First World War Poetry Digital Archive

A New Heaven (To --- on Active Service)

A NEW HEAVEN by WILFRED OWEN (To ------ on Active Service)

Seeing we never found gay fairyland (Though still we crouched by bluebells moon by moon) And missed the tide of Lethe; yet are soon For that new bridge that leaves old Styx half-spanned; Nor ever unto Mecca caravanned; Nor bugled Asgard, skilled in magic rune; Nor yearned for far Nirvana, the sweet swoon, And from high Paradise are cursed and banned;

---Let's die home, ferry across the Channel! Thus Shall we live gods there. Death shall be no sev'rance. Weary cathedrals light new shrines for us. To us, rough knees of boys shall ache with rev'rence. Are not girls' breasts a clear, strong Acropole? ---There our own mothers' tears shall heal us whole.

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