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.
Written in 1917, published posthumously in 1920.
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Poems by Wifred Owen. With an Introduction by Siegfried Sassoon.
Owen, Wilfred (1893-1918).
Book Description: London, Chatto & Windus. Printed by Morrison and Gibb Ltd. Edinburgh. First Edition., 1920. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. No Jacket. 1st Edition. 6 7/8 inches x 8 6/8 inches; half-title; frontispiece photographic portrait of Owen in his uniform, printed in brown tones, with the tissue guard present; title-page; introduction by Siegfried Sassoon; short preface by Owen; contents; second half-title; pp., pp. 1-33, with printer’s name on the reverse of p. 33. Red cloth over boards, printed paper title label on the spine. The tissue guard shows some age-related tanning, with slight offsetting to the title-page light tanning to endpapers, half-title, page edges; light wear to the spine ends, light wear to the title label, a small buckle to the cloth on the upper left of the back cover, some light fading, tanning to the spine and cover margins. A very good copy of the author’s rare, fragile, and first and only book. Connolly, The Modern Movement 36. Contents: Titles of the Poems: Strange Meeting, Greater Love, Apologia pro Poemate Meo, The Show, Mental Cases, Parable of the Old Men and the Young, Arms and the Boy, Anthem for Doomed Youth, The Send-off, Insensiblity, Dulce et Decorum est, The Sentry, The Dead-Beat, Exposure, Spring Offensive, The Chances, S. I. W., Futility, Smile, Smile, Smile, Conscious, A Terre, Wild with Regrets, Disabled. "For the preparation of this book thanks are primarily due to Miss Edith Sitwell. [-]" (-From the reverse of the half-title). Bookseller Inventory # ABE-901756473