SONNET by WILFRED OWEN
On Seeing a Piece of Our Heavy Artillery Brought into Action
Be slowly lifted up, thou long black arm, Great Gun towering towards Heaven, about to curse; Sway steep against them, and for years rehearse Huge imprecations like a blasting charm! Reach at that Arrogance which needs thy harm, And beat it down before its sins grow worse. Spend our resentment, cannon,---yea, disburse Our gold in shapes of flame, our breaths in storm.
Yet, for men's sakes whom thy vast malison Must wither innocent of enmity, Be not withdrawn, dark arm, thy spoilure done, Safe to the bosom of our prosperity. But when thy spell be cast complete and whole, May God curse thee, and cut thee from our soul!
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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||On Seeing a Piece of Our Heavy Artillery|
|Publication source||The Complete Poems and Fragments of Wilfred Owen|
|Publication editor||Stallworthy, Jon|
|Digital repository||The First World War Poetry Digital Archive|