Dreamers

 

BY SIEGFRIED SASSOON

Soldiers are citizens of death’s grey land,

Drawing no dividend from time’s to-morrows.

In the great hour of destiny they stand,

Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.

Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win

Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives.

Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin

They think of firelit homes, clean beds and wives.

 

I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,

And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,

Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats,

And mocked by hopeless longing to regain

Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,

And going to the office in the train.

 

Siegfried Sassoon CBE MC was an English officer who was decorated for bravery on the western front. Sassoon became one of the leading war poets, he was an outstanding officer who although wounded and sent home volunteered to go back as he was concerned about his men. Later Siegfried Sassoon became disillusioned about the war and made his famous  lone protest against the continuation of the war in his “Soldier’s Declaration”

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