Aftermath
Siegried Sassoon, (1886-1967)
  • Wounded by a British sentry in 1918, he lived to write
  • 'Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man' and 'Memoirs of an Infantry Officer'
  • Published in March 1919

  • Have you forgotten yet? ...
  • For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days.
  • Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
  • And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that
  • Like clouds in the lit heavens of life; and you're a man reprieved
  • Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
  • But the past is just the same - and War's a bloody game
  • Have you forgotten yet? ...
  • Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.
  • Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz -
  • The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
  • Do you remember the rats; and the stench
  • Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench -
  • And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
  • Do you ever stop and ask, `Is it all going to happen again?'
  • Do you remember that hour of din before the attack -
  • And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
  • As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
  • Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
  • With dying eyes and lolling heads - those ashen-grey
  • Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?
  • Have you forgotten yet?
  • Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget
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