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A Whispered Tale

 I’d heard fool-heroes brag of where they’d been, 
With stories of the glories that they’d seen.
But you, good simple soldier, seasoned well In woods and posts and crater-lines of hell, Who dodge remembered ‘crumps’ with wry grimace, Endured experience in your queer, kind face, Fatigues and vigils haunting nerve-strained eyes, And both your brothers killed to make you wise; You had no babbling phrases; what you said Was like a message from the maimed and dead.
But memory brought the voice I knew, whose note Was muted when they shot you in the throat; And still you whisper of the war, and find Sour jokes for all those horrors left behind.

Poem by Siegfried Sassoon
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