Learn More

Wilfred Owen

(1893-1918 / Shropshire / England)

The Sentry


We'd found an old Boche dug-out, and he knew,
And gave us hell, for shell on frantic shell
Hammered on top, but never quite burst through.
Rain, guttering down in waterfalls of slime
Kept slush waist high, that rising hour by hour,
Choked up the steps too thick with clay to climb.
What murk of air remained stank old, and sour
With fumes of whizz-bangs, and the smell of men
Who'd lived there years, and left their curse in the den,
If not their corpses. . . .
There we herded from the blast
Of whizz-bangs, but one found our door at last.
Buffeting eyes and breath, snuffing the candles.
And thud! flump! thud! down the steep steps came thumping
And splashing in the flood, deluging muck --
The sentry's body; then his rifle, handles
Of old Boche bombs, and mud in ruck on ruck.
We dredged him up, for killed, until he whined
"O sir, my eyes -- I'm blind -- I'm blind, I'm blind!"
Coaxing, I held a flame against his lids
And said if he could see the least blurred light
He was not blind; in time he'd get all right.
"I can't," he sobbed. Eyeballs, huge-bulged like squids
Watch my dreams still; but I forgot him there
In posting next for duty, and sending a scout
To beg a stretcher somewhere, and floundering about
To other posts under the shrieking air.

Those other wretches, how they bled and spewed,
And one who would have drowned himself for good, --
I try not to remember these things now.
Let dread hark back for one word only: how
Half-listening to that sentry's moans and jumps,
And the wild chattering of his broken teeth,
Renewed most horribly whenever crumps
Pummelled the roof and slogged the air beneath --
Through the dense din, I say, we heard him shout
"I see your lights!" But ours had long died out.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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

Read poems about / on: remember, rain, light, dream, rose

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 Sentry by Wilfred Owen )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
  2. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
  5. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  6. Death is Nothing at All, Henry Scott Holland
  7. A Little While, Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  8. I Knew a Woman, Theodore Roethke
  9. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  10. If, Rudyard Kipling

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A little while a little love
The hour yet bears for thee and me
Who have not drawn the veil to see
If still our heaven be lit above.
Thou merely, at the day's last sigh,
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. For You And I, Edward Kofi Louis
  2. Crucifixion of th' Soul..., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  3. Beware Of Mankind, Edward Kofi Louis
  4. Bigtha, Edward Kofi Louis
  5. Love Me Girl, Joseph Archer
  6. One Christmas Eve From The North..., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  7. Neryah, Edward Kofi Louis
  8. Feels Sorry, Sari Mavi
  9. Outlet Of Outer Space, Edward Kofi Louis
  10. Aristotole's Abstract Acrostical {X 1 to.., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
[Hata Bildir]