The physical structure of this poem has been altered from the original layout in the text.
3.Bent double, 1.like old beggars under sacks
Knock-kneed, 1.coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the 4.haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
2.Men marched asleep. 2.Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all
Drunk with fatigue; 5.deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick boys! - 6.An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And 1.flound'ring like a man in fire or lime ...
7.Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
8.He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could
Behind the 9.wagon that we flung him in,
2.And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
1.His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
1.Obscene as cancer, 1.bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,-
My friend, you would not tell with such a high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: 10.Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
Owen, W. 'Dulceet Decorum Est' in A World of Prose. Edited by Mark McWatt and Hazel Simmonds McDonald. Pearson Education Ltd, 2005. | This is the OPINION of one individual, which might not coincide with the views of others.
Wilfred Owen, the poet, tells of his first hand experience in war. He tells the tale of tired and wounded soldiers walking through dirt and sludge. Suddenly, there is a warning about gas, which the soldiers hurriedly and awkwardly heed by donning their helmets....