Verse > Siegfried Sassoon > Counter-Attack and Other Poems

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

6. Dreamers

SOLDIERS are citizens of death’s grey land, 
  Drawing no dividend from time’s to-morrows. 
In the great hour of destiny they stand, 
  Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows. 
Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win         5
  Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives. 
Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin 
  They think of firelit homes, clean beds and wives. 
I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats, 
  And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,  10
Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats, 
  And mocked by hopeless longing to regain 
Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats, 
  And going to the office in the train. 



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