A War Poem for Wednesday 6th August – 2 days after war was declared in 1914

For a survivor of the Mesopotamian campaign by Elizabeth Daryush (1933)

War’s wasted era is a desert shore,

As know those who have passed there, a place

Where, within sound of swoll’n destruction’s roar,

Wheel the wild vultures, lust and terror base;


Where, making ready for them, stalk the grim


Barbarian forms, hunger, disease and pain,

Who, slashing all life’s beauty limb from limb,

Crush it as folly on the stony plain.

The location of this war memorial is unknown but it is quite magnificent. If you recognise it please let me know where it is. Credit Jen Robertson

The location of this war memorial is unknown but it is quite magnificent. If you recognise it please let me know where it is. Credit Jen Robertson

A desert: those too who, as thou, have been

Followers of war’s angel, Sacrifice,

(Stern striders to beyond brute torment’s scene,


Soarers above the swerves of fear and vice)


Know that the lightning of his ghostly gaze

Has wrecked for them for ever earth’s small ways.

Anthem for Doomed Youth

Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen (1917)

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 for them from prayers or 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 silent minds,

And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

With thanks to the LGiU