I stood with the Dead, so forsaken and still:
When dawn was grey I stood with the Dead.
And my slow heart said, ‘You must kill, you must kill’:
‘Soldier, soldier, morning is red.’

On the shapes of the slain in their crumpled disgrace
I stared for a while through the thin cold rain ….
‘O lad that I loved, there is rain on your face,
‘And your eyes are blurred and sick like the plain.’

I stood with the Dead . . . . They were dead; they were dead;
My heart and my head beat a march of dismay:
And gusts of the wind came dulled by the guns.
‘Fall in!’ I shouted; ‘Fall in for your pay!’


“I Stood With the Dead,” by Sassoon, Siegfried (1886-1967). This item is from The First World War Poetry Digital Archive, University of Oxford (www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit); © St. John’s College Library, Cambridge University / The Siegfried Sassoon Literary Estate via First World War Poetry Digital Archive, accessed August 5, 2015, http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/collections/item/9827