The manuscript of Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen

Dulce et Decorum est


Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs

And towards our distant rest began the trudge.

Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots

But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;

['Deaf even' crossed out] Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots

of ['tired, outstripped Five-Nines gas-shells' crossed out] gas shells dropping softly that dropped behind.


['Then somewhere near in front; Whew...fup, fup, fup,

Gas-shells? or duds? We loosened masks in case,-

And listened. Nothing. Far rumouring of Krupp,

Then sudden poisons stung us in the face.' Crossed out]

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! - An ecstasy of fumbling,

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,

And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime...

Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,

As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.


In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.



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