More mighty than the hosts of mortal kings,
I hear the legions gathering to their goal;
The tramping millions drifting from one pole,
The march, the counter-march, the flank that swings.
I hear the beating of tremendous wings,
The shock of battle and the drums that roll;
And far away the solemn belfries toll,
And in the field the careless shepherd sings.

There is an end unto the longest day.
The echoes of the fighting die away.
The evening breathes a benediction mild.
The sunset fades. There is no need to weep,
For night has come, and with the night is sleep,
And now the fiercest foes are reconciled.

This poem is part of a series commemorating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. 

The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now.

We hope you will join us in The Imaginative Conservative community. The Imaginative Conservative is an online journal for those who seek the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. We address culture, liberal learning, politics, political economy, literature, the arts and the American Republic in the tradition of Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot, Edmund Burke, Irving Babbitt, Wilhelm Roepke, Robert Nisbet, Richard Weaver, M.E. Bradford, Eric Voegelin, Christopher Dawson, Paul Elmer More, and other leaders of Imaginative Conservatism. Some conservatives may look at the state of Western culture and the American Republic and see a huge dark cloud which seems ready to unleash a storm that may well wash away what we most treasure of our inherited ways. Others focus on the silver lining which may be found in the next generation of traditional conservatives who have been inspired by Dr. Kirk and his like. We hope that The Imaginative Conservative answers T.S. Eliot’s call to “redeem the time, redeem the dream.” The Imaginative Conservative offers to our families, our communities, and the Republic, a conservatism of hope, grace, charity, gratitude, and prayer.

The featured image is courtesy of Stephen M. Klugewicz.

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