"But cease now in peace"

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Senior Member
Russian, Spanish
is "cease" here a verb or a substantive? What is being said?

"The nicest thing to me/ Was the conciliation of the family/Arguing family over the birth-day cake at tea/But cease now in peace"

Aldous Huxley's "Mincepie"
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It's hard to be helpful, without more of the poem, Bloom. Do you have a link to it?

    I can't be sure if it's a present indicative with family as the subject, or if it's an imperative.

    I can't see how it can be a noun here.

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The nicest thing to me
    Was the conciliation of the family
    Arguing family
    Over the birth-day cake at tea
    But cease
    Now in peace.’

    Thanks for sending me the poem, Bloom.

    Huxley says he's a little tipsy (a bit off it), and the poem is about the reconciliation of the religious with the secular - hence the reference to General Booth (there shouldn't be an e at the end of his name, incidentally) - and the reconciliation of arguing strands in the family, who are brought together, he hopes, at Christmas.

    The cease is an imperative, and addressed to all the warring, arguing, factions of the squabble-loving nation. Cease bickering. He's saying they should be reconciled at Christmas and that the mincepie is, for him, a sort of symbol of the happy reconciliation of differences within the family, over the common pleasure of eating together. A mincepie is tradional Christmas food.
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