Aftermath

Siegfried Sassoon by George Charles Beresford (1915).jpgAt the memorial, around 1 o’clock Charles Dance read the poem Aftermath by English poet, writer, and soldier Siegfried Sassoon, who became decorated for bravery on the Western Front and became one of the leading poets of the First World War.


Have you forgotten yet?…
For the world’s events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you’re a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same–and War’s a bloody game…
Have you forgotten yet?…
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you’ll never forget.
Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz–
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench–
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, ‘Is it all going to happen again?’
Do you remember that hour of din before the attack–
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads–those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay
Have you forgotten yet?…
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you’ll never forget.

Aftermath (Heinemann: 1920)

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Preceding

Honouring hundreds of thousands of victims of the brutal Somme battle

Ulster Tower ceremony for the Irish at the Somme battle

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About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
This entry was posted in B4Peace, News and Politics, Reflection, Thoughts of others and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Aftermath

  1. litgaz says:

    Thank you for noticing and linking to my piece. Given the number of British dead who lie on the continent of Europe, I wish my country were more committed to it, and understood the roots of the whole European project lie in the desire to preserve peace.

    I also noticed your piece referring to the 100th anniversary of your father’s birth; my father was born in 1914, very close to the Eastern Front line. And the Second World War sent him into England as a refugee. Truly, we forget the past rather too easily.

    Liked by 1 person

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