How to Die
Siegfried Sassoon, (1886-1967)
  • Awarded the Military Cross for braverty, he was invalided
  • out of the conflict after being wounded on the 18th July 1918
  • Dark clouds are smouldering into red
  • While down the craters morning burns.
  • The dying soldier shifts his head
  • To watch the glory that returns;
  • He lifts his fingers toward the skies
  • Where holy brightness breaks in flame;
  • Radiance reflected in his eyes,
  • And on his lips a whispered name.
  • You'd think, to hear some people talk,
  • That lads go West with sobs and curses,
  • And sullen faces white as chalk,
  • Hankering for wreaths and tombs and hearses.
  • But they've been taught the way to do it
  • Like Christian soldiers; not with haste
  • And shuddering groans; but passing through it
  • With due regard for decent taste.
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