The Poet as Hero

by Siegfried Sassoon

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You’ve heard me, scornful, harsh, and discontented,
   Mocking and loathing War: you’ve asked me why
Of my old, silly sweetness I’ve repented—
   My ecstasies changed to an ugly cry.
You are aware that once I sought the Grail,
   Riding in armour bright, serene and strong;
And it was told that through my infant wail
   There rose immortal semblances of song.
But now I’ve said good-bye to Galahad,
   And am no more the knight of dreams and show:
For lust and senseless hatred make me glad,
   And my killed friends are with me where I go.
Wound for red wound I burn to smite their wrongs;
And there is absolution in my songs.