Show Hide image Books 1 August 2014 Poem: “Peace” by Robert Graves Plus a new cartoon by Ralph Steadman to mark the centenary of the First World War. Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML A new cartoon by Ralph Steadman, a joint commission by 14-18 Now and the Cartoon Museum to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. The cartoon is part of the exhbition 1914 Day By Day Cartoons at the Cartoon Museum, London WC1, until 19 October Peace When that glad day shall break to match “Before-the-War” with “Since-the-Peace”, And up I climb to twist new thatch Across my cottage roof, while geese Stand stiffly there below and vex The yard with hissing from long necks, In that immense release, That shining day, shall we hear said: “New wars to-morrow, more men dead”? When peace time comes and horror’s over, Despair and darkness like a dream, When fields are ripe with corn and clover, The cool white dairy full of cream, Shall we work happily in the sun, And think “It’s over now and done”, Or suddenly shall we seem To watch a second bristling shadow Of armed men move across the meadow? Will it be over once for all, With no more killed and no more maimed; Shall we be safe from terror’s thrall, The eagle caged, the lion tamed; Or will the young of that vile brood, The young ones also, suck up blood Unconquered, unashamed, Rising again with lust and thirst? Better we all had died at first, Better that killed before our prime We rotted deep in earthy slime. This poem first appeared in the New Statesman of 21 September 1918. Graves, who survived the First World War despite serious injury in the Battle of the Somme, contributed to the NS from 1918 to 1975. › Myth busting: Rowan Williams on Dylan Thomas Subscribe This article first appeared in the 23 July 2014 issue of the New Statesman, Summer Double 2014 More Related articles How A Series Of Unfortunate Events went from a children’s book to a postmodern masterpiece Counting the ways: what Virgin and Other Stories teaches us about want What can a new book of Holocaust testimony tell us about the Third Reich?