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 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.

English translation: It is sweet and honourable to die for one’s country.

Comments

  1. JasCam

    I was privileged read this poem at a public event for world peace at the start of the Iraqi war. Several people said there were tears in their eyes. It had nothing to do with my reading ability.

    For all who have suffered or died as a result of man’s inhumanity to man, my prayers and may you rest in peace.

    H H

    PS If CTV did not switch off for the minutes silence, then I am so proud of the silence. Respect to all who are there.

  2. JasCam

    I was privileged read this poem at a public event for world peace at the start of the Iraqi war. Several people said there were tears in their eyes. It had nothing to do with my reading ability.

    For all who have suffered or died as a result of man’s inhumanity to man, my prayers and may you rest in peace.

    H H

    PS If CTV did not switch off for the minutes silence, then I am so proud of the silence. Respect to all who are there.

    1. RabM

      Have heard this confirmed by lots of others too. Only the Celtic fans!

      You should see the rabble at Ibrox on RTV in contrast. Honour? Disgraceful, rather!

      H H

    1. RabM

      Have heard this confirmed by lots of others too. Only the Celtic fans!

      You should see the rabble at Ibrox on RTV in contrast. Honour? Disgraceful, rather!

      H H

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.