Wilfred Owen

(1893-1918 / Shropshire / England)

The Parable of the Old Man and the Young


So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and strops,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretched forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.

But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: son, angel, fire, pride, father, together, rose, heaven

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Parable of the Old Man and the Young by Wilfred Owen )

Enter the verification code :

  • Philip Housiaux (1/10/2008 11:34:00 AM)

    Just extraordinary: the transposition of the preparation for the sacrifice of Isaac onto the actual sacrifice of the young men in the millions of WWI. I cannot imagine myself every finding such a profound insight for my own humble poems. (Report) Reply

  • Robert Howard (8/20/2006 3:33:00 PM)

    This chilling poem was set twice by Benjamin Britten. The first time he composed it into a duet with piano. The second time around it wound up in the War Requiem. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

Poem of the Day

poet Christina Georgina Rossetti

Where sunless rivers weep
Their waves into the deep,
She sleeps a charmed sleep:
Awake her not.
Led by a single star,
She came from very far
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]