Home > Uncategorized > Siegfried Sassoon: At the Cenotaph

Siegfried Sassoon: At the Cenotaph


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Siegfried Sassoon: Selections on war


Siegfried Sassoon
At the Cenotaph


I saw the Prince of Darkness, with his Staff,
Standing bare-headed by the Cenotaph:
Unostentatious and respectful, there
He stood, and offered up the following prayer.
‘Make them forget, O Lord, what this Memorial
Means; their discredited ideas revive;
Breed new belief that War is purgatorial
Proof of the pride and power of being alive;
Men’s biologic urge to readjust
The Map of Europe, Lord of Hosts, increase;
Lift up their hearts in large destructive lust;
And crown their heads with blind vindictive Peace.’
The Prince of Darkness to the Cenotaph
Bowed. As he walked away I heard him laugh.

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