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The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen by Wilfred Owen
I, too, saw God through mud, -
       The mud that cracked on cheeks when wretches smiled.
       War brought more glory to their eyes than blood,
       And gave their laughs more glee than shakes a child.

Merry it was to laugh there -
       Where death becomes absurd and life absurder.
       For power was on us as we slashed bones bare
       Not to feel sickness or remorse of ******.

I, too, have dropped off Fear -
       Behind the barrage, dead as my platoon,
       And sailed my spirit surging light and clear
       Past the entanglement where hopes lay strewn;

And witnessed exultation -
       Faces that used to curse me, scowl for scowl,
       Shine and lift up with passion of oblation,
       Seraphic for an hour; though they were foul.

I have made fellowships -
       Untold of happy lovers in old song.
       For love is not the binding of fair lips
       With the soft silk of eyes that look and long,

By Joy, whose ribbon slips, -
       But wound with war's hard wire whose stakes are strong;
       Bound with the bandage of the arm that drips;
       Knit in the webbing of the rifle-thong.

I have perceived much beauty
       In the hoarse oaths that kept our courage straight;
       Heard music in the silentness of duty;
       Found peace where shell-storms spouted reddest spate.

Nevertheless, except you share
       With them in hell the sorrowful dark of hell,
       Whose world is but the trembling of a flare
       And heaven but as the highway for a shell,

You shall not hear their mirth:
       You shall not come to think them well content
       By any jest of mine. These men are worth
       Your tears. You are not worth their merriment.
(C) Wilfred Owen
Book: The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen by Wilfred Owen
   Dave Williams and Grace
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