Bennett: "A Farewell to Arms"

   Richard Rodney Bennett (1936-2012)

Richard Rodney Bennett (1936-2012)

The helmet now an hive for bees becomes,
And hilts of swords may serve for spiders' looms;
     Sharp pikes may make
     Teeth for a rake;
And the keen blade, th'arch enemy of life,
Shall be degraded to a pruning knife.
     The rustic spade
     Which first was made
For honest agriculture, shall retake
Its primitive employment, and forsake
     The rampires steep
     And trenches deep.
Tame conies in our brazen guns shall breed,
Or gentle doves their young ones there shall feed.
     In musket barrels
     Mice shall raise quarrels
For their quarters.  The ventriloquious drum,
Like lawyers in vacations, shall be dumb.
     Now all recruits,
     But those of fruits,
Shall be forgot; and th'unarmed soldier
Shall only boast of what he did whilere,
     In chimneys' ends
     Among his friends.

- Ralph Knevet (1600-1671)