Siegfried Sassoon

Suicide in the Trenches

I knew a simple boy

Who grinned at life in empty joy,

Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,

And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,

With crumps and lice and lack of rum,

He put a bullet through his brain.

No one spoke of him again.

* * *

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye

Who cheer when soldier lads march by,

Sneak home and prey you’ll never know

The hell where youth and laughter go.

Siegfried Sassoon

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