Verse > Siegfried Sassoon > The Old Huntsman and Other Poems

Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967).  The Old Huntsman and Other Poems.  1918.

25. The Tombstone-Maker

HE primmed his loose red mouth and leaned his head 
Against a sorrowing angel’s breast, and said: 
‘You’d think so much bereavement would have made 
‘Unusual big demands upon my trade. 
‘The War comes cruel hard on some poor folk;         5
‘Unless the fighting stops I’ll soon be broke.’ 
He eyed the Cemetery across the road. 
‘There’s scores of bodies out abroad, this while, 
‘That should be here by rights. They little know’d 
‘How they’d get buried in such wretched style.’  10
I told him with a sympathetic grin, 
That Germans boil dead soldiers down for fat; 
And he was horrified. ‘What shameful sin! 
‘O sir, that Christian souls should come to that!’ 



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