Verse > Siegfried Sassoon > Counter-Attack and Other Poems

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

26. Banishment

I AM banished from the patient men who fight 
They smote my heart to pity, built my pride. 
Shoulder to aching shoulder, side by side, 
They trudged away from life’s broad wealds of light. 
Their wrongs were mine; and ever in my sight         5
They went arrayed in honour. But they died,— 
Not one by one: and mutinous I cried 
To those who sent them out into the night. 
The darkness tells how vainly I have striven 
To free them from the pit where they must dwell  10
In outcast gloom convulsed and jagged and riven 
By grappling guns. Love drove me to rebel. 
Love drives me back to grope with them through hell; 
And in their tortured eyes I stand forgiven. 



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