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I Stood With the Dead

I Stood with the Dead, so forsaken and still:
When dawn was grey I stood with the Dead.
And my slow heart said, ‘You must kill, you must kill:
‘Soldier, soldier, morning is red’.

On the shapes of the slain in their crumpled disgrace
I stared for a while through the thin cold rain…
‘O lad that I loved, there is rain on your face,
‘And your eyes are blurred and sick like the plain.’

I stood with the Dead… They were dead; they were dead;
My heart and my head beat a march of dismay:
And gusts of the wind came dulled by the guns.
‘Fall in!’ I shouted; ‘Fall in for your pay!’


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Poem I Stood With the Dead - Siegfried Sassoon