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 Soldiers are citizens of death's gray 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 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, 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.

by Siegfried Sassoon
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