90 years ago the lie was already ancient

Monday, 28 May 2007

Dulce et Decorum Est

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 tired, outstripped Five-Nines 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 flound’ring 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.

Wilfred Owen, 1917

Animals’ Fate

digg stumbleupon del.icio.us reddit Fark Technorati Faves
Your information (required) Name*
Email*
Website

* Indicates required fields; email is used for validation and is not displayed on the site.

Your comment
Commenting on 90 years ago the lie was already ancient
Title

Body is limited to ≈1,000 words. Paragraphs—but not line breaks—are automatically inserted. Valid XHTML is required. These are the allowed tags–

<a href=""></a> <br/> <acronym title=""></acronym> <abbr title=""></abbr> <code></code> <pre></pre> <tt></tt> <ins></ins> <del></del> <hr/> <cite></cite> <b></b> <i></i> <sup></sup> <sub></sub> <strong></strong> <em></em> <h1></h1> <h2></h2> <h3></h3> <q></q> <blockquote></blockquote>