Dulce et Decorum est

Dulce et Decorum est

By Wilfred Owen.

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstay of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime. –
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Bitter as the cud
of vi le, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
-My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.

Source and copyright: unknown.

Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Edward Salter Owen, MC (18 March 1893 – 4 November 1918) was an English poet and soldier, one of the leading poets of the First World War. Read more…

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