The Next War
Wilfred Owen, (1893-1918)
  • War's a joke for me and you,
  • While we know such dreams are true.
  • Siegried Sassoon, close friend of Wilfred Owen.
  • Written at Craiglockhart while recovering from shell shock in late September 1917

  • Out there. we walked quite friendly up to Death,-
  • Sat down and ate beside him, cool and bland,-
  • Pardoned his spilling mess-tins in our hand.
  • We've sniffed the green thick odour of his breath,-
  • Our eyes wept, but our courage didn't writhe.
  • He's spat at us with bullets, and he's coughed
  • Shrapnel. We chorused if he sang aloft,
  • We whistled while he shaved us with his scythe.
  • Oh, Death was never enemy of ours!
  • We laughed at him, we leagued with him, old chum.
  • No soldier's paid to kick against His powers.
  • We laughed, - knowing that better men would come,
  • And greater wars: when every fighter brags
  • He fights on Death, for lives; not men, for flags.
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