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Awarded the Military Cross on the 1st October 1918, Wilfred Owen was killed in action trying to get his men across the Sambre Canal on November 4th the same year. His loss to English poetry is immense. I've chosen this one, for no particular reason, and, if you are not familiar with his work, I would heartily recommend it.

The Parable of the Old Man
and the Young


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 is the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenches there,
And stretched forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither, do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.
But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.


"The Sacrifice of Abraham"
by Michelangelo Merisis da Caravaggio, 1591

See also the works of Siegfried Sassoon, and perhaps the films
"Come and see", "Ivan's War" and "Enemy at the gates".


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