Counter-attack: And Other Poems

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E.P. Dutton, 1918 - World War, 1914-1918 - 64 pages

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The war poems of Siegfried Sassoon. Along with those of Wilfred Owen, perhaps the most significant verse to come out of the experience of the trenches of World War I. Read full review

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Page 26 - Good-morning; good-morning!" the General said When we met him last week on our way to the Line, Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of 'em dead, And we're cursing his staff for incompetent swine. "He's a cheery old card," grunted Harry to Jack As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.
Page 11 - The place was rotten with dead ; green clumsy legs High-booted, sprawled and grovelled along the saps And trunks, face downward, in the sucking mud, Wallowed like trodden sand-bags loosely filled; And naked sodden buttocks, mats of hair, Bulged, clotted heads slept in the plastering slime.
Page 25 - If I were fierce and bald, and short of breath, I'd live with Scarlet Majors at the Base, And speed glum heroes up the line to death.
Page 15 - Savage, he kicked a soft, unanswering heap, And flashed his beam across the livid face Terribly glaring up, whose eyes yet wore Agony dying hard ten days before; And fists of fingers clutched a blackening wound. Alone he staggered on until he found Dawn's ghost that filtered down a shafted stair To the dazed, muttering creatures underground Who hear the boom of shells in muffled sound. At last, with sweat of horror in his hair, He climbed through darkness to the twilight air, Unloading hell behind...
Page 12 - A yawning soldier knelt against the bank, Staring across the morning blear with fog; He wondered when the Allemands would get busy; And then, of course, they started with five-nines Traversing, sure as fate, and never a dud. Mute in the...
Page 8 - humblest thyself, thou humblest me; "Thou also dwelst in Eternity. "Thou art a Man, God is no more, "Thine own Humanity learn to Adore "And thy Revenge Abroad display "In terrors at the Last Judgment day.
Page 41 - Somehow I always thought you'd get done in, Because you were so desperate keen to live: You were all out to try and save your skin, Well knowing how much the world had got to give. You joked at shells and talked the usual 'shop', Stuck to your dirty job and did it fine: With 'Jesus Christ! when will it stop? Three years . . . It's hell unless we break their line.' So when they told me you'd been left for dead I wouldn't believe them, feeling it must be true. Next week the bloody Roll of Honour said...
Page 28 - Does it matter? — losing your sight? . . . There's such splendid work for the blind ; And people will always be kind, As you sit on the terrace remembering And turning your face to the light.
Page 19 - I see them in foul dugouts, gnawed by rats, And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain, Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats...
Page 51 - Now light the candles ; one ; two ; there's a moth ; What silly beggars they are to blunder in And scorch their wings with glory, liquid flame — No, no, not that, — it's bad to think of war, When thoughts you've gagged all day come back to / scare you ; And...

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