A Remembrance Day Poem
Christ and the Soldier by Siegfried Sassoon (1916)
The straggled soldier halted and clumsily went down "O blessed crucifix, I'm beat !"
Christ still sentried by a seraphim between two splintered trees did speak
"My son, behold these hands and feet."The soldier eyed him upwardas he muttered, "Wounds like these, Would shift a bloke to Blighty just a treat !"
Christ, gazing downward grieving and ungrim, Whispered,
"I made for you the mysteries, beyond all battles moves the Paraclete."
The soldier chucked his rifle in the dust, slipped his pack, wiped his neck, then said -- "O Christ Almighty, stop this bleeding fight !"Above that hill the sky was stained like rust With smoke. In sullen daybreak flaring red, the guns were thundering and the soldier cried,
"I was born full of lust,hungry and thirsty, with a wishfulness to wed. Who cares today if I done wrong or right?" Christ asked , "Can you not trust my word? Am I not resurrection, life and light ?"
Machine-guns rattled from below, high bullets flicked and whistled through the leaves; smoke came drifting from exploding shells.
Christ said "Believe and I can cleanse your ill. I have not died in vain between two thieves; Nor made a fruitless gift of miracles."
"A bird lit onto Christ. a breeze came to pass and shook the ripening corn
A Red Cross waggon bumped along the track "Lord Jesus, ain't you got no more to say ?" He bowed his head with a crown full of thorns, as the soldier shifted, then stumbled on his way.
"O God," he groaned,"why was I ever born ?". The battle boomed, and no reply came back.
Posted by kipper at 14:22
Copyright © Pixie Dust | Year Posted 2019
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