Home > Uncategorized > Paul Fort: The Complaint of the Soldiers

Paul Fort: The Complaint of the Soldiers

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

French writers on war and peace

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Paul Fort
The Complaint of the Soldiers
Translated by John Strong Newberry

When they were come back from the wars their heads were seamed
with bleeding scars,
their hearts betwixt clenched teeth they gripped, in rivulets their
blood had dripped,
when they were come back from the wars, the blue, the red, the sons
of Mars,
they sought their snuff-boxes so fine, their chests, their sheets all spotless showing,
they sought their kine, their grunting swine, their wives and sweethearts at their sewing,
their roguish children, like as not crowned with a shining copper pot,
they even sought their homes, poor souls…they only found the worms and moles.

The carrion raven clamored o’er them. – They spat their broken hearts before them.

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