Suddenly night crushed out the day and hurled Her remnants over cloud-peaks, thunder-walled. Then fell a stillness such as harks appalled When far-gone dead return upon the world. There watched I for the Dead; but no ghost woke. Each one whom Life exiled I named and called. But they were all too far, or dumbed, or thralled; And never one fared back to me or spoke. Then peered the indefinite unshapen dawn With vacant gloaming, sad as half-lit minds, The weak-limned hour when sick men’s sighs are drained. And while I wondered on their being withdrawn, Gagged by the smothering wing which none unbinds, I dreaded even a heaven with doors so chained.
Wilfred Owen - 1893-1918
Red lips are not so red As the stained stones kissed by the English dead. Kindness of wooed and wooer Seems shame to their love pure. O Love, your eyes lose lure When I behold eyes blinded in my stead! Your slender attitude Trembles not exquisite like limbs knife-skewed, Rolling and rolling there Where God seems not to care; Till the fierce love they bear Cramps them in death's extreme decrepitude. Your voice sings not so soft,— Though even as wind murmuring through raftered loft,— Your dear voice is not dear, Gentle, and evening clear, As theirs whom none now hear, Now earth has stopped their piteous mouths that coughed. Heart, you were never hot Nor large, nor full like hearts made great with shot; And though your hand be pale, Paler are all which trail Your cross through flame and hail: Weep, you may weep, for you may touch them not.