Anthem for Doomed Youth.
- "What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?"
- "stuttering rifles' rapid rattle"
- "shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;"
- "not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes/shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes"
- "each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds"
- "no mockeries for them; on prayers nor bells"
- "monstrous anger of the guns."
- "hasty orisons"
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Arms and the Boy
- "let the boy try along this bayonet-blade"
- "how cold steel is, and keen with hunger of blood"
- "blind, blunt bullet-leads"
- "nuzzle in the hearts of lads"
- "are sharp with the sharpness of greif and death"
- "God will grow no talons at his heels"
- "his teeth seem for laughing round an apple"
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- "Rain, guttering down in waterfalls of slime"
- "left their curses in the den,/if not their corpses...."
- "there we herded from the blast"
- "eyeballs huge-bulged like squids"
- "watch my dreams still, - yet I forgot him there"
- "shrieking air"
- "those other wretches, how they bled and spewed"
- "I try not to remember these things now."
- "we heard him shout/'I see your lights!' - but ours had long died out."
- "dense din"
- "Let Dread hark back for one word only: how,/half listening to that Sentry's moans and jumps,/and the wild chattering of his shivered teeth"
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- "being the philosophy of many soldiers"
- "both arms have mutinied against me - brutes!
- "my fingers fidget like ten idle brats"
- "one dies of war like any old disease"
- "I have my medals? - discs to make my eyes close./My glorious ribbons? - ripped from my own back/in scarlet shreds. (That's for your poetry book)"
- "We used to say we'd hate to live dead old,-/yet now....I'd willingly be puffy bald/and patriotic"
- "shooting, war, hunting, all the arts of hurting./Well, that's what I learnt, - that, and making money"
- "For one year/to help myself to nothing more than air!/One spring!"
- "grow me legs as quick as lilac shoots"
- "here in this mummy case"
- "Yes, or a muckman. Must I be his load?"
- "O Life, Life, let me breathe"
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A Terre (cont.)
- "Shelley would tell me. Shelley would be stunned:/the dullest Tommy hugs that fancy now"
- "not worse than ours the lives rats lead"
- "do you think the Boche will ever stew man soup?/some day, no doubt if..."
- "I shall be better off with plants that share/more peaceably the meadow and the shower"
- "soft rains will touch me"
- "your guns may crash around me, I'll not hear"
- "Don't take my soul's comfort for jest"
- "My soul's a little grief, grappling at your chest/to climb your throat on sobs; easily chased/on other sighs and wiped by fresher winds."
- "Carry my crying spirit, till it's weaned/to do without what blood remained these wounds"
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Dulce et Decorum Est
- "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,/knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge"
- "men marched asleep"
- "on the haunting flares we turned our backs"
- "All went lame; all blind;/drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots/of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind"
- "flound'ring like a man in fire or lime...."
- "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 we flung him in"
- "white eyes writhing in his face"
- "his hanging face like a devil's sick of sin"
- "froth corrupted lungs"
- " 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"
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- "A sigh of coal,/grown wistful of a former earth"
- "I listened for a tale of leaves/and smothered ferns"
- "my fire might show steam-phantoms simmer"
- "Time's old cauldron"
- "boys that slept wry sleep, and men/writhing for air"
- "I saw white bones in the cinder-shard"
- "Bones without number"
- "many the muscled bodies charred,/and few remember"
- "where Death reputes/peace lies indeed"
- "comforted years will sit soft-chaired/in rooms of amber;/the years will stretch their hands, well cheered/by our life's ember"
- "they will not dream of us poor lads,/left in the ground"
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- "our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knives us...."
- "worried by the silence"
- "we keep awake because the night is silent..."
- "but nothing happens"
- "watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire,/like twitching agonies of men among its brambles"
- "a dull rumour of some other war"
- "what are we doing here?"
- "the poignant misery of dawn begins to grow..."
- "we only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy"
- "flights of bullets streak the silence"
- "the wind's nonchalance"
- "pale flakes with ********* stealth come feeling for our faces-/we cringe in holes, back on forgotten dreams, and stare"
- "-Is it that we are dying?"
- "slowly our ghosts drag home"
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- "on us the doors are closed"
- "we turn back to our dying"
- "for love of God seems dying"
- "Tonight, this frost will fasten this mud and us,/shrivelling many hands, puckering foreheads crisp"
- "pause over half known faces. All their eyes are ice./but nothing happens"
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- Reference to "W.B. Yeats"
- "My soul looked down from a vague height, with Death"
- "ditches, where they writhed and shrivelled, killed."
- "I saw their bitten backs curve, loop and straighten/I watched those agonies curl, lift, and flatten"
- "and Death fell with me, like a deepening moan."
