Poetry Forum Areas

Introduce Yourself

New to PoetrySoup? Introduce yourself here. Tell us something about yourself.

Looking for a Poem

Can't find a poem you've read before? Looking for a poem for a special person or an occasion? Ask other member for help.

Writing Poetry

Ways to improve your poetry. Post your techniques, tips, and creative ideas how to write better.

High Critique

For poets who want unrestricted constructive criticism. This is NOT a vanity workshop. If you do not want your poem seriously critiqued, do not post here. Constructive criticism only. PLEASE Only Post One Poem a Day!!!

How do I...?

Ask PoetrySoup Members how to do something or find something on PoetrySoup.

You have an ad blocker! We understand, but...

PoetrySoup is a small privately owned website. Our means of support comes from advertising revenue. We want to keep PoetrySoup alive, make it better, and keep it free. Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on PoetrySoup. See how to enable ads while keeping your ad blocker active. Also, did you know you can become a PoetrySoup Lifetime Premium Member and block ads forever...while getting many more great features. Take a look! Thank you!

Break of Day

 There seemed a smell of autumn in the air 
At the bleak end of night; he shivered there 
In a dank, musty dug-out where he lay, 
Legs wrapped in sand-bags,—lumps of chalk and clay 
Spattering his face.
Dry-mouthed, he thought, ‘To-day We start the damned attack; and, Lord knows why, Zero’s at nine; how bloody if I’m done in Under the freedom of that morning sky!’ And then he coughed and dozed, cursing the din.
Was it the ghost of autumn in that smell Of underground, or God’s blank heart grown kind, That sent a happy dream to him in hell?— Where men are crushed like clods, and crawl to find Some crater for their wretchedness; who lie In outcast immolation, doomed to die Far from clean things or any hope of cheer, Cowed anger in their eyes, till darkness brims And roars into their heads, and they can hear Old childish talk, and tags of foolish hymns.
He sniffs the chilly air; (his dreaming starts), He’s riding in a dusty Sussex lane In quiet September; slowly night departs; And he’s a living soul, absolved from pain.
Beyond the brambled fences where he goes Are glimmering fields with harvest piled in sheaves, And tree-tops dark against the stars grown pale; Then, clear and shrill, a distant farm-cock crows; And there’s a wall of mist along the vale Where willows shake their watery-sounding leaves, He gazes on it all, and scarce believes That earth is telling its old peaceful tale; He thanks the blessed world that he was born.
Then, far away, a lonely note of the horn.
They’re drawing the Big Wood! Unlatch the gate, And set Golumpus going on the grass; He knows the corner where it’s best to wait And hear the crashing woodland chorus pass; The corner where old foxes make their track To the Long Spinney; that’s the place to be.
The bracken shakes below an ivied tree, And then a cub looks out; and ‘Tally-o-back!’ He bawls, and swings his thong with volleying crack,— All the clean thrill of autumn in his blood, And hunting surging through him like a flood In joyous welcome from the untroubled past; While the war drifts away, forgotten at last.
Now a red, sleepy sun above the rim Of twilight stares along the quiet weald, And the kind, simple country shines revealed In solitudes of peace, no longer dim.
The old horse lifts his face and thanks the light, Then stretches down his head to crop the green.
All things that he has loved are in his sight; The places where his happiness has been Are in his eyes, his heart, and they are good.
Hark! there’s the horn: they’re drawing the Big Wood.

Poem by
Biography | Poems | Best Poems | Short Poems | Quotes | Email Poem - Break of DayEmail Poem | Create an image from this poem

Poems are below...

Top Siegfried Sassoon Poems

Analysis and Comments on Break of Day

Provide your analysis, explanation, meaning, interpretation, and comments on the poem Break of Day here.