Dulce et Decorum Est




by Wilfred Owen

. . .

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,
Obscene as cancer, 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.

*it is sweet and fitting to die for your country     


The poet, Wilfred Owen, fought in the war and died shortly before the armistice

Owen manuscript page

Click on this manuscript page to see the poet at work. 

Wilfred Owen in uniform

Wilfred Owen

The war changed the way Europe looked at war. No longer was it just a glorious adventure in which a young man could prove his courage. An entire generation of young men had been wiped out and those that were left behind faced disillusionment. Sadly the peace treaties solved little and laid the groundwork for the Second World War.



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