives immortal fame.
_Love of Fame, Satire VII_. DR. E. YOUNG.

Great princes have great playthings.

* * * * *

But war's a game which, were their subjects wise,
Kings would not play at.
_The Task: Winter Morning Walk_. W. COWPER.

One murder made a villain,
Millions a hero. Princes were privileged
To kill, and numbers sanctified the crime.
_Death_ B. PORTEUS.

Mark where his carnage and his conquest cease!
He makes a solitude, and calls it--peace!
_The Bride of Abydos, Canto II_. LORD BYRON.

Some undone widow sits upon mine arm,
And takes away the use of it; and my sword.
Glued to my scabbard with wronged orphans' tears,
Will not be drawn.
_A New Way to Pay Old Debts, Act v. Sc. 1_. P. MASSINGER.

Ez fer war, I call it murder,--
There you hev it plain an' flat;
I don't want to go no furder
Than my Testyment fer that.
_The Biglow Papers, First Series, No. I_. J.R. LOWELL.


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