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 disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy 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,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, 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.


Posted on November 3, 2015, in Ancestor Work and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Ahhhh…Wilfred Owen. I agree with your other post that it’s shameful that there isn’t a national WWI memorial. People are trying though! http://wwimemorial.org/
    I remember watching All Quiet on the Western Front(the 1930 version) 13 years ago with my then 5 year old son. He probably shouldn’t have been watching with me now that I think about it(One of my many “Bad Dad” moves I’m sure!)The first charge scene across “No Man’s Land” is on screen and my son points to the TV and says “Lawn Mower” as the machine guns tear up the men. He couldn’t figure out why I started crying afterwards.


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