Verse > Siegfried Sassoon > Counter-Attack and Other Poems

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

21. The Investiture

GOD with a Roll of Honour in His hand 
Sits welcoming the heroes who have died, 
While sorrowless angels ranked on either side 
Stand easy in Elysium’s meadow-land. 
Then you come shyly through the garden gate,         5
Wearing a blood-soaked bandage on your head; 
And God says something kind because you’re dead, 
And homesick, discontented with your fate. 
If I were there we’d snowball Death with skulls; 
Or ride away to hunt in Devil’s Wood  10
With ghosts of puppies that we walked of old. 
But you’re alone; and solitude annuls 
Our earthly jokes; and strangely wise and good 
You roam forlorn along the streets of gold. 



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