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Siegfried Sassoon

The Hero

‘JACK fell as he’d have wished,’ the Mother said,
And folded up the letter that she’d read.
‘The Colonel writes so nicely.’ Something broke
In the tired voice that quavered to a choke.
She half looked up. ‘We mothers are so proud
Of our dead soldiers.’ Then her face was bowed.

Quietly the Brother Officer went out.
He’d told the poor old dear some gallant lies
That she would nourish all her days, no doubt.
For while he coughed and mumbled, her weak eyes
Had shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with joy,
Because he’d been so brave, her glorious boy.

He thought how ‘Jack’, cold-footed, useless swine,
Had panicked down the trench that night the mine
Went up at Wicked Corner; how he’d tried
To get sent home, and how, at last, he died,
Blown to small bits. And no one seemed to care
Except that lonely woman with white hair.

About the poet
Siegfried Sassoon
 
By the same poet
Does It Matter?
Counter-Attack
Ancient History
Dreamers
Absolution
‘Blighters’
Everyone Sang
Base Details
Glory of Women
The General
The Last Meeting
The Poet as Hero
Survivors
Suicide in the Trenches
To Any Dead Officer
Aftermath
Attack
Sick Leave
The Dug-Out
 
Related books
Siegfried Sassoon at amazon.co.uk

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