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          Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967)

              The Dragon and the Undying

    All night the flares go up; the Dragon sings
    And beats upon the dark with furious wings;
    And, stung to rage by his own darting fires,
    Reaches with grappling coils from town to town;
    He lusts to break the loveliness of spires,
    And hurls their martyred music toppling down.

    Yet, though the slain are homeless as the breeze,
    Vocal are they, like storm-bewilder'd seas.
    Their faces are the fair, unshrouded night,
    And planets are their eyes, their ageless dreams.
    Tenderly stooping earthward from their height,
    They wander in the dusk with chanting streams,
    And they are dawn-lit trees, with arms up-flung,
    To hail the burning heavens they left unsung.


The above poem was published in the collection The Old Huntsman and Other Poems in 1917. It can be found in:
  • Sassoon, Siegfried. Collected Poems. New York: The Viking Press, 1949.