Saturday, October 16, 2010

Men marched asleep.


Sunrise over the Derwent is always worth a glance. May 2010.

I have a headache. As ever though, things could be worse.

Here's Wilfred Owen.

Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori, 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 gas-shells dropping softly 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
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.

5 comments:

Julie said...

I think every pollie who gets on the cargo shuttle from Dubai to Tahn Kowt should be given a copy of Owen's poem and not be off-loaded until they have contemplated life through that gas mask.

Kris said...

Rambo Abbott loves the dress-ups, we know that.

Roddy said...

He didn't like the nuns habit. Or was that the monks frock?
Have you ever considered sending your meteorological photos to the ABC for the weather report each night? I reckon yours rate much better than some I have seen.

Sue said...

That made me want to cry.

Kris said...

Roddy, I'm not sure how.

Sue, the old lie of how sweet it is to die for one's country is really one of the most stupid concepts ever.