- "Showed me its feet, the feet of many men, and the fresh severed head of it, my head"
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- "happy are men who yet before they are killed/can let their veins run cold"
- "with their brothers"
- "they are troops who fade, not flowers"
- "for poets' tearful fooling"
- "men, gaps for filling"
- "Chance's strange arithmetic"
- "Happy are these who lose imagination"
- "they have enough to carry with ammunition/their spirits drag no pack"
- "Their eyes are rid/of the hurt of the colour of blood forever"
- "Can laugh among the dying, unconcerned"
- "Happy the lad whose mind was never trained"
- "The long forlorn, relentless trend/from large day to huger night"
- "blood over all our soul"
- "by choice they made themselves immune/to pity and whatever mourns in man"
- "hapless stars"
- "the eternal reciprocity of tears"
- "alive, he is not vital overmuch;/dying, not mortal overmuch"
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Apologia pro Poemate Meo
- "I, too, saw God through mud"
- "mud cracked on their cheeks when wretches smiled"
- "war brought more glory to their eyes than blood/and gave their laughs more glee than shakes a child"
- "death becomes absurd and life absurder"
- "for power was on us as we slashed bones bare/not to feel sickness or remorse of murder"
- "dead as my platoon"
- "hopes lay strewn"
- "I have made fellowships"
- "For love is not the binding of fair lips"
- "I have perceived much beauty/in hoarse oaths that kept courage straight;/heard music in the silentness of duty;/found peace where shell-storms spouted reddest spate."
- "hell the sorrowful dark of hell"
- "heaven but as the highway for a shell"
- "you shall not hear their mirth:/you shall not come to think them well content/by any jest of mine."
- "These men are worth/your tears. You are not worth their merriment"
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- "out of battle I escaped"
- "encumbered sleepers groaned"
- "I probed them, one sprang up"
- "piteous recognition in fixed eyes"
- "lifting distressful hands as if to bless"
- "by his dead smile I knew we stood in hell"
- "no guns thumped, or down flues made moan"
- "save the undone years/the hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,/was my life also"
- "the pity of war, the pity war distilled"
- "courage was mine and I has mystery/wisdom was mine and I had mastery"
- "miss the march of this retreating world"
- "much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels"
- "cess of war"
- "foreheads of men have bled where no wound were."
- "let us sleep now..."
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- "purgatorial shadows"
- "dropping tongues from jaws that slob their relish/baring teeth that leer like shills' teeth wicked"
- "gouged these chasms round their fretted sockets"
- "surely we have perished/sleeping, and walk; but who these hellish?"
- "minds the Dead have ravished"
- "multitudinous murders they once witnessed"
- "treading blood from lungs that had loved laughter"
- "batter of guns and shatter of flying muscles"
- "carnage incomparable, and human squander"
- "their eyeballs shrink tormented/back into their brains"
- "sunlight seems a blood-smear; night comes blood-black"
- "dawn breaks open like a wound that bleeds afresh"
- "set-smiling corpses"
- "snatching after us who smote them, brother/pawing us who dealt them war and madness"
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- "he sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark/and shivered in his ghastly suit of grey"
- "legless, sewn short at elbow"
- "voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn"
- "before he threw away his knees"
- "all of them touch him like some queer disease"
- "younger than his youth, last year/not, he is old; his back will never brace"
- "poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry"
- "half his lifetime, lapsed in the hot race"
- "he thought he'd better join"
- "smiling they wrote his lie"
- "no fears/of fear came yet"
- "drafted out with drums and cheers"
- "some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal"
- "he will spend a few sick years in institutes"
- "what things the rules consider wise"
- "take whatever pity they may dole"
- "passed from him to the strong men that were whole"
- "how cold and late it is" Why don't they come,/and put him to bed? Why don't they come?"
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- "whispering of fields half-sown"
- "the kind old sun will know"
- "woke once the clays of a cold star"
- "are limbs, so dear achieved, are sides,/full nerved, still warm, too hard to stir?"
- "was it for this day the clay grew tall?"
- "-O what made fatuous sunbeams toil/to break earth's sleep at all?"
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The Last Laugh
- "he said; and died"
- "whether he vainly cursed or prayed indeed"
- "the bullets chirped - In vain! Vain! Vain!/machine guns chuckled"
- "then smiled, at nothing, childlike being dead."
- "the lofty Shrapnel-cloud/leisurely gestured, - Fool!"
- "splinters spat, and tittered"
- "'my love!' one moaned. Love languid seemed his mood"
- "his whole face kissed the mud"
- "bayonets' long teeth grinned"
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