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Anthem For Doomed Youth
Dulce Et Decorum Est
Poems by Wilfred Owen
War Requiem

Anthem For Doomed Youth

Anthem for Dead Youth
 
What passing bells for you who die in herds?
- Only the monstrous anger of the guns!
- Only the stuttering rifles' rattled words
Can patter out your
hasty orisons
No chants for you, nor balms, nor wreaths, nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning, save the choirs,
And long-drawn sighs of wailing shells;
The shrill, demented choirs
And bugles calling for you from sad shires.
What candles may we hold to speed you all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls' brows must be your pall.
Your flowers, the tenderness of comrades' minds,
And each slow dusk, a drawing-down of blinds
(Early draft)
 

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing bells for these who die as cattle?
- Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
- Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons
No mockeries now for them; nor prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning, save the choirs,
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;

And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers, the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

(Final version)

the final draft of the poem was actually completed by Seigfried Sassoon after Owen's death, Sassoon also changed the title from
Anthem For Dead Youth to Anthem For Doomed Youth

Charles Sorley painting

First World War

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