When you are standing at your hero’s grave,
Or near some homeless village wherehe died,
Remember, throughyour heart’s rekindlingpride,
The Germansoldiers who were loyaland brave.
Men foughtlike brutes; and hideousthings were done;
And you have nourishedhatred, harshand blind.
But in that Golgothaperhaps you’ll find
The mothersof the men who killedyour son.
I only came across this poem recently: what a powerful one it is, in the light of some of his others, and its theme. After the war, there is peace, and a coming to terms with what happened before, however difficult that may be.
Sassoon creates a situation that would have been familiar to his readers; British relatives would have to travel to France or Belgium to visit either the grave of a loved one, if a grave existed, or to see the dead soldier commemorated somewhere…
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