THE DEAD-BEAT by WILFRED OWEN
He dropped,---more sullenly than wearily, Lay stupid like a cod, heavy like meat, And none of us could kick him to his feet; ---Just blinked at my revolver, blearily; ---Didn't appear to know a war was on, Or see the blasted trench at which he stared. 'I'll do 'em in,' he whined. 'If this hand's spared, I'll murder them, I will.'
A low voice said,
'It's Blighty, p'raps, he sees; his pluck's all gone, Dreaming of all the valiant, that aren't dead: Bold uncles, smiling ministerially; Maybe his brave young wife, getting her fun In some new home, improved materially. It's not these stiffs have crazed him; nor the Hun.'
We sent him down at last, out of the way. Unwounded;---stout lad, too, before that strafe. Malingering? Stretcher-bearers winked, 'Not half!'
Next day I heard the Doc's well-whiskied laugh: 'That scum you sent last night soon died. Hooray!'
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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||He dropped,---more sullenly than wearily,|
|Publication source||The Complete Poems and Fragments of Wilfred Owen|
|Publication editor||Stallworthy, Jon|
|Digital repository||The First World War Poetry Digital Archive|