First World War Poetry Digital Archive

The Parable Of The Old Man And The Young

THE PARABLE OF THE OLD MAN AND THE YOUNG by WILFRED OWEN

So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went, And took the fire with him, and a knife. And as they sojourned both of them together, Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father, Behold the preparations, fire and iron, But where the lamb, for this burnt-offering? Then Arbam bound the youth with belts and straps, And builded parapets and trenches there And strachéd forth the knife to slay his son. When lo! and Angel called him out of heaven, Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, Neither do anything to him, thy son. Behold! Caught in a thicket by its horns, A Ram. Offer the Ram of Pride instead.

But the old man would not so, but slew his son, And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

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