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Aftermath

by
 Have you forgotten yet?.
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For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days, Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways: And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you're a man reprieved to go, Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same--and War's a bloody game.
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Have you forgotten yet?.
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Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.
Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz-- The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets? Do you remember the rats; and the stench Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench-- And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain? Do you ever stop and ask, 'Is it all going to happen again?' Do you remember that hour of din before the attack-- And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men? Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back With dying eyes and lolling heads--those ashen-grey Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay? Have you forgotten yet?.
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Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget.

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