INSPECTION by WILFRED OWEN
'You! What d'you mean by this?' I rapped. 'You dare come on parade like this?' 'Please, sir, it's---' ''Old yer mouth,' the sergeant snapped. 'I takes 'is name, sir?'---'Please, and then dismiss.'
Some days 'confined to camp' he got, For being 'dirty on parade'. He told me, afterwards, the damnÃ¨d spot Was blood, his own. 'Well, blood is dirt,' I said.
'Blood's dirt,' he laughed, looking away, Far off to where his wound had bled And almost merged for ever into clay. 'The world is washing out its stains,' he said. 'It doesn't like our cheeks so red: Young blood's its great objection. But when we're duly white-washed, being dead, The race will bear Field Marshal God's inspection.'
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|Author||Owen, Wilfred (1893-1918)|
|Copyright||The Estate of Wilfred Owen. The Complete Poems and Fragments of Wilfred Owen edited by Jon Stallworthy first published by Chatto Windus, 1983. Preliminaries, introductory, editorial matter, manuscripts and fragments omitted.|
|First line||You! What d'you mean by this?' I rapped.|
|Publication source||The Complete Poems and Fragments of Wilfred Owen|
|Publication editor||Stallworthy, Jon|
|Digital repository||The First World War Poetry Digital Archive|