Verse > Siegfried Sassoon > Counter-Attack and Other Poems
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Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967).  Counter-Attack and Other Poems.  1918.

17. Suicide in the Trenches


I KNEW a simple soldier boy 
Who grinned at life in empty joy, 
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark, 
And whistled early with the lark. 
  
In winter trenches, cowed and glum,         5
With crumps and lice and lack of rum, 
He put a bullet through his brain. 
No one spoke of him again.
    .    .    .    .
 
You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye 
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,  10
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know 
The hell where youth and laughter go. 


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