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        Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967)


    The anguish of the earth absolves our eyes
    Till beauty shines in all that we can see.
    War is our scourge; yet war has made us wise,
    And, fighting for our freedom, we are free.

    Horror of wounds and anger at the foe,
    And loss of things desired; all these must pass.
    We are the happy legion, for we know
    Time's but a golden wind that shakes the grass.

    There was an hour when we were loth to part
    From life we longed to share no less than others.
    Now, having claimed this heritage of heart,
    What need we more, my comrades and my brothers?


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